Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology
Vietnam National Space Center
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Vietnam National Space Center coordinates with Mekong River Commission in exploiting satellite data application

The signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Vietnam National Space Center (VNSC), under Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST), and the Mekong River Commission (MRC) Secretariat, on satellite data for water and related resources management and development of Mekong Basin, took place on November 28, 2018 in Ha Long city.

Attending the signing ceremony were Director General of Vietnam National Space Center, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pham Anh Tuan, along with CEO of the Mekong River Commission Secretariat, Dr. Pham Tuan Phan, and representatives from the two parties.

According to the MoU, VNSC exchanges and supplies MRC with information about the Vietnam Data Cube system’s capabilities, including satellite images, products made from satellite images, retention period, data length and image coverage, with regards to sustainable monitoring and assessment of water and related resources in the Mekong River Basin.

VNSC also assures MRC of stable access to the Vietnam Data Cube, supporting specific activities and projects that contribute to the research plan and development of the Mekong River Commission.

MRC guarantees that the use of the Vietnam Data Cube system shall conform to rules and regulations approved by member countries on Procedures for Data and Information Exchange and Sharing (PDIES) of the Mekong River Commission under the set objectives and will yield effective results. In accordance to the MRC’s PDIES, MRC also exchanges and shares information necessary for appropriate activities of VNSC, including data and information such as reports and analyses made from satellite images in order to provide monitoring and assessment of water and related resources.

To advance the relationship, the two parties will together utilize the Vietnam Data Cube satellite data sharing system and/or cooperate with third parties to carry out common tasks, including research studies, projects, programmes, and support for human resource training, which are in line with the MRC’s Strategic Plan and Annual Work Plan approved by the member countries. These activities are expected to contribute to and enhance the actualization of the CEOS 2019 initiatives proposed by the Vietnam side as CEOS Chair.

In time, VNSC expects to collaborate with MRC in using Vietnam Data Cube images for flood monitoring, periodical agricultural land use updates, forest monitoring, etc. in the Mekong River Basin.

The Vietnam Data Cube satellite data sharing system collects data from Landsat (US), Sentinel (EU), and ALOS (Japan) satellites, and was installed in Vietnam National Space Center in 2017.  It provides users a satellite imagery database along with free exploitation tools, with advantages of minimizing necessary time and expertise used to process satellite images; effectively analyzing time series of many different types of satellite images in order to support surface monitoring, forest monitoring and land use monitoring applications; and supports users and customers from either inside or outside the country.

At the same time, the Vietnam Data Cube system is being developed to boost user capacity development in Earth observation satellite data application in Vietnam as the basis to contribute to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs) programmes.

Currently, VNSC is coordinating with other CEOS members to expand the system scale and to upgrade Vietnam Data Cube into Mekong Data Cube in order to incorporate the needs from the countries in the region.

Mekong River Commission is an inter-governmental organization, established in 1995 under the Mekong Agreement, which directly works with the governments of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam in their common interests – joint management of shared water resources and sustainable development of the Mekong River Basin, with the aim to ensure that the Mekong is developed in the most efficient manner, mutually benefiting all member countries and minimizing harmful impacts on humans and the environment in the Mekong River Basin.
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