The National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT) together with Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) announced on Tuesday the establishment of an international center for the Digital Belt and Road (DBAR) project.
The Digital Belt and Road (DBAR) International Center of Excellence Bangkok will focus on cooperation on climate change, disaster risk reduction, environmental research, capacity building, among others.
NRCT's secretary-general Professor Sirirurg Songsivilai said during the opening ceremony that the center is a pioneering one in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in connection with the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.
Guo Huadong, an academician with the CAS, said the Belt and Road Initiative's extensive geographical scope requires research and monitoring capacity that can address a vast array of development issues.
By using Earth observation and big Earth data from satellites and other sources, the project can offer information for decision-makers to refer to in the implementation of Belt and Road Initiative, Guo said.
The DBAR program was established in 2016 by Chinese scientists, in cooperation with experts from more than 20 countries and international organizations to promote global sharing of expertise, knowledge, technologies and data through Earth observation and big Earth data from satellites and other sources.
The information will be applied to research, decision making, project development and monitoring in seven primary areas: environmental protection, disaster risk reduction, water resources management, urban development, food security, coastal zone management and the conservation of natural and cultural heritage.
DBAR's international centers of excellence are also expected to help narrow the capacity gap among nations participating in the Belt and Road Initiative.
The Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by China in 2013, aims to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa based on ancient land and maritime trade routes.