News in 2013

10th United Nations Regional Cartographic Conference for the Americas

New York, United States, 19 - 23 August 2013

The 10th United Nations Regional Cartographic Conference for the Americas was held from 19 – 23 August 2013 at the UN headquarters in New York with the theme “UN-GGIM and the Americas: Addressing global challenges through geospatial information”. UNRCC-Americas provides a regional forum to address their common challenges and share experiences and expertise in the field of surveying and mapping, cartography, hydrography, remote sensing, land and geospatial information systems.

The conference was opened by Mr. Luiz Paulo Fortes of Brazil together with an opening Statement by the Acting Director of the Statistics Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations, Mr. Stefan Schweinfest. The opening session was followed by the first plenary session concerned with administrative formalities where Mr. Rolando Ocampo Alcantar of Mexico was elected President of the Conference. The two elected Vice Presidents were Ms. Paula McLeod of Canada and Mr. Juan Antonio Nieto Escalante of Columbia. Duane Miller of the Bahamas was elected the Rapporteur. The Conference reported on the implementation of the resolutions of the 9th Conference as well as the activities and work of the Permanent Committee for Geospatial Data Infrastructure of the Americas (PC-IDEA).

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10th United Nations Regional Cartographic Conference for the Americas in session

The Conference established three technical committees as well as elected the respective chairperson. The three committees are-

  • UNRCC-A Technical Committee I
    United Nations Initiative on Global Geospatial Information Management and the Americas: Strategic, Policy, Economic and Institutional Issues
    Chairperson: Mr. Ronaldo Ocampo Alcantar of Mexico

  • UNRCC-A Technical Committee II
    Spatially Enabling Government Through Geospatial Data Collection, Management and Dissemination
    Chairperson: Mr. Luis Paulo Fortes of Brazil

  • UNRCC-A Technical Committee III
    Best Practices and Applications, including Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management
    Chairperson: Mr. Ronald Jackson (Jamaica)

94 participants from 29 UN Member States attended the Conference and included regional and international organizations. The President represented FIG who also met and had discussion on matters of mutual interest with Mr. Santiago Borrero, the Secretary General of the Pan American Institute of Geography and History (PAIGH). PAIGH and FIG have a Memorandum of Understanding for collaborative activities.

The technical conference covered various thematic tracks including Global Geospatial Information Management: Strategy, Policy, Economic and Institutional issues; Spatially Enabling Government; Geospatial data collection, management and dissemination and Climate change and disaster risk reduction. FIG contributed with a presentation on Spatially Enabled Society, informing the Conference on its work on Spatially Enabled Society and by Society FIG does include Government. The presentation considered current drivers and key elements in spatially enabling society and observed some challenges and opportunities ahead.

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Click here for the full presentation.

In the presentation, FIG observed an opportunity to link spatially enabling society with the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Recognizing that the Agenda will be the bold, engaging and inclusive global political agenda with universal goals and national targets, and it is on our horizon, the question posed to the Conference is whether geospatial information, the managing of all information spatially and thus spatial enablement can be the key that unlocks the wealth of existing knowledge about social, environmental and economic matters leading to sustainable development and will GGIM be the intergovernmental mechanism for the geography needed for “The World We Want”?

The 11th United Nations Regional Cartographic Conference will be held in 2016.

CheeHai TEO
September 2013

10 October 2013