Eight organizations awarded small grants for research to support environmental decision making

09 Jul 2014, Kathmandu, Nepal


A two-day kick-off workshop at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) for the SERVIR-Himalaya Small Grants Programme ended on 8th July, 2014. 

Eight organizations have been awarded small grants through the SERVIR-Himalaya initiative to take forward research harnessing geospatial technologies to support informed decision making in the Hindu Kush Himalayas. A two-day kick-off workshop, held 7–8 July at the International Centre for Integrated Development (ICIMOD), brought together grantees and grant officials from SERVIR Global, SERVIR-East Africa, and ICIMOD. 

“The Small Grants Programme will help leverage science and technology to address developmental challenges through the use of GIS applications and remote sensing”, said Basanta Shrestha, ICIMOD’s Director for Strategic Cooperation. 

SERVIR-Himalaya Grantees with Basanta Shresta,Director Strategic Cooperation
Photo: Jitendra Bajracharya/ICIMOD

The eight awarded organizations, which were selected from a pool of 191 applicants, are from Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan. During the workshop, grantees were given the opportunity to discuss their proposed project areas, including disaster and emergency response, cryosphere and water, agriculture and food security, and ecosystems and biodiversity. The workshop also provided grantees an opportunity to learn about project implementation procedures, USAID and ICIMOD rules and regulations, and various reporting tools. 

ICIMOD Director General, David Molden with grantees during the grant agreement signing ceremony
Photo: Jitendra Bajracharya/ICIMOD

“This meeting gave us the opportunity to learn what different organizations are working on what, and possible areas for collaboration”, said Sailesh Ranjitkar, representative for HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Nepal. HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Nepal has been awarded a small grant for a project on spatial modeling of the effects of climate change on two cash crops in Nepal. 

The Small Grants Programme calls on regional experts in GIS and remote sensing to enhance networking among organizations, universities, and institutions to promote the application of Earth observation information in the HKH region. 

Birendra Bajracharya, Technical Coordinator for the SERVIR-Himalaya initiative and Program Manager for Mountain Environment Regional Information System, stressed the need to create an enabling environment for the use of science applications. He said, “Developing science applications is only half the job: relevant stakeholders must also know how to use them. The Small Grants Programme will help these organizations develop innovative ways to empower users and put these applications to use”.

The Small Grants Programme is implemented by ICIMOD under the framework of SERVIR-Himalaya, which is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The SERVIR programme is a unique combination of science, technology and development programmes established through a joint partnership between USAID and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). SERVIR-Himalaya is one of the three hubs of the SERVIR programme and is hosted at ICIMOD.

For more information please contact: 

Ms Nira Gurung
Senior Communications Officer, ICIMOD
Tel +977-1-5003222 Fax +977-1-5003277
Email: nira.gurung@icimod.org