Consultative Workshop and Training on Range Resource Assessment through GIS and Remote Sensing in the Hindu Kush Himalayan Region



Limited scientific data on the condition of rangelands in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region is hindering their proper management and sustainable development. With advances in technology that utilize a combination of information from low-altitude satellite sensors and hand-held GPS devices, geospatial methods now offer a path for developing a practical system for cost-effective rangeland assessments and monitoring. 

ICIMOD has recently completed countrywide Rangeland Area Assessments for Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Nepal, and Pakistan using moderate-resolution satellite images to estimate the area of rangeland distributed across eco-regions, altitudes, and administrative regions. In this workshop, draft results of countrywide assessments will be shared, and assessment methods will be discussed with stakeholders from regional member countries. 

Systematic monitoring is now needed to keep track of changes in rangeland conditions under increasing climatic and anthropogenic pressure. This training workshop will cover rangeland monitoring techniques using time series satellite data at the landscape level as well as the use of hand held digital devices like the digital vegetation charting technique (DVCT), which can be used to speed up the collection, processing, and storage of indicators of agro-ecosystem health at the local level. Repeated measurements from the same location over a period of time provide information regarding environmental trends and rates of change. Rapid sampling is made possible by combining digital photography, differential global positioning system technologies, information collected using accessory devices, and computer software applied in a strict monitoring protocol. Coupling local measurements with remote sensing data from the entire landscape, such as satellite or high altitude aerial photography, can provide a more complete picture of vegetation dynamics within an ecosystem. 

This training is being organized with technical support from the Department of Rangeland Ecology and Management (DREAM), Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, US and the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA).


This workshop will enhance the knowledge and capacity of participants in using digital data collection and analysis methods for rangeland management, and will include the following topics:

  • Use of GIS and remote sensing in rangeland resource management
  • Rangeland monitoring using time series satellite data
  • Field data collection and analysis using the digital vegetation charting technique and VegMeasure® software 
  • Review of countrywide range resource assessment