The Hindu Kush Himalayas have been experiencing an increased frequency of natural disasters such as landslides, avalanches, floods, flash floods, glacial lake outburst floods, debris flows, wildfires and earthquakes. Scientific and anecdotal evidence suggests that climate change is contributing to the increasing frequency and magnitude of most of these events. There is a general lack of knowledge on the availability and use of space-based information for disaster management.
Geospatial technology can be put to use to assist policymakers and managers in managing risks, and disasters and emergency management by instituting disaster sensitive planning and timely response. Remote sensing and GIS provides a spatial framework to integrated relevant data layers to develop monitoring tool to identify hotspot areas, and decision support system that help in effective preparedness, quick response and efficient mobilization of resources for recovery.
ICIMOD’s engagement and interest in disaster risk management lies in promoting use and mainstreaming of information in decision making through piloting information system, mapping and assessment of hazard, vulnerability and risk at multi-levels, and rapid response mapping support.
Special focus is given to how to integrate space technology with IT and telecommunication infrastructure to deliver disaster information at the community level and enable two-way communication between communities and disaster managers for effective response.