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Sino-kenyan Forum Opens in Kenya to Boost Use of Geospatial Technologies

NAIROBI, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) — A Sino-Kenyan forum started in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, Wednesday to seek ways of promoting the use of geospatial technologies in agriculture, urban planning and natural resource management.

The 2023 Supermap GIS software innovation conference that was jointly organized by Kenya’s Directorate of Resource Surveys and Remote Sensing and Chinese firm Supermap gathered government officials, representatives of academia and private sector as well as geographical information systems (GIS) and remote sensing experts from Kenya and China to review the use of GIS software applications to positively impact the lives of citizens.

Tom Nyamorata, the secretary of administration at the Office of the President, said in his opening remarks that the conference offers an exemplary opportunity to interact and deliberate on how to leverage GIS and other geospatial innovations across various sectors for socioeconomic development and economic transformation.

Nyamorata said that geospatial innovations have the capacity to provide sustainable impact assessment tools for environmental, social and economic effects of multi-functional land use.

“Geospatial innovations also have the potential to unlock and improve urban planning by providing information on transport, infrastructure, demographics, accessibility to services, land use and new developments by informing the government’s spatial plans both at national and county levels,” said Nyamorata.

He disclosed that Kenya last year rolled out an ambitious plan to plant 15 billion trees across Kenya’s 47 counties by the year 2032 so as to increase the country’s tree cover from the current 12 percent to 30 percent of its landmass. “To monitor this exercise in real time and space, Kenya is using GIS technology to disseminate data on the status of tree growing in the country,” he added.

Jeffrey Zhang, the technical manager at Supermap International, said that geospatial technology can be used for land management and planning to ensure optimal use of land resources. He added that GIS is also ideal to assist the government to monitor in real-time emergency responses and management of disasters such as floods.

Henry Odhiambo, the research fellow at the African Conservation Center, said that geospatial technical systems and remote sensing can enable wildlife conservationists to track wildlife migration patterns. He noted that GIS can be deployed to enable conservationists to map threatened animal and plant species to ensure they are protected from extinction. 

Source: English News

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