Strengthening the geospatial data infrastructure in the region can only benefit the sustainable development of Barbados and other Caribbean countries.

This view was expressed recently by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean, during a courtesy call from Vice President of the National Institute of Statistics and Geography of Mexico, Rolando Ocampo, and Ambassador of Mexico, Mario Arriola Woog, at the Ministry???s headquarters, located at Culloden Road, St. Michael.

Senator McClean said the crucial data collected by entities such as the UN Global Geospatial Information Management for the Americas (UN-GGIM: Americas) would allow islands to track information pertaining to infrastructure, forestry, deforestation and climate change.

The Foreign Affairs Minister also noted that such data could inform both private and public sector planning and policy making. Geospatial data is data or information that identifies the geographic location of features and boundaries on earth, such as natural or constructed features and oceans.

Mr. Ocampo said the aim was to incorporate all Caribbean countries into the UN-GGIM: Americas, in an effort to reduce the gap in the management of geospatial information between the region and the Americas.

He further explained that the data collected from countries in the region would be stored on a network at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus, in Trinidad.

The Foreign Affairs Minister said she would inform her Cabinet colleagues about the project, and thanked Mr. Ocampo for ???ensuring that we in the Caribbean, members of CARICOM, can benefit from this initiative???.??Barbados and Mexico established diplomatic relations in 1972.

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