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JICA joins hands with Survey of Bangladesh to establish National Spatial Data Infrastructure for Bangladesh

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The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) with the Survey of Bangladesh have been working to establish a National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) for Bangladesh which will help the country to undertake development plans more efficiently by analyzing and utilizing spatial data. It was revealed during the “NSDI Open Seminar” held at the Hotel Sonargaon in the capital recently.

The seminar focusing on national spatial data platform was organized by the Survey of Bangladesh, the Ministry of Defence and JICA together. Md. Shahiduzzaman Sarker, MP, the Minister of State for the Ministry of Planning was present as the chief guest. H. E. Mr. IWAMA Kiminori, Ambassador of Japan, A. T. M. Siddiqur Rahman, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Defence and MIURA Mari, Senior Representative, JICA Bangladesh Office attended as special guests. Brig. General Nur-E-Alam Mohammed Jobayer Sarwar, Surveyor General, the Survey of Bangladesh, chaired the seminar. Different organizations and spatial data users took part in the seminar.

Many developed countries have launched such a unified platform for making spatial information more accessible. Keeping pace with the trend, Bangladesh is also ready to enter the era of a common spatial data platform called NSDI. JICA has supported the Survey of Bangladesh under the Ministry of Defence to promote this initiative through the technical cooperation project for “Establishment of National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) for Bangladesh”. JICA experts have been working closely with the relevant stakeholders including the Survey of Bangladesh, and other working group members to kick off this platform.

Speakers at the seminar underscored the necessity for establishing such a platform for better transitioning from Digital to Smart Bangladesh. They opined that, with the rolling of the NSDI and policy, Bangladesh will be one step closer to achieving the “Smart Bangladesh Vision” as relevant geographic information will be more accessible, which will in turn help the Ministry of Planning to undertake development works in a more precise manner.

“The spatial data will be easily accessible to all as our honorable Prime Minister hoped during the inception of the project. The common NSDI platform is a timely venture in line with the current economic development of the country. The Ministry of Planning will keep providing support to run the full scale NSDI to avoid data redundancy,” said Shahiduzzaman Sarker MP, the Minister of State for Ministry of Planning, while requesting all stakeholders to share data to the common platform. H. E. Mr. IWAMA Kiminori, Ambassador of Japan, congratulated the project on its success and emphasized that map development is a foundation of economic growth, just as it was in Japan. He hopes the NSDI platform will also be fully utilized for Bangladesh’s development.

Upon completion of this project, the government will be able to map out different plans avoiding possible duplication for project formulation while other stakeholders could utilize spatial data in various way since there will be a common and reliable platform for this kind geographic location-specific data. It will aid in saving time and efforts of different government and non-government organizations working for the betterment of Bangladesh.

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