The National Remote Sensing Department under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is working with the Vietnam Administration of Seas and Islands on a project designed to monitor sea and island resources using remote sensing technology.

The project, which is a part of a master plan to survey and manage marine environment resources with a vision to 2020, aims to develop a basic database on the country's marine resources and environment.

According to the head of the National Remote Sensing Department, Nguyen Xuan Lam, the department had established a system of topographical maps of the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos, and was building a database to draw up a map on a 1:50,000 scale of the land covering coastal areas and emerging islets.

The department has also drawn a collection of specialised maps on a 1:1,000,000 scale accompanied by data on the physical, chemical and biological factors of the area around Vietnam's territorial waters, while setting up a multi-temporal monitoring system using remote sensors and geo-information technologies.

The initial results have opened up prospects for the country to enhance its future application of remote sensing technology in the exploration and monitoring of its maritime and island resources.-VNA