Ambiental recently conducted a business mission to South East Asia to encourage the uptake of our digital tools and services designed to mitigate flood risk in the region. Across Asia significant advances can be made in protecting lives and property with better data and systems. Through generating high precision flood maps, performing flood risk analytics, deploying online flood intelligence systems, we provide the capability to predict and monitor flood emergencies.
Across South East Asia there is a growing urgency to ensure countries are prepared for natural disaster risk. Floods are the most common of natural disasters within the developing and developed South East Asian nations. The member states if the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) are especially prone to floods due to their tropical climates. This gives rise to a high frequency of extremely intense rainfall which originates from heavy monsoon showers, typhoon driven sustained rainfall and tidal storm surge, as well as high instances of rapid onset thunderstorms which lead to flash flooding.
Demonstrating the latest in flood risk technology
Over the course of a week Ambiental met with numerous government agencies involved in flood risk management, as well as a host of private companies with operations throughout the region, all sharing a need for better flood risk mitigation solutions. Discussions were also held with technology providers with complementary services which could be used in partnership to tackle a whole host of environmental and water related challenges.
First stop – Singapore
Ambiental’s business mission commenced in Singapore, one of the most economically developed of ASEAN countries. Historically this densely populated city-state had experienced catastrophic flooding and has needed to invest heavily in engineered solutions which alleviate flood risk. Flood risk consultanancy services and FloodFutures™ data from Ambiental can assist with ensuring that the nations flood protection is of the standard necessary for withstanding the impacts of climate change.
Smart City dashboards
Ambiental’s Smart City dashboard applications can connect with sensors and data feeds to visualise a range of flood information throughout the city of Singapore in real time. To discuss the potential of this technology multiple meetings were held at Singapore’s Suntec Exhibition Centre on 18th of March. In order to provide Ambiental’s products and services to the Singapore government a wide range of business connections were developed and new contacts were established.
Next stop – Manila
The business mission delegation then moved on to Manila to showcase Ambiental’s capability to address flood risk concerns within the Philippines. As a nation comprised of thousands of islands spread over a wide area the Philippines faces many challenges around forming a coordinated effort to reduce flood risk. As one of the regions poorer countries the nation is in urgent need of technologies which enable the government to more effectively tackle the increasing risk of flooding and allow the islands to develop sustainably.
On the 20th to 22nd of March Ambiental exhibited at Water Expo Philippines 2019, held at the SMX Convention Center in Manilla. As one of the biggest water industry trade events in the region the exhibition brought together professionals from all across the world to showcase their latest products and innovations.
We gave a demo of our FloodWatch flood forecasting system
Ambiental met with senior representatives across multiple government agencies and demonstrated the predictive capabilities of the FloodWatch™ forecasting engine delivered through decision support dashboards. These software system use a full catchment modelling approach to forecast flooding at locations across entire catchments, and dynamically quantify risk via an intuitive and easy to operate application interface. The goal was to repeat the successes of the EASOS Malaysia project though deploying a similar system with which to protect the Philippines.
Opening gateways to trade with Asia
Ambiental was appointed to join a delegation of European businesses looking to expand their operations into Asian Markets. The EU Gateway Business Avenues programme operated by the European Union is a part funded initiative. After a successful bid application Ambiental worked with EU Gateway to arrange business networking events and to secure meetings with senior government officials, as well as other carefully selected potential clients and partners with a presence in the region. The aim of the programme is to accelerate international growth through linking the needs of Asian nations with innovative businesses which can provide the technologies they require.
Meetings with the British Embassy in Manila and the Department for International Trade
Whilst in the Philippines Ambiental took the opportunity to meet with the British Embassy in Manila. The UK Governments Department for International Trade has a mandate to boost technology exports with Asia and to overcome trade barriers. On the 26th of March Ambiental was invited to join a Workshop on Navigating Aid-Funded Business, alongside other selected UK companies looking to engage with Asian markets. The meeting explored effective approaches for participation in initiatives run by the Asian Development Bank, an organisation which provides financing to Asian nations in order to deliver sustainable development projects which mitigate the risks of climate change and solve water related challenges.
Predicting flood risk across Asia
Floods can be highly dangerous, taking people by surprise, often with very little warning and sometimes with limited preparations having been made. On occasions the impacts of flood events can be catastrophic, with wide reaching impacts across the economy. The use of flood planning and alerting tools can serve to substantially reduce these dangers.
Ambiental has well established expertise in building detailed flood maps for entire countries which use sophisticated modelling techniques to identify locations susceptible to flooding. Major insights can be revealed by using high performance computing to simulate the extent, depth and velocity of flood waters. Ambiental FloodMap™ can be used by governments to identify risk zones and to inform land use planning processes. Where dangers are identified steps can be taken to inform inhabitants, and ensure vulnerable populations and critical infrastructure is located in safer zones.
Ambiental in Malaysia
Recent project experience by Ambiental in Malaysia has grown a capability to forecast flood events before they happen. Advanced warning has been shown to enable governments to evacuate areas, as well as allowing emergency responders to prioritise the deployment of flood control measures and coordinate rescue activities more effectively. Ambiental was in South East Asia to showcase this capability to other countries in the region.
Enabling a better understanding of flood risk
With the risk of floods expected to increase in the future it is clear that South East Asian countries must take steps to tackle a variety of threats. Ambiental is well placed to support these nations, having developed a product portfolio which can accurately and cost-effectively help to prepare, monitor and respond to flood dangers. Through our wide-ranging international experience, and our determination to help protect lives and reduce losses, Ambiental is focused on helping to alleviate flood dangers for Asian countries, as well as globally. Through working with our ever-growing network of international partners we strive to facilitate a sustainable and highly effective response to flood risk.
Discover more about Ambiental’s work to reduce global flood risk and how we can support your needs.
About the Author
Paul Drury is the GIS Data Manager at Ambiental. His role includes project management of production operations and reporting back to stakeholders. He also oversees the preparation, integration and quality assurance checking of data assets. Paul is an expert in GIS and data analysis with a developed understanding of the environmental data industry and underlying technical concepts. He has a BSc (hons) in Environmental Sciences from the University of Brighton.