The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) held the First Joint Project Team Meeting for establishing a disaster management system called the “Sentinel-Asia”* in the Melia Hanoi Hotel in Hanoi, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, on February 14 and 15, 2006. The meeting, which was organized by JAXA in corporation with the Vietnamese Academy of Science and Technology (VAST) and was supported by the UN-Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP), was the first step for establishing a “disaster management system in the Asia-Pacific Region” that was agreed upon at the 12th Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF-12) held in October, 2005.

*A project to establish a network using data acquired from satellites for disaster management

70 participants in total from 34 agencies in 18 countries and four international organizations attended the meeting to discuss the implementation plan of the “Sentinel-Asia” and the Terms of Reference (TOR) of the Joint Project Team.

The following were the results of the meeting.

1. Participants agreed on the concept, basic structure, and form for “Sentinel-Asia”, and also decided to commence the project.

– “Sentinel-Asia” consists of three nodes, Data Provider Nodes, Research and Training Nodes, Local Service Provider Nodes (“User Nodes”)

– Participants decided to form a technical team to coordinate more details of the implementation plan.

2. The TOR of the Joint Project Team was adopted, and 23 agencies from 14 countries and four international organizations were confirmed as participant organizations in the Team.

3. The next Joint Project Team meeting is scheduled for June.