The Environment Public Authority in Kuwait (EPA) was awarded the Special Achievement in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Award for the year 2010 by the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) - USA, during the annual conference organized by the Institute in San Diego, California. The Environment Public Authority got this award for its ground-breaking vision and its ambitious and innovative designs for developing the Environmental Monitoring Information System of Kuwait (eMISK), which enhances the capacity of the monitoring departments in the field of environmental protection in the State of Kuwait. Kuwait EPA is one of about 50 organizations worldwide from outside the United States of America who got this award from among more than 100000 Organizations in 138 countries all over the world using the techniques of this American Institute in geographic information systems.
About the award:
The Special Achievements in GIS Award is an annual prize given to the authorities who have innovative and influential achievements in society using GIS techniques. Authorities and organizations are nominated from 138 countries annually for this award which is granted to about 100 entities from the United States and 50 entities from outside the United States. Other entities that have been honored with the award this year, from the USA, are; the Alabama Department of Transportation, New York City Environmental Protection, Los Angeles Police Department, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). Several other prestigious entities were awarded from outside the USA such as; the Australian Department of Climate Change, the Authority for Risk Management of Hamburg, Germany, the Ministry of Environment in New Zealand and the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi, UAE, in addition to the Environment Public Authority, Kuwait.
Reasons for granting the award to Kuwait EPA:
The Environmental Systems Research Institute, USA, granted the Special Achievements in GIS Award to Kuwait Environment Public Authority for its ambitious plans and vision in creating the Environmental Monitoring Information System of Kuwait (eMISK). The system is the first of its kind in the Middle East and Africa to specialize in utilizing the technology of GIS, remote sensing and GPS in environmental monitoring besides ensuring the implementation of the regulations and environmental protection standards that are set and supervised by Kuwait EPA. The granting committee of the award was impressed by the plans and designs submitted for the system as well as the initial output of the system despite the novelty of the project that was only initiated in December 2009. One of the factors that helped the Authority get this award was that it focuses on developing the skills of national cadres that are capable of managing and maintaining the system in the future.
The Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), USA is one of the largest and first institutions in the world to specialize in the field of geographic information systems since 1969. The Institute produces the most important applications of geographic information systems, which are widely used all over the world. The Research Institute focuses on the GIS applications in the area of protection and conservation of environment, in addition to many other applications in the field of urban planning, oil and transportation, national security and other key areas to achieve a better life for societies and people.