The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) once again received the Asia Geospatial Excellence Award for 2015 through for its R&D program, PHIL LIDAR 2: Nationwide Detailed Resources Assessment using LiDAR. The award is given to various institutions to recognize the exemplary innovations and practices in the Geospatial industry in the Asia Pacific at the Annual GeoSmart Asia (Formerly Asia Geospatial Forum).
The award was received by Dr. Ariel C. Blanco, PHIL LIDAR 2 Program Leader last September 29, 2015 during the Inaugural Session of GeoSmart Asia 2015 Conference, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Dr. Blanco presented a paper on Geospatial Technologies in Natural Resources Assessment, Environment and Climate Change Related Studies highlighting the PHIL LIDAR 2 Program.
Last year, UP-TCAGP and DOST received two prestigious awards for the Nationwide Disaster Risk Exposure and Assessment for Mitigation (DREAM) Program, namely, the Geospatial World Excellence in Policy Award and the Asia Geospatial Excellence Award. Both were awarded in recognition of the remarkable efforts made by the researchers lead by its program leader, Dr. Enrico C. Paringit. These awards were also recognized by the Philippine government, hence, creating the “House Resolution No. 194 Resolution Commending the DOST for Winning the Prestigious Geospatial World Excellence in Policy Implementation Award for 2014, for its DREAM Program.”
Same award was received also by the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and NASA (Earth Science Division-Applied Sciences Program) in 2013.
During the GeoSmart Asia 2015 Conference, Ms. Mary Joy Buitre, Science Research Specialist 1 of the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology also presented PHIL LIDAR 2 in a separate session, G-Governance and Smart Applications. Engr. Merriam M. Santillian and Engr. Jojene Santillan of the Caraga State University (CarSU) presented PHIL LIDAR 1 during the technical session for Climate Change and Disaster Management.
The award-winning DREAM and PHIL LIDAR Program were also highlighted during the 3-day exhibit. Guests and participants from various countries visited the exhibit display and was impressed on the huge R&D efforts being initiated by the DOST.
The PHIL-LIDAR 2 Program
PHIL-LIDAR 2 complements existing programs of various national government agencies and assists local government units in mapping the Philippines’ natural resources. State-of-the-art technologies such as LiDAR and other remote-sensing and GIS technologies are used to generate high-resolution resource maps and resource vulnerability maps. These provide detailed assessment of the country’s natural resources such as high-value agricultural crops, coastal resources, forest, hydrological and renewable energy resources. Further, these will help formulate recommendations and address future local supply and demand in agriculture, coastal, forest, and renewable resources through the collaboration of State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) and private higher education institutions (HEIs) in processing and validating LiDAR data and development of resource valuation models. Phil-LiDAR 2 is one of the biggest collaboration of a multi-disciplinary pool of researchers coming from different provinces of the Philippines.
A total of 769 researchers and experts were trained in the PHIL LIDAR program. It is considered first of its kind and the biggest collaboration of multidisciplinary researchers and experts from public and private academic sector of the country. The program is also supported by national government agencies: Department of Agriculture; Department of Environment and Natural Resources; Department of Energy; and DOST.
The program capacitated researchers and engineers to utilize LiDAR and other remote sensing/GIS data for resource inventory and vulnerability assessment. The development of regional hubs of LiDAR data processing and mapping services intends to sustain human resource capability. They will address the needs of the local communities for accurate and updated geospatial information.
A total of 32 agricultural maps were distributed to beneficiaries during the Agricultural Mapping Forum and Turnover Ceremony held last July 21-22, 2015. It was participated in by policy-makers, municipal planners, SUCs / HEIs and media.
Written by: Mary Joy C. Buitre
Photos from: Di-Ann Suarez and Mary Joy C. Buitre
Edited by: PCIEERD Information Group