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Pacific Asia Watch
Sarawak Wins The Right TO Host The 8th International Symposium On Digital Earth

has beat off tough competition from Europe to secure the right to host the 2013 International Symposium on Digital Earth (ISDE) in Kuching. The win was announced at the closing ceremony of the 2011 conference by the president of the I nternational Society on Digital Earth. Almost 1,000 delegates from 25 countries gathered in Perth Australia to hear the announcement.

The notion of “Digital Earth” was developed in 1991 by US Vice President Al Gore, and referred to the use of technology to gather, store and analyze the geography and systems that make up the earth. The growth in this sector is used widely from the mining and oil and gas industries, to predicting weather patterns, responding to global disasters, and the most commonly used digital earth tool is Google Earth.

Twenty-two years later, in 2013, the 8th ISDE will be held in the city of Kuching, in Sarawak Malaysia. Digital Earth tools were used extensively in Sarawak over the last few year to plan for 12 new hydroelectric dams as part of a Malaysian nation building project known as SCORE, and this will be an area of interest to delegates.

Professor Dr. Mazlan Hashim, the head of the Institute of Geospatial Science & Technology at Universiti Teknology Malaysia is the chairman of the Malaysian host committee, and along with Scott Campbell, executive director of the Kuching based International Centre for Industry Development (GRAIN – ICID), was on hand in Perth to receive the conference flag, which was presented to Malaysia by the Australian conference organizers. The conference flag is passed from country to country as a symbol of who is hosting ISDE.

Professor Dr Hashim addressed the delegates,” we are honored to be given the prestigious right to host this conference in Malaysia in 2013, we will be working towards having record attendance and aim to make it the best conference ever.” Campbell added, “The ISDE8 will bring experts from around the world to Kuching, and will be held during the 12 month International Festival of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) which is occurring throughout 2013 in Sarawak Malaysia. The International Festival will see 10 conferences in related fields descend on the State, involving United Nations Organizations, members of the Science States Alliance, over a dozen international associations, the Commonwealth Office, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the European Commission”.

The bid to host ISDE8 was won with support from the Sarawak Convention Bureau (SCB) and Malaysian Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MYCEB). "The island of Borneo is a perfect case study for the use of digital earth technology and hosting this important symposium will assist both government and industry players in their future development planning." Said Jill Henry (CEO of the SCB), and Mr. Zulkefli Sharif (CEO of MYCEB).

In addition to the many flow on benefits, this conference will attract up to 1200 delegates to Kuching, and will inject an estimated RM1.7 million into the local tourism industry. The announcement being made can be viewed at

For further information please contact Asheligh Willer, Conference and Exhibition executive with the International Centre for Industry Development at

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