Using satellites and networks to monitor heritage sites in Myanmar

A story on how the Global Heritage Fund is using a satellite network to help monitor heritage sites in Myanmar to create sustainable tourism and long-term returns for local communities.

Protecting Burma’s Heritage from Above
The Irrawady, 14 April 2012

A satellite network watching over Burma’s most revered archaeological sites is being used to help the country develop a sustainable tourism industry and alleviate poverty—but all that could be jeopardized by poor planning management.

About 90 percent of Burma’s population live at or below the poverty line while GDP per capita is the lowest in the region; however the tourist industry could be harnessed to turn that around if key sites are looked after and everything is managed responsibly.

With this in mind, the Global Heritage Fund (GHF) launched its Global Heritage Network (GHN) last year as the world’s first early warning and threat monitoring system. The network uses Google Earth as well as satellite imagery from DigitalGlobe to help experts and local communities keep an eye on heritage sites that are prone to threats such as over-development, shoddy management and looting.

“GHN today is monitoring six sites in Burma, including Bagan and three Pyu Kingdom sites. A new UNESCO programme sponsored by the Italian government will provide two years funding of US $800,000 for developing UNESCO World Heritage plans and nominations with the Burmese government,” said Jeff Morgan, the executive director of GHF.

“We expect the opening of Burma to enable better international expertise to be implemented in heritage conservation and responsible development,” he added.

Full story here.

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

2 thoughts on “Using satellites and networks to monitor heritage sites in Myanmar”

  1. I hope SPAFA can arrange one sketch up7 course and GIS/ Mapping using google earth and make one standard for southeast Asia Archaeology by google earth tqvm ,

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