ASIA-PACIFIC REGIONAL SPACE AGENCY FORUM

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APRSAF-24

Joint Statement

Joint Statement
of
The 24th Session of the Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum

November 14-17, 2017
Bengaluru, India

The 24th session of the Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF-24) was successfully held in Bengaluru, India, from November 14 to 17, 2017, under the theme “Space Technology for Enhanced Governance and Development.”

APRSAF is an open forum for those who have interest in cooperation in the field of space activities in the Asia-Pacific region. The forum welcomes participation from space agencies, governmental bodies, international organizations, development aid agencies, research institutes, and universities, and also encourages further participation from the private sector, which is expected to become a significant player in the field of space activity. The activities of the various Working Groups (WGs) and initiatives throughout the years have resulted into notable regional cooperation, which makes APRSAF as a sustainable forum.

The participants recognized and shared the following key points during APRSAF-24:

1. Space Technology for Enhanced Governance and Development

Space technology is a useful tool for solving various social issues and it can be used for effective decision-making. In promoting space applications, it is important for space agencies to partner with user ministries, organizations and development aid agencies so that the information from the satellites will be analyzed and interpreted for specific purposes, disseminated to users through enhanced mechanism of data sharing among the existing systems, and incorporated into operational work and processes of government and other partners, leading to real actions being taken toward solving social issues.

2. Contribution of space technology to achieving SDGs

Space technology can have a major role in achieving the 17 goals of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by contributing to solving regional issues such as disaster risk reduction, water resource management, and agricultural management. Through the active cooperation among the countries in this region based on their expertise acquired through the multifarious activities taken in each country, national and regional issues can be tackled collaboratively.

3.  Improvement of regional space capability

It is our common benefit to improve regional capability in space technology. We recognize the importance to support and enhance the higher educational programs and space technology application workshops available in our region with the aim of promoting education and capacity building to nurture higher-level engineers and researchers. We also support the idea to build a scheme to initiate discussions for future collaborative activities to jointly develop innovative small and cube satellites with the aim of providing the new solutions to the global and social issues we face.

4. Importance of high-level meetings

We believe that it is important to have opportunities for the heads of space agencies as well as high-level stakeholders who are in charge of space policy to regularly gather and exchange views so that they can share the common issues and interests of our region. We expect that such regular interactions will further develop cooperative opportunities that will lead to addressing various social issues in our region.

5. Advancement of APRSAF activities

The area of interest at APRSAF has been expanded from space technology applications such as remote sensing, to space exploration at and beyond Low Earth Orbit. Considering that the Asia-Pacific region accounts for more than two-thirds of the world’s population and features a wide diversity of geography, climates, and people, our efforts in this region under the APRSAF framework will have a great influence on global society and the Earth. Therefore, it is important to connect our regional interests gathered at APRSAF to global efforts such as the SDGs adopted at the United Nations, and the international space exploration program to be discussed at the 2nd International Space Exploration Forum (ISEF-2) as well as the efforts made by the Group on Earth Observations (GEO).

APRSAF-25 is scheduled to be held in Singapore in 2018.

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