"This agreement represents a milestone in expanding the use of GIS in the Latin American region and demonstrates a unique partnering between the private and public sectors," comments Dangermond. "ESRI is donating software and support to underpin the project, while OAS is securing financial resources to ensure that the projects remain funded and sustainable. I believe that this is a significant step in ensuring the successful implementation of a project of this scope."
In the initial phase of the agreement, ESRI will support two critical SEDI projects: the Municipal Development Program (MuNet) and the Inter-American Biodiversity Information Network (IABIN) project.
One of the components of SEDI's MuNet is designed to empower municipalities in Latin America by providing them with the electronic tools necessary to start building their regional cadastral and land registry systems. In addition to 15 software licenses, ESRI will provide one week of training in El Salvador for representatives from five selected municipalities in participating countries.
The Department of Sustainable Development within SEDI supports the execution of multiple-country conservation projects such as the Amazon-Andes Protected Area Metadata Database (AAPAD), which is supported by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. AAPAD is a subcomponent of the IABIN project. Through SEDI, ESRI will provide software to 45 national parks and protected areas throughout the Amazon-Andes region with the expectation that these selected areas will share the data collected and facilitate the expansion of their geographic information system (GIS) database. In addition to the donation of GIS software, ESRI will provide training and 400 Introduction to ArcView courses in Spanish through its Virtual Campus program.
Quinonez concludes, "This strategic alliance will enable OAS to support high-impact development and environmental programs in Central America and the Andean region. This is yet another successful example of the advantages that stem from OAS's partnerships with the private sector, and it illustrates our commitment to development."
The Organization of American States brings together the countries of the Western Hemisphere to strengthen cooperation and advance common interests. It is the region's premier forum for multilateral dialog and concerted action. At the core of the OAS mission is an unequivocal commitment to democracy, as expressed in the Inter-American Democratic Charter: "The peoples of the Americas have a right to democracy, and their governments have an obligation to promote and defend it." Building on this foundation, OAS works to promote good governance; strengthen human rights; foster peace and security; expand trade; and address the complex problems caused by poverty, drugs, and corruption. Through decisions made by its political bodies and programs carried out by its General Secretariat, OAS promotes greater inter-American cooperation and understanding.
SEDI's objective is to support, facilitate, and promote the integral development of the member states of OAS. For this purpose, SEDI promotes dialog and alliances, mobilizes resources to formulate and implement policies and technical cooperation projects, and develops training activities for the formation of critical frames. All of these elements have the goal to improve social, economic, and sustainable development in the hemisphere. To meet these objectives, SEDI plans to develop new program mechanisms and include the participation of the private sector in these development initiatives.
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ESRI Jim Baumann, 909-793-2853, ext. 1-1807 Email Contact or SEDI/OAS Jorge Duran, 202-458-6431 Email Contact