SERVIR capturing flooding and landslides in India and Nepal on 26 June 2013

On 5 August 2014 the International Charter: Space and Major Disasters was activated at the request of Asia Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC) on behalf of UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Office, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). The reason of the activation is a landslide in the Sindhupalchowk District of Nepal which occurred on 2 August due to heavy rains.

Authorities confirmed that ten people died, 159 are reported missing and dozens of houses were destroyed. Emergency workers and soldiers are working together and have been cutting temporary routes through the debris. The landslide has blocked part of the Araniko Highway and part of Sunkoshi River forming a growing lake. Due to concerns over the potential flood, 100,000 people were evacuated into neighbouring India, while in Nepal the army has been clearing debris on the river making drop the water level.

Satellite-based products and maps created through the mechanism will be... read more

Publishing Date: 05/08/2014
Image from the SERVIR-Himalaya node at ICIMOD in Nepal.

On 16 July 2014, UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Office in Nepal, ICIMOD, received a "Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) Award" at the ESRI International User Conference (Esri UC) in San Diego, California, honouring its innovative use of Esri's geographic information system (GIS) technology for addressing mountain issues in the Hindu Kush Himalayas.

“The award recognizes and honours ICIMOD’s contribution in using GIS technology to leverage geospatial information resources for addressing the pressing developmental challenges of the mountain region of the Hindu Kush Himalayas,” said Basanta Shrestha, Director of Strategic Cooperation at ICIMOD. “ICIMOD, along with its regional and international partners, have successfully applied geospatial and allied technologies for understanding glacier dynamics in the context of climate change, forest fire monitoring with SMS alerts, land cover change assessment for natural resources accounting, disaster information management and flood early... read more

Publishing Date: 24/07/2014
Participants of the training programme multi-level risk profiling

From 9 to 13 June 2014, UN-SPIDER is conducting an international training programme on multi-level risk profiling jointly with its Regional Support Office ICIMOD. The purpose of the training programme, taking place in Kathmandu, Nepal, is to improve disaster risk management using space based and geospatial information by imparting hands-on training to the officials of member countries supported by the ICIMOD and UN-SPIDER.

Part of the support for this training course comes from “SERVIR-Himalaya”, funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The training course also has a focus on methods and approach for landslide hazard mapping, prominent hazard in mountain environment. Participants will be exposed to concepts, and practical exercises using hands-on module.

20 participants from disaster management agencies and stakeholder departments of ICIMOD Member States are participating in... read more

Publishing Date: 09/06/2014
Glacier loss over the last 30 years

UN-SPIDER’s Regional Support Office in Nepal, ICIMOD (International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development), released a publication that provides a comprehensive analysis of the status of glaciers in Nepal for the last 30 years based on Landsat satellite data.

The aim of the report is to raise awareness on the impact of climate change on glaciers. The analysis is based on Landsat satellite processed images and Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) based digital elevation models. The methodology is an improved version of methods developed by global initiatives like the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS), Global Land Ice Measurement from Space (GLIMS), and GlobGlacier. The customized methodology of semi-automatic glacier mapping provides a rapid delivery of glacier attributes. The results provide information on the change in glacial extent over the past decade and quantitative data to support the discussion of climate change impacts in the Nepal Himalayas.

... read more

Publishing Date: 23/05/2014
Signing a Memorandum of Understanding between CAST and ICIMOD

UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Office in Nepal, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) are strengthening their collaboration. In early April, Prof Bai Chunli, CAS, and an eight-member delegation visited ICIMOD to discuss ways to strengthen the collaboration between the two institutions.

ICIMOD reported on its website that ICIMOD and CAS have been strategic partners for decades, working in the areas of scientific research and knowledge sharing for sustainable mountain development. "CAS looks forward to strengthened collaboration with ICIMOD to address issues of common interest in the countries of the region," said Prof Chunli.

To mark the ongoing cooperation, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Third Pole Environment programme of CAS and ICIMOD that will help further scientific understanding of climate change in the Hindu Kush Himalayas and bolster cooperation among countries in... read more

Publishing Date: 28/04/2014
ICIMOD became a UN-SPIDER Regional Support Office in February 2013.

Representatives from regional member countries, Independent Board Members, and representatives from ICIMOD donor organizations came together for the 44th ICIMOD Board meeting from 28 to 30 November at ICIMOD Headquarters in Kathmandu. ICIMOD is host to UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Office in the Himalayan region.

In addition to a review of the Centre’s progress in 2013, policies and strategies that build on the ICIMOD’s new strategy and five-year plan were discussed and approved during the Board meeting. The annual meeting included meetings of the Programme Advisory Committee (PAC), ICIMOD Support Group (ISG), and the ICIMOD Board of Governors.

Among other things, the Board approved a new Data Sharing Policy. The Data Sharing Policy will help guide ICIMOD in its role as a regional knowledge hub and facilitate the sharing of... read more

Publishing Date: 19/12/2013
Cumulative 3 day TRMM satellite rainfall estimate

UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Office in Nepal, ICIMOD, published an overview of the events following the heavy monsoon rains this past month in Nepal and India causing heavy flooding. In their brief note, the following questions are addressed: What kind of climatic events led to this disaster? Could anything have been done to reduce the loss of life and property? What can we learn from this disaster for the future? With in-depth figures and facts, the experts look at the Mahakali river flood (transboundary river between Nepal and India), the intense monsoon precipitation levels in Central Nepal, and give an overview of the currently known impact of the floods on lives and properties.

Publishing Date: 27/06/2013
NASA's Aqua satellite captured an image of smoke and fires (2012)

In early April 2013, an operational remote sensing forest fire detection and monitoring system for Nepal was officially launched in Kathmandu, Nepal, as the Himalayan reported.

The system, which is first of its type of system in the region, is installed on the rooftop of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), one of UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Office. The information for this monitoring and alert system comes from NASA satellites twice a day and is forwarded by email or SMS to subscribers including District Forest Officers and focal persons of the Federation of Community Forestry Users in all 75 districts of Nepal.

The Himalayan further reported: "The system is believed to be crucial for timely response to disastrous fire, which can help protect natural resources, including forest and wildlife as well as the prone closest human settlements. The system, which was piloted in Nepal over the last year, uses active fire data generated by... read more

Publishing Date: 15/05/2013
Signing ceremony between UNOOSA and ICIMOD on 12 February 2013.

On the sidelines of the fiftieth session of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the Committee of the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, which took place in Vienna, Austria from 11 - 22 February 2013, UN-SPIDER signed agreements with two new partners to establish Regional Support Offices (RSO).

On 12 February 2013, during the 4th annual UN-SPIDER Regional Support Offices meeting, the official signing ceremony for the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) was held making ICIMOD the fourteenth RSO. ICIMOD is a regional intergovernmental learning and knowledge sharing centre serving the eight regional member countries of the Hindu Kush Himalayas – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan – and based in Kathmandu, Nepal. The... read more

Publishing Date: 25/02/2013

KATHMANDU — Scientists announced on Monday they had combined cutting-edge gene sequencing technology with Google Earth to accurately map the spread of typhoid in Kathmandu for the first time.

The Nepalese capital was described in a 2008 study as "a typhoid fever capital of the world", with thousands of cases a year reported, but outbreaks have been hard to chart in a city where streets are rarely given names.

Researchers say they have used GPS signalling and the latest DNA sequencing techniques to plot the course of the disease -- and have discovered the source of outbreaks is usually communal water spouts.

The research, published in the journal Open Biology on Sunday, was carried out by scientists at the Vietnam-based Wellcome Trust Major Overseas Programme and the Oxford University Clinical Research units in Kathmandu and Ho Chi Minh City.

"Until now, it has been extremely difficult to study how organisms such as the typhoid-causing... read more

Publishing Date: 18/10/2011

UN-SPIDER Training Activity

International Training Programme on Multi-level Risk Profiling

The training on ‘Regional Training on Multi-level Flood Risk Mapping’ was jointly organized by International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and UN Platform for Space-based information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UNSPIDER) of the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs. Part of the support for this training course comes from “SERVIR-Himalaya”, funded by United...

Date of training: 09/06/2014 to 13/06/2014

Advisory Support

As part of the technical advisory support it provides to countries worldwide, UN-SPIDER carried out an Institutional Strengthening Mission to Nepal from 17 to 21 December 2018 upon the request of the government. The mission was a follow-up activity to the Technical Advisory Mission (TAM) to Nepal in July 2017 that assessed use of space-derived information in all aspects of disaster management and offered recommendations and action plan to strengthen the disaster risk management and emergency response in the country. The TAM and ISM were conducted with support from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA). The Nepal GIS Society also offered support in organizing the programme.

Mission dates: 17/12/2018 to 21/12/2018

At the request of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) and with the technical support of the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), UN-SPIDER carried out a Technical Advisory Mission (TAM) to Nepal to evaluate the current and potential use of space based information in all aspects of disaster management and offering recommendations to strengthen disaster risk management and emergency response in the country.

Mission dates: 31/07/2017 to 04/08/2017


Main objective of the event is to exploit the international expertise for enhancing professional capacity to contribute in the effort of DRR in the situation like currently in Nepal. The event further aims to explore opportunities for strengthening and promoting good practices in professional geospatial education and advancing SDI concepts and spatially enabled societies.

The course Building Resilient Communities: Community Managed Disaster Risk Reduction focuses on the CMDRR framework which asserts that disasters can be avoided and the effects of hazards can be reduced by increasing the individual’s capability to survive and the community’s capacity towards readiness. The goal of CMDRR is to build resilient communities.

This course will provide participants with basic understanding of disaster risk reduction (DRR) and its relationship to climate change adaptation and disaster management. They will learn about the basic process and tools to facilitate community-managed disaster risk reduction (CMDRR). CMDRR framework puts premium to building capacities of communities so they can facilitate their own risk reduction process. The facilitation role of development organizations is also emphasized. This course uses a combination of classroom instruction using adult-learning methodologies and community level practicum to conduct exercises using... read more

Regional Support Office


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