ICIMOD supports environmental projects using Earth Observation

The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), UN-SPIDER’s Regional Support Office based in Nepal, has supported research grants and small scale application development projects under the SERVIR-Himalaya initiative.

Projects coming from Bangladesh, Nepal, India and Pakistan related to environmental issues such as flood forecasting, forest fire management, landslide hazard, agricultural monitoring, and biomass estimation were selected during a one-year period and examined by members of communities from their study areas to incorporate local context and perspectives.

The outcomes of the projects show through several practices how Earth observation tools can help communities in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region facing environmental problems. Among the issues addressed within the different projects were: the improvement of existing flood forecasting system and landslide early warning systems in Bangladesh; the development of an android application for disaster reporting proven useful during the recent Nepal earthquake; and the implementation of a model that engages community members in mapping resources with the use of digital media. 

“Coming from a mountain community where the impact of climate change is more than visible, the SERVIR-Himalaya small scale application programme helped us to understand our challenges and how we can adapt to these challenges through the use of geospatial tools and technologies,” said Syed Najam ul Hassan, from Karakoram International University in Pakistan.