Many of you have contributed to setting up Mines Action Canada’s Landmine Detection and Removal Technology Research Competition. An update on the competition is long overdue.
In his last update (March 30 1998), Robin Collins advised you of a postponement. Preliminary outlines were due on 30 November 1998 and the final papers are due on 1 May 1999. An information package including a poster was sent out to over 60 university professors and deans. In addition, a message announcing the competition was sent to most universities and colleges in Canada. The response has been limited so far; and we are expecting there to be only a small number of participants this first year.
Part of the intent of the competition is to educate participants about technology appropriate to the needs of sustainable development. To this end, we have prepared a Backgrounder on Humanitarian Demining and Appropriate Technology and a bibliography, are gathering material on operational requirements from demining organisations, and are making resource people with humanitarian demining experience available to answer participants’ questions as they develop their projects. All of the material will be posted on the competition website. Any suggestions of other papers that we could make available to participants would be very helpful. We also welcome your comments on our Backgrounder on Humanitarian Demining and Appropriate Technology – a revised version is planned for January 1999.
On other fronts, we are currently considering publishing the abstracts of the papers submitted, and are exploring, through one of our member organisations, the possibility of sending one of the competition winners to visit a humanitarian demining supply centre in Zimbabwe.