Science Committee

The Science Committee is the highest-level committee with responsibilities for overseeing and monitoring the progress and quality of the projects that are designed to implement the DBAR Science Plan. The members of this committee will be appointed by the Chair of this committee, and may include a representative of the engagement committee, and the Chairs/Co-Chairs of the various working groups and task forces. It will ensure that the DBAR Science Program conforms with good practice in terms of data policy, data availability and data stewardship. The Science Committee will develop appropriate criteria for both internal and external evaluations, and will define the milestones and deliverables that should be reached during the implementation of the DBAR Science Program during its three different phases. It will be responsible for supervising the work carried out by the various working groups and task forces. The Science Committee will guide the work of the Engagement Committee to ensure that the objectives of developing networks of user communities in the various Belt and Road countries, as well as the capacity building and technology transfer aspects of the DBAR Science Plan are adequately addressed. It will provide daily guidance and be supported in its work by the DBAR Secretariat. The Science Committee may, from time-to-time, set up some Ad-Hoc Committees or Sub-Committees, to carry out certain specific tasks such as drafting of special reports, liaising with donors, funding institutions and the private sector, and for interfacing between the working groups, Task Forces and the Science Committee.

An external evaluation committee will be set up to evaluate the scientific quality and progress of the implementation of the DBAR Science Program at the end of each of the phases of the project, and report their findings to the Science Committee.

Three evaluations are foreseen as follows:

  • E1-end of startup phase;
  • E2-Midterm evaluation at the end of Phase II (implementation phase 1);
  • E3-final evaluation with recommendations on the need and desirability as well as the scope and content of a follow-up program.

Specific Terms of Reference for the External Evaluation Committee will be drawn up by the Science Committee.

A working group liaison sub-committee may be set up to act as the interface between the working groups, task forces and the Science Committee. The working groups and task forces Co-Chairs will co-operate with this committee, made up of representatives of the working groups and task forces and some members from the Science Commitee.


  • GUO Huadong

    GUO Huadong is a Professor of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth (RADI), an Academician of CAS, a Foreign Member of Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), and a Fellow of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS). He presently serves as President of the International Society for Digital Earth (ISDE), Director of the International Center on Space Technologies for Natural and Cultural Heritage (HIST) under the Auspices of UNESCO, Director of the CAS-TWAS Center of Excellence on Space Technology for Disaster Mitigation (SDIM), and Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Digital Earth. He served as President of ICSU Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA). He has over 30 years of experience in Earth observation, specializing in radar remote sensing and Digital Earth science. He has been Principle Investigator for over 30 major national projects in China, and Principle Investigator for 7 international radar remote sensing projects. Prof. Guo has published more than 400 papers and sixteen books, and is the principal awardee of sixteen domestic and international prizes.


  • John van GENDEREN

    Professor van Genderen obtained his B.A. (Hons.) from the University of Queensland, Australia. His M.Sc. was in remote sensing from the ITC in the Netherlands, and his Ph.D. in remote sensing was obtained from the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom in 1972.
    For the past 45 years he has been active in remote sensing techniques and applications in Developing countries. In terms of methodologies, his specialties have been image processing, Image and data fusion, SAR interferometry and signal processing. In terms of Applications, he has published highly cited articles in the fields of natural and man-induced disasters, coastal zones, etc.
    He has supervised dozens of post-graduate students, and has acted as an external examiner for such students in many countries, including many of the Belt and Road countries.


  • HAN Qunli

    HAN Qunli is currently the Executive Director of IRDR-IPO (Integrated Research on Disaster Risk – International Programme Office), under co-sponsorship of ICSU, ISSC and UNISDR and with financial support of China. Before entering IRDR in September 2017, he was working for UNESCO, as the Director of the Division of Ecological and Earth Sciences, and the Secretary of the MAB Programme (June 2013-August 2017). Started in 1990, he served at different duty stations for UNESCO’s environmental sciences, especially Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme in Europe, Southeast Asia and Central Asia, and took management positions including the Director of Tehran Cluster Office (July 2007-July 2011) and Director of Executive Office of UNESCO’s Natural Sciences (2011-2013). Qunli graduated from the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) in computer sciences in 1980 and did his fellowship study in environmental information systems in 1985-1986 in Italy. As a researcher in the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) since 1980, he carried out several projects in Xinjiang and Loess Plateau under the Commission for Integrated Survey of Natural Resources (1981-1989) of CAS.

  • Natarajan ISHWARAN

    Natarajan Ishwaran has an educational background in Zoology (BSc), ecology and conservation (MSc) and wildlife management (Ph.D). He has more than 40 years of experience working with wildlife, protected areas, environment and sustainable development at local, national and international levels. In his early career in Sri Lanka (1975-1986) he conducted research that supported Sri Lankan Government’s efforts to conserve elephant and other large mammal habitats in areas where large river valley development projects were being implemented. From 1986 to 2016, he worked in UNESCO holding several important positions including Chief, Natural Heritage (1996-2004) and Director, Division of Ecological and Earth Sciences (2004-2012). From 2012 to 2015, he was resident in Beijing as a “State Recruited Expert” of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) enabling the International Center on Space Technologies for Natural and Cultural Heritage (HIST) to design, develop and implement international initiatives. He continues work closely with CAS Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth assisting in particular with regard to strategic planning and international relations for HIST.

  • JIA Gensuo

    JIA Gensuo is a Professor at the Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the Director of START Regional Center for East Asia. He also serves as coordinating lead author (CLA) of UNEP Global Environmental Outlook (GEO-6), CLA of the 3rd China National Assessment Report on Climate Change, member of the Review Panel for the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR) Program, and member of ICSU ROAP Steering Group on Natural Hazards and Risk. Prof. Jia has broad research interests in terrestrial ecology and atmospheric sciences, including multi-scale remote sensing of land surface processes, land use and cover changes, ecosystem-climate interactions, climate extremes and disaster risks, and climate change impacts and adaptation. First author of book "Towards a Sustainable Asia: Environment and Climate Change".

  • LIN Hui

    Dr. Hui Lin, Chen Shupeng Professor of Geoinformation Science of Geography and Resource Management Department, and Director of Institute of Space and Earth Information Science, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, has been working in urban and regional remote sensing and GIScience field since 1982 as a scientist, educator, program leader, institute director, and leaders of international academic societies. He is the Founding president of prestigious International Association for Chinese Professionals in Geographic Information Science (CPGIS), Council Member of Asian Association of Remote Sensing (AARS), Member of the Scientific Committee of the International Center on Space Technologies for Natural and Cultural Heritage (HIST), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and Vice chairman of China National Committee of International Society of Digital Earth. 

  • Massimo MENENTI

    Prof. Massimo Menenti is an internationally renowned scientist in the fields of earth observation and global terrestrial water cycle.  His outstanding achievements have been attained in the aspects of surface parameter retrievals from remote sensing, remote sensing-based evapotranspiration (ET) estimation, time series analysis of remote sensing products, and the application of remote sensing technology in hydrology and climate models. He is one of the earliest researchers in using laser radar technology to measure surface aerodynamic roughness. He initiated the use of time series analysis techniques to extract information from satellite data. He presented the surface energy balance index (SEBI) theory for ET estimation, which is the prototype of the following S-SEBI, SEBS and SEBAL models. He held senior research positions in The Netherlands, France, USA and Italy and has coordinated many large European projects with participants from Europe, Asia, America and Africa.

  • Paul F. UHLIR

    Paul F. Uhlir, J.D., is a consultant in information policy and management. He was Scholar at the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in Washington, DC in 2015-2016, and Director of its Board on Research Data and Information, 2008-2015. He was employed at the NAS in various capacities from 1985-2016, and at the Department of Commerce in 1984-1985. Paul has written or edited 27 books and over 70 articles, mostly in scientific data law, policy, and management. He speaks worldwide on these topics and consults to governments, professional organizations, and universities. Paul has won several prizes from the NAS and the international CODATA, and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). For more detailed information about his professional activities, see:

  • WU Bingfang

    Dr. Wu currently is a professor and director of Digital Agriculture Division, Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth (RADI), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). He is director of Information Management Center for Three Gorges Environment Monitoring Network since 2003 and deputy director of Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy, CAS since 2016. He is co-chair of GEO/GEOSS GEOGLAM flagship since 2009; member of CAS education committee since 2013; Chair of Digital Agriculture Technical Committee, China National Commission of International Society of Digital Earth; Chair of Remote Sensing for Ecology Technical Committee, China Ecology Association.
    His research interests are the remote sensing methodologies and applications in agriculture, water resource and ecosystem, especially in monitoring of crops, evapotranspiration (ET), and drought, as well as grain warehouse. He and his team have developed remote sensing based operational monitoring systems with novel technologies as CropWatch since 1992, DroughtWatch since 1999, ETWatch since 2002, which have been customized for and deployed at many stakeholders.
    Dr. WU Bingfang obtained his PhD degree in 1989 on environmental planning and management from Tsinghua University, and Master degree in 1985 on water resources management from Tianjin University.
    Dr. WU Bingfang has published 3 monographs and more than 300 peer-reviewed papers. He is Editor in Chief of China LandCover Atlas (1:1,000,000).

  • LIU Jie

    LIU Jie holds a Ph.D of Cartography and Geographic Information System. She is the Director of International Cooperation Department of Aerospace Information Research Institute, China Academy of Sciences; the Deputy Director of the International Research Center of Big Data for Sustainable Development Goals (CBAS), the Secretary-General of the International Centre on Space Technologies for Natural and Cultural Heritage (HIST), and the previous Secretary-General of DBAR. Since 2019, she has served as a member of the Expert Committee on Chinese Translation and Writing of Foreign Languages.

  • CHEN Fang

    Chen Fang is the Deputy Director General and a Professor of CBAS. He is also serving as the Secretary-General of Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR) Chinese National Committee, the Executive Deputy Director of the CAS-TWAS Centre of Excellence on Space Technology for Disaster Mitigation (SDIM), and member of World Federation of Engineering Organizations Committee on Disaster Risk Management (WFEO-CDRM). Prof. Chen is the chief scientist of Digital Belt and Road Platform of Big Earth Data Science Engineering Program (CASEarth) of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), which provides the cloud service in support of data sharing and policy-making for sustainable development goals (SDGs). He has ample experience in Big Earth Data for sustainable development, and his work spans the public, private and non-profit sectors. His current work focuses on adapting Big Earth Data technologies to meet the SDGs assessment needs (mainly for SDG 11 and SDG 13) of developing countries including Nepal, Thailand and Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Prof. Chen also conducts interdisciplinary work combining, remote sensing, ecology, and other fields of study to assess spatial patterns of disaster risk. He has published over 100 academic papers and book chapters and was elected to the CAS "Hundred Talent Program" in 2011 and the TWAS Young Affiliate Fellow in 2014.

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