Inauguration of New State-of-the-art Geospatial Lab at the Maldives National University
The new Geospatial Lab established at the Maldives National University (MNU) under the UN4DRR project has been inaugurated on 29th January 2023 by Dr Mohamed Shareef, the Vice Chancellor of the university. The event was held to coincide with the project Technical Training and Partners meeting scheduled in Maldives from 29th January to 02nd February 2023 attended by delegates from both European and Asian partner universities. The newly developed lab is equipped high performance computers, hardware and software for cartography, modeling and simulations acquired with support from European Union under the framework of UN4DRR. In addition, professional drones and field equipment were procured to improve data collection.
During the inauguration, the Vice Chancellor extended a warm welcome to the partner university delegates to the Maldives. He highlighted the importance of such a project to the Maldives, a country vulnerable to natural disasters and with limited technical and subject-specific expertise in disaster risk reduction and management. He expressed his gratitude to the project for bringing the first disaster management course and related resources to the Maldives and MNU. He also recognised the initiative to create a state-of-the-art Geospatial Lab, which will facilitate future trainings in the area. He thanked the project partners for providing MNU staff with modern professional development and training for the successful delivery of the new Masters in Geospatial Technologies for Disaster Management degree and innovative technologies that will help shape the nation's disaster management policies.
Project lead Professor Jonathan Chan from VUB also spoke at the event. He expressed his contentment on the establishment of the new geospatial lab that will provide the necessary infrastructure and support to remote sensing and GIS training and research. He also thanked the relevant parties stating that to build a lab from scratch needs the support of the administration and efforts of academic staff and the project team of MNU. He sincerely hopes that the lab serves as a motivation for future education and research in the area.
The technical training sessions in the Maldives will continue in the newly inaugurated lab in the coming days.