Technical Advisory Mission to Bhutan successfully concluded

UN-SPIDER carried out a Technical Advisory Mission (TAM) to Bhutan from 2 to 6 June 2014. The TAM was conducted upon invitation of the Department of Disaster Management (DDM), Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs.

The team visited key stakeholder agencies of DDM to take account of issues such as current policy and gaps, availability of geospatial information, the current use of space-based information, data sharing practices, applications of geospatial information, challenges and constraints, existing capacity and needs, institutional linkages and coordination and applications to strengthen disaster risk reduction and emergency response. The team visited over ten governmental departments within Ministries such as the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs, the Ministry of Works and Human Settlements, the Ministry of Economic Affairs or the Ministry of Agriculture and Forest. The mission also included a one day workshop on 5 June 2014, organized jointly with the United Nations Development Programme UNDP and DDM, which was attended by a large number of stakeholders

The Director of DDM and the UN Resident Coordinator were briefed on the observations and recommendations on the last day of the mission. The recommendations of the mission indicated priority actions for Bhutan to use space-based information for strengthening disaster risk reduction and emergency response. As a first follow up of the TAM, three representatives of DDM, the Department of Hydro-Met Services and the Department of Geology and Mines participated in the training programme "Multi-level Flood Risk Mapping" jointly organised by UN-SPIDER and UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Office ICIMOD in Nepal.

The team was led by Dr. Shirish Ravan, Head of the UN-SPIDER Beijing Office with support from Han Juanjuan. The external team members included Rajan Bajracharya from ICIMOD, Lingling Li, National Disaster Reduction Centre of China, Satya Parkash Katyal from Himachal Manav Seva (NGO), Hari Prasad Vajja from Asia Disaster Preparedness Centre, Stefan Kienberger from University of Salzburg (Department of Geoinformatics - Z_GIS) and Karma Lodey Rapten from UNDP Bhutan.