The Information & eGovernment Authority (iGA) was named Merit Winner at the World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) 2021 Global ICT Excellence Awards on Saturday, 13th November 2021, held via video conference. The iGA won for its project ‘Biophysical Vegetation Indicator’ in the category ‘Digital Opportunity and Inclusion in the Public Sector.
iGA Deputy CE, Operation & Governance Dr. Khalid Almutawah said that the award reflects the Authority’s commitment to implementing the directives of the Kingdom’s senior leadership, particularly when it comes to the deployment of advanced technologies and embracing innovation in fields such as agriculture.
He said that this award also reflects the dedication of the Minister of Interior, H.E. Lt- General Shaikh Rashid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, to the work offered by the iGA in cooperation with various public and private entities.
Almutawah congratulated the iGA’s Bahraini team members and everyone who worked on the project, highlighting their roles in this national achievement.
WITSA is one of the most prestigious global awards in the ICT field, and this year’s edition enjoyed the participation of a high number of qualified international experts whose submissions were evaluated by a jury panel consisting of representatives of international organizations and government entities.
Almutawah revealed that the iGA has been working on the ‘Biophysical Vegetation Indicator’ project since 2019. It aims to provide a detailed study of vegetation in the Kingdom using remote sensor technology to analyze satellite images. It utilizes advanced programs that calculate indicator measurements, such as identifying plant areas; gauging the concentration of chlorophyll, nitrogen, and water in leaves; and then displaying the results on detailed maps. This enables iGA specialists to provide accurate and reliable data to agricultural sector government entities, helping them develop more effective strategies.
Almutawah highlighted the importance of this project and the data it offers, which supports the Kingdom’s efforts towards achieving its Open Data policy, one of the most important digital policies adopted by the Government. The policy allows for the transparent exchange of data, benefiting all sectors, and helping to attract investment.
He added that various factors contributed to the award, most notably the project’s ability to provide digital vegetation data, which led to a more comprehensive vision when assessing challenges and proposed solutions. This is in addition to producing 48 detailed maps of plant biomarkers, which helped determine vegetation areas in the Kingdom and how much they vary and reveal where plants suffer from water stress and where there is an abundance of water.
Other factors included the project’s detailed maps which identify areas where plants have a high concentration of chlorophyll; reveal plant health levels; provide a clearer picture about the performance of agricultural crops; contribute to national strategies that aim to elevate chlorophyll levels and pinpoint marine plants such as mangroves; and reveal if they are infected with diseases, allowing specialists to take fast action.
The Deputy CE thanked and appreciated those in charge of the project in the Geographical Information Systems Directorate, for their distinguished and effective role in achieving this honorable national achievement.