RIYADH: Geospatial studies, map production and marine surveys in Saudi Arabia will soon be on par with global standards as the Kingdom is set to align its projects with the UN framework in this pioneering field.
According to the Saudi Press Agency, the General Authority for Survey and Geospatial Information participated in the inaugural meeting of the international advisory committee of its UN counterpart between April 20 and 22 in Deqing, China.
During the meeting, the Kingdom presented the experience of the GASGI in developing a national strategy in line with global standards prescribed by the UN’s Global Geospatial Knowledge and Innovation Centre Framework.
This integrates location information to plan cities, build infrastructure, develop disaster management strategies and manage natural resources such as green spaces, water and minerals.
Mohammed bin Yahya Al Sayel, president of the GASGI, reviewed the experiences of member states and emphasized the importance of the nine strategic pathways outlined in the Integrated Geospatial Information Framework.
These cover governance and institutions, legal and policy, and financial and data standards.
They also take in innovation, partnerships, capacity and education, and communication and engagement.
According to Al Sayel, these nine strategic pathways provide guidance for addressing challenges in the survey and geospatial information sector.
Moreover, the presentation also shed light on integrating geospatial and statistical information with satellite data to discover and manage land resources and apply the knowledge in regional planning.
The meeting also discussed the proposed agenda and reviewed the experiences of some member states.
Saudi Arabia signed a deal with the UN last April to offer consultation services in the geospatial survey to boost its national capacity.
The GASGI and the UN Development Program agreed on the third phase of a project that will allow the authority to improve its services and increase public awareness of its operations.
Adam Bouloukos, the UNDP’s resident representative for Saudi Arabia, said the partnership aimed at providing consultation services to conduct geospatial works effectively and efficiently.
The partnership also aimed to provide the necessary infrastructure to gather data to support Saudi Vision 2030 and the Kingdom’s sustainable development goals.