Copyright 2006 - UNESCO

Space for Heritage

News & Events - 2006 


UNESCO & ESA Using Space Technologies to Assist Mesoamerica with the Biological Corridor

Mesoamerican Corridor
Decembre 2006
The ‘Diversity’ project coordinated by the European Space Agency (ESA) and UNESCO aims to use remote sensing to help protect biodiversity in Mesoamerica. A meeting was held in December 2006 to define user requirements in the sub-region, with the help of representatives from the Comisión Centroamericana de Ambiente y Desarrollo and the users themselves.
Read the full project...

57th International Astronautical Congress (IAC)

October 2 – 6 2006, Valencia, Spain

As part of the 57th IAC, the International Astronautical Federation is organizing a series of high level Plenary Events. UNESCO has been invited to make a special presentation for the Plenary Event ‘Space Technologies for the Benefit of Society’.
This lecture illustrated a partnership of space community showing a great corporate social responsibility joining efforts to assist UNESCO in the preservation of our common natural and cultural heritage. It covered the use of space technologies to assist in monitoring and preserving UNESCO World Heritage sites. This was presented to both space experts as well as to the general public.
IAF meeting, Valencia (Spain)
The presentation made use of impressive high-quality pictures illustrating the beauty of ancient archaeological sites, major world monuments, as well as the most important protected areas of the World. All these ground artistic photographs were then supported by satellite images illustrating how space is now assisting Biosphere Reserves and World Heritage sites by identifying threats and providing solutions.
The work presented has be done in close partnership between UNESCO and the European Space Agency that jointly have now attracted a large number of national space agencies: NASA, CSA, CONAE, CAS, ISRO, etc. The lecture showed how this collaborative effort of the Space Agencies and UNESCO is an excellent example of bringing space technologies for the benefit of the society in general.
IAF meeting, Valencia (Spain)
UNESCO and space partners are assisting the famous World Heritage site of Iguazu National Park (Argentina and Brazil). To demonstrate the large capabilities of space technologies, the Argentinean space agency – CONAE - set up a direct satellite connection from Valencia to Iguazu, to be shown during the session.
During the session, two groups of school children, one from Valencia, Spain and the other from Iguazu, Argentina discussed their experiences of visiting the UNESCO sites, Palmeral Del Elche in Spain and Iguazu National Park in Argentina and studying satellite images to understand the changes occurring to the sites. The objective of UNESCO and partners and IAF is to demonstrate the fascinating attraction space can have for children and its potential to inspire an interest among the young generation in conservation and the sustainable use of our resources.

Click on this link to watch the video of our complete Plenary Event at IAC, Valencia.

CASPAR project

September 2006

L'UNESCO is involved in an inter-sectorial project sponsored by the European Commission (EC) under the leadership of the Natural Sciences Sector for the preservation of Cultural, Scientific and Artistic digital data.
The project CASPAR - Cultural, Artistic and Scientific knowledge for Preservation, Access and Retrieval – is an Integrated Project co-financed by the European Union within the Sixth Framework Program that started on 1 April 2006.

The challenge of CASPAR is to find how digitally encoded information can still be understood and used in the future when the software, systems, and everyday knowledge will have changed. Yet digital information is extremely vulnerable. A huge amount of precious digital information created and stored all over the world becomes inaccessible every few years at a very fast pace. Think of losing official records, a museum archive, irreplaceable scientific data, or even a collection of family photos, and we realize digital preservation is affecting us all.
CASPAR will research, implement, and disseminate innovative solutions for digital preservation based on the OAIS reference model.

Read the article.

New Partners

June 2006

In addition to the current 30 partner institutions, the following partners have recently joined the Open Initiative:
  • National Institute of Space Research (Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais, INPE), Brazil
  • Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES), France
  • University of Freiburg, Germany, department of archaeology

International Symposium of the European Association of Remote Sensing Laboratories

June 2006

The European Association of Remote Sensing Laboratories (EARSeL) was this time hosted by the Institute on Geodesy and Cartography from Warsaw, Poland.
As it is now becoming a tradition, UNESCO has its dedicated session on the activities of the UNESCO-ESA “Open Initiative on the use of space technologies to support the World Heritage Convention”.
This time the UNESCO partner the Canadian Space agency presented the activities that Canada is doing in order to assist UNESCO. Jessica Bunning presented the 'Open Initiative' oriented to schoolchildren indicating the current approach and status of partnerships.
Finally, archaeology was the topic presented by Prof. Benoit Sittler from the University of Freiburg showing how the use of LIDAR is assisting archaeologists to “see below the forest canopy” the whole agricultural patterns of the Middle Ages.

The most important result is that EARSeL appreciates the educational approach of UNESCO bringing school children to visit the UNESCO inscribed sites. EARSeL have agreed to work jointly with UNESCO in the development of the required educational material.

International Expert Group on Archaeology and Remote Sensing

Prof. G Huadong (Dir. of the Chinese Academy) and M. M. Hernandez (UNESCO)
May 23 – 24, 2006, in Beijing, China
UNESCO organized for its partner, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, an Expert Group meeting on Archaeology and Remote Sensing. The Expert Group reviewed the progress done by the UNESCO’s 'Open Initiative' and made suggestions for its associated implementation in China.
As a result, the Peoples Republic of China is now considering the creation, inside the Chinese Academy of Sciences, of a "digital heritage group" that will assist China in implementing the UNESCO "Open Initiative on the use of space technologies to support the World Heritage Convention" for China. This will significantly improve the use of space technologies for the benefit of the Chinese natural and cultural heritage.

International Society for Digital Earth

Opening ceremony International Society for Digital Earth
© Chinese Academy of Sciences
May 21st 2006 in Beijing, China: the UNESCO partner, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), inaugurated the "International Society for Digital Earth".
The inaugural ceremony for the International Society of Digital Earth (ISDE), the first global collaborative research program initiated by Chinese scientists, was held in Beijing on May 21 2006.

ISDE is an international non-governmental science body initiated by CAS with the joint support from a dozen or so countries such as China, Canada, the US, Japan, Czech Republic. Headquartered in Beijing, it aims at promoting academic exchange and cooperation under the concept of Digital Earth, playing a constructive role in sustainable development of the national economy and social progress, environmental protection, mitigation of calamities. Within the framework of the UNESCO 'Open Initiative', the Chinese Digital Earth will also take care of the protection of the world's cultural heritage and natural resources.
Lu Yongxiang, president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the founding president of ISDE said at the inaugural ceremony that it is the common responsibility of the whole of human society to explore and utilize resources on the Earth rationally and protect our common heritage.

Digital Earth, a virtual reality planet which collects, geographical and space resources into one database, is expected to help economic development, environmental protection, disaster control and prevention, natural and cultural heritage preservation.
Lu said at the ceremony that the new academic organization will serve as "a common homeland" for the workers of the Digital Earth across the world. With its sincere commitment, indomitable efforts and efficient work, ISDE would provide an ideal platform for the researchers in the field to build up a Digital Earth in the welfare and benefits of the human race, and promote the harmonious and sustainable development of the whole world, he assured.

Improving conservation of Iguazu (Argentina and Brazil)

Iguaçu National Park, Brazil
April 2006
End of April 2006 was for Iguazu World Heritage site a month to receive additional support for conservation.
The Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE) joined the efforts of UNESCO, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Argentinean Space Agency (CONAE) to support the conservation authorities of Brazil and Argentina in the monitoring of the Iguazu World Heritage site.

This time, UNESCO and CONAE invited the schools surrounding the Argentinean site to the meeting. The response was extremely positive. Jointly, UNESCO, CONAE and the conservation authorities from Argentina will start making use of satellite images as a tool to create awareness for conservation among the young generation.

FIDAE 2006

UNESCO presented its associated space activities at the Feria Internacional Aerea y del Espacio (FIDAE) - Chile, March 2006.
Within the framework of the preparation of the V Space Conference of the Americas, UNESCO was invited to present how space can assist educational activities. The event was held in Santiago de Chile, Chile.