10–12 July 2012: UNESCAP workshop on a regional Geo-referenced Disaster Risk Management Information System

Remote Sensing Specialist Mr Deo Raj Gurung represented ICIMOD in the Regional Workshop on Geo-referenced Disaster Risk Management System in South and South-West Asia and Central Asia, organized by United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) and hosted by Nepal’s Ministry of Home Affairs 10–12 July 2012. The three-day training held in Kathmandu, Nepal, was attended by representatives from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Georgia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. 

The workshop included an overview of Geo-referenced Disaster Risk Management (Geo-DRM) systems and presentations that explored how they can be used to assist in disaster risk management in the region – adding support to the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action. A prototype of the Geo-DRM system was presented during the workshop and experiences on the prospects and challenges of implementing and using such a system in the region were shared. Through country presentations and discussions on institutional and policy issues, the workshop explored the challenges, needs, and capacity gaps in information and data sharing. The creation of a network or community of practice for sustaining the initiative was also discussed.

Geo-DRM portals will be set up in selected countries and should be joined with existing initiatives at country and sub-regional levels. It was suggested that these Geo-DRM portals capitalize on the South Asia Disaster Knowledge Network (SADKN) initiative, which is already linked with national systems, and also that they be made interoperable with other global geo-portals like the United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER)