Myanmar Officials Trained to Map and Monitor Glaciers

Participants and ICIMOD trainers, 25 - 29 July 2016, Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar

Twenty-three Myanmar government officials were trained on ‘Application of Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems for Mapping and Monitoring of Glacier’ 25 - 29 July 2016 in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar. 

Participants were trained on basic geographic information system (GIS), remote sensing (RS) tools and techniques, glacier and snow cover mapping and monitoring. The training course provided a systematic approach for mapping and monitoring of glaciers to tailor international knowledge to mountain specific situations and to develop national and regional glacier databases which adhere to international standardisation. 

The training was organised as part of ICIMOD’s on-going effort to build and enhance RS and GIS capacity of Myanmar professionals working in the water resource research and management. Training familiarises institutions with regional member countries and gradually develops their ability to generate and use glacier data of their own for research and future collaboration with ICIMOD.

Participants learn the basics of geographic information system (GIS), remote sensing (RS) tools and techniques, and glacier and snow cover mapping and monitoring.

The training was conducted by experts from the Cryosphere Initiative of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). Participating agencies were the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology (DMH), the Forest Department, Survey Department, Irrigation and Water Utilization Management Department, Relief and Resettlement Department, and the Directorate of Water Resources and Improvement of River System. 

A half-day workshop was also organised at Yangon Technological University in Yangon, Myanmar 1 August 2016 to share ICIMOD data on glaciers, glacial lakes and glacial lake outburst floods (GLOF) in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region including Myanmar.

As information on Myanmar glaciers is scarce,  more research is needed. Regular monitoring activities of glaciers and glacial lakes will help us better understand the impacts of global warming. Mapping and monitoring is only practically possible with the use of RS and similar tools due to rugged terrain and high altitudes.