16 November 2023
Geneva, Switzerland - November 16, 2023
The GICHD Innovation Conference 2023, a groundbreaking event aimed at harnessing the potential of innovation to reduce the risks caused by landmines, cluster munitions and other explosive ordnance, came to a successful close today. The conference, which ran from the 14th to 16th of November, welcomed over 300 participants from more than 200 organisations operating in over 60 countries and territories. This event brought together the global community working in humanitarian demining, ammunition management, and innovation, serving as a unique platform to promote dynamic collaboration.
“Innovation must start with people and their needs,” says GICHD Director Ambassador Stefano Toscano. “We are striving to find sustainable solutions, so we need to make sure that we focus on viable ways to address the challenges faced both by the sectors we operate in and by the communities we serve.”
The Innovation Conference connected the dots under six key themes critical to innovation in explosive ordnance risk reduction, including standards, social and behaviour change communication, funding and innovative finance, technology prioritisation, ammunition management and agricultural land release. Furthermore, the event featured 11 breakout sessions covering areas such as spatial computing, digital solutions for risk education, remote sensing, artificial intelligence, explosive detection technologies, underwater demining, and climate change mitigation initiatives. More than 30 exhibitors showcased new technologies as well as innovative ideas and projects.
The event not only focused on technology but also embraced broader aspects of innovation required to effectively adopt new technologies and approaches, as well as address the pressing challenges in reducing risks posed by landmines and other explosive ordnance worldwide. As the conference drew to a close, it boosted momentum and anticipation for the future. Participants and experts from diverse backgrounds are now more strongly equipped with new insights and strategies to address the complex challenges related to explosive ordnance.
“New ideas, products and services do not happen in a bubble. To innovate in a scalable way, collaboration at all levels, from communities and deminers to investors, governments and international organisations is needed,” shared Valon Kumnova, GICHD Chief of Mine Action Programmes. “The GICHD is committed to bringing together professionals from humanitarian mine action, ammunition management, and other sectors as we continue to move forward together.”
Funded by the governments of Switzerland and Germany, the GICHD Innovation Conference 2023 successfully brought together a global community dedicated to making a difference in the lives of countless civilians and ensuring the safety, efficiency and effectiveness of those working in mine action and ammunition management. It marks a step forward in the ever-evolving field of explosive ordnance risk reduction.
For more information about the conference and its outcomes, please visit the GICHD website or contact:
+41 (0)22 730 93 72
The following GICHD colleagues are available in the coming week for interviews relating to innovation in explosive ordnance risk reduction and this year’s conference:
Chief, Mine Action Programmes
Head of Standards & Operations
About the GICHD
The GICHD works towards reducing risk to communities caused by explosive ordnance, with a focus on landmines, cluster munitions and ammunition stockpiles.
As an internationally recognised Centre of expertise and knowledge, the GICHD helps national authorities, international and regional organisations, NGOs and commercial operators in around 40 affected states and territories to develop and professionalise mine action and ammunition management.
Through its work, the GICHD strives for relevant conventions to be implemented, national completion targets to be reached, for communities to be protected from explosive harm, for housing, land, and infrastructure to be returned to communities, in support of sustainable livelihoods, and for gender equality and inclusion to be achieved and women and girls to be empowered. This work saves lives, facilitates the safe return of displaced populations, and promotes peaceful and sustainable development. Learn more at www.gichd.org.