During the 2nd Conference of the Digital Belt and Road (DBAR 2017) in Hong Kong, December 5th-8th 2017, a special session dedicated to capacity building was convened by Prof. Massimo Menenti. Partners of the DBAR Program from 18 countries along the Belt and Road were invited to illustrate their requirements and interests in capacity building. On December 7th, delegates of 8 organizations in the Belt and Road countries presented their views during a lively dialogue about priorities and initiatives.
The countries involved in the Belt and Road initiative have different capacities to utilize remote sensing and GIS technologies and data. DBAR intends to help build the capacity of research institutes, universities, and governments in the Belt and Road countries to use geospatial information services effectively. The thematic interests show a large diversity, with 14 thematic areas reflecting the diversity of national conditions, e.g., geographical location and different levels of development.
Overall, there is a clearly shared interest in the application of Big Earth Data in relation to climate change, environmental degradation, and the water cycle at both regional and local scales.
With more and more Chinese Earth observation satellites, China is becoming one of the major data suppliers, e.g., through the ground stations operated by RADI. Over the last few decades, the cooperation between China and other countries on remote sensing and GIS has grown very significantly, especially with the Belt and Road countries in Asia, Africa, and Europe.
The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) offers MS and PhD education to both domestic and international students. In addition, longer stays by international postdoctoral researchers are a common and growing occurrence at CAS institutes. These long-term education opportunities have attracted many international students and will continue in the decades to come.
The capacity building initiative will promote an increase in foreign students applying for long-term education opportunities in China. Likewise, similar opportunities in other Belt and Road countries, e.g., in Malaysia, should be identified and promoted.
Presentations download here.