Advancing regional cooperation at the PAIGH/USGS Crisis Workshop in Panama

The Pan American Institute of Geography and History (PAIGH) and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) organized a Crisis Workshop during the annual meeting of the Commissions of PAIGH. The workshop took place on 13 and 14 June 2011 in Panama.

Under the umbrella of their annual meeting of Commissions, PAIGH together with USGS conducted a regional workshop on the use of geo-spatial information in case of crises such as natural disasters. UN-SPIDER was a member of the organizing committee of this workshop and gave a presentation on its activities in general and in the region in particular. Participants from different countries participated, and UN-SPIDER took the opportunity to discuss with representatives from the regional office of the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) in Panama how to advance the coordination of regional activities in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. This included in particular capacity building activities by the UN-SPIDER Regional Support Office, the Water Center for the Humid Tropics of Latin America and the Caribbean (CATHALAC) in Mexico and Dominican Republic. Meetings were also held with representatives of CATHALAC and with representatives of the Agustin Codazzi Geographic Institute (IGAC) to continue discussions about the establishment of a similar office in Colombia through the IGAC.

PAIGH operates through four technical commissions: Geo-Physics, Cartography, History, and Spatial Data Infrastructures. The Institute has expressed interest in supporting efforts related to disaster prevention and response, and has a wide network of national geographic institutes in the American Hemisphere as well as regional agencies which focus their work on geo-spatial information on which it can build.