Asia Foundation At Google’s Big Tent On Open Data, Disasters

Michelle Chang Rodriguez | The Asia Foundation | June 27, 2013

On July 2 in Sendai, Japan, nearly a year and a half after the tragic earthquake and tsunami devastated the region, The Asia Foundation will participate in a Google conference to examine using open data in disaster relief. As the world is seeing stronger effects of climate change and other factors, floods, rising sea levels, tsunamis, and monsoons threaten the lives of millions, this is a timely moment to call attention to natural disaster management across both developed and developing countries. And, as nations across the globe embrace innovative information and communications technology tools to help support disaster management, the conference is a chance for leading experts in technology, emergency assistance, and development to come together to discuss progress and challenges ahead.

On a regional scale, Asia represents an extremely rich set of ecosystems, especially given its geography. Livelihoods rely on water from the Mekong River as far north as China down through Southeast Asia, to the coastal zones of the Ganges, Brahmaputra, Indus, and Meghna rivers in South Asia. However, these ecosystems, and the citizens that rely on them for their livelihoods, are fragile and exposed to the effects of flooding, storm surges, and other natural disasters. [...]