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Auckland city makes global connections

6 July 2005

Auckland city makes global connections

Auckland City Council's Economic Development and Sustainable Business Committee today heard a presentation on the most significant science and technology event this part of the world has ever seen.

The Digital Earth's Summit on Sustainability, an inaugural international conference is being hosted in Auckland next year and the plan is for it to become a biennial event.

It will bring to Auckland 500 of the world's leading thinkers in the fields of science, technology, education and industry, including Nobel Laureates and senior NASA officials.

The conference aims to address the issues surrounding sustainable survival on earth.

“We are very proud that Auckland will be hosting a scientific and environmental event of this calibre. Retaining it long-term would be immensely valuable for the city as it will put New Zealand and Auckland to the forefront internationally in the area of technology and sustainability,” said Councillor Richard Northey, chairperson of the committee.

Digital Earth is a global project, started by NASA in the late 1990s, to develop a real-time 3-D model of Earth that can be used to monitor and forecast both natural and human activity on the planet.

Councillor Richard Simpson is a member of the Digital Earth international steering committee and deputy chairperson of Auckland City's Economic Development and Sustainable Business Committee.

Mr Simpson says that Digital Earth's new geo-spatial technology will help authorities to make crucial decisions. "Imagine having the ability to see the effects of a foot-and-mouth outbreak in livestock, forest fires in South Australia, tsunami impacts, and global warming effects – all as it happens," he said.

The project comprises non-government organisations, educators, business and government leaders. They are working together to provide future generations free access via the internet to new technical and educational facilities for exploring the Earth and its activities.

ENDS

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