The HKH region is characterized by its remote landscape and vastly varying spatial characteristics, both of which influence social and ecological aspects of sustainable mountain development. Mapping and inventorying are necessary first steps in many development interventions, but the inaccessibility of a large part of the region can make even this initial phase a considerable challenge. Earth observation applications, coupled with geographic information system (GIS) tools, can help to overcome this constraint.
SERVIR is a regional visualization and monitoring system that integrates earth observation information, such as satellite imagery and forecast models, together with in situ data and other knowledge for improved and timely decision-making. In 2010, USAID, NASA, and ICIMOD joined hands to establish SERVIR-Himalaya, to complement initiatives already operational in the USA, Mesoamerica, and East Africa. The SERVIR initiative strengthens ICIMOD’s capabilities as an established regional resource centre on geospatial information and earth observation applications for the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region.
SERVIR-Himalaya will use the SERVIR technology platform for regional monitoring and visualization of key environments and natural resources in the region. The platform will be developed through ICIMOD’s existing network of national partners and stakeholders in its regional member countries and beyond through mutual dialogue and consultative workshops. Partners will be involved in the process of acquiring, processing, analysing, validating, and disseminating information to their communities. This initiative will complement other regional initiatives and foster South-South collaboration. It will draw upon the professional, technological, and entrepreneurial expertise of different SERVIR nodes, strengthening their respective capabilities and fulfilling SERVIR’s scientific objectives.
2010 – 2014