NAS RA V. Ambartsumian Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory (BAO)
Press release 17.07.2020
On July 6, 2020, an agreement concerning the further hosting of the South West and Central Asian Regional Office of Astronomy for Development was signed between the International Astronomical Union and Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory and will remain in force for 5 years.
The Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory (BAO) is the lead organization in the South West and Central Asian regional implementation of the IAU Strategic Plan for the OAD since 2010 and now for 2020-2030. It will provide the regional coordination needed for an integrated strategic approach and in addition will be expected to initiate and develop new programmes consistent with the goals of the Strategic Plan for the OAD.
The main task of the South West and Central Asian Regional Office of Astronomy for Development (SWCA ROAD) will be to foster the goals of the IAU Strategic Plan for the OAD 2020-2030 in the South West and Central Asian region, namely:
- Contribute significantly to SDG indicators where possible
- Implement “signature” projects as developed by the OAD
- Support the OAD project evaluation and feedback loop
- Use astronomy and its technology to position young people for career opportunities throughout society
- Establish interdisciplinary partnerships around science for development
- Source the necessary funding to realize the above and assist other related initiatives in fundraising.
The International Astronomical Union’s (IAU) Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) located in South Africa has established 11 regional coordinating offices in Colombia and Chile (Andean Region), Jordan (Arab World and Arabic Language), Ethiopia (East Africa), China (East Asia and Chinese Language), Netherlands (Europe), USA (North America), Portugal (Portuguese Language), Thailand (South East Asia), Armenia (South West and Central Asia), Zambia (Southern Africa), and Nigeria (West Africa).
The offices perform two important functions. Regional offices coordinate astronomy for development activities in nearby countries, whilst language expertise centres deal with language and/or cultural aspects. Each of the offices are hosted by a local institution or consortium of institutes and supported in their efforts by regional partners. The OAD now comprises a network of 11 regional offices and language expertise centres.