Special Session on SERVIR-Himalaya at UNOOSA/Pakistan Workshop

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The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) jointly organized the UNOOSA/Pakistan Workshop on Space Technologies for Food and Water Security 11–16 March in Islamabad. The workshop focused on how earth observation and geospatial tools could contribute to sustainable economic and social development programmes supporting improved food security and water management in developing countries. The event was inaugurated by Ahmed Bilal, Chairman of SUPARCO, H.E. Mohammad Moazzam Ali Khan Jatoi, Minister of State for National Food Security and Research of Pakistan, and Arshad H. Siraj, Executive Director of the Islamic Network on Space Sciences and Technology (ISNET). The workshop was attended by about 150 participants.

The programme included four technical sessions and two special sessions – ’Mountains Under Review: Experience Exchange on Remote Sensing-Based Monitoring of Natural Resources in Mountain Regions’ and ‘SERVIR-Himalaya: Enhancing Use of Earth Observation and Geospatial Technologies in the HKH Region’. In the special session on mountains, Birendra Bajracharya, Technical Coordinator of SERVIR-Himalaya, shared ICIMOD's experiences in using remote sensing information for natural resource assessment and monitoring in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region. 

The special session on SERVIR-Himalaya, chaired by Javed Ali Khan, Director General of Ministry of Environment, opened with remarks by Dr Abdul Wahid Jasra, ICIMOD Pakistan Country Representative. Birendra Bajracharya introduced the SERVIR Initiative and presented an overview of SERVIR-Himalaya activities. This was followed by presentations on Agriculture Monitoring and Food Security Analysis in the HKH region by Faisal M Qamer, ICIMOD; on Status and Change Assessment of Glaciers in the HKH Region by Samjwal Bajracharya, ICIMOD; and Information Sharing for Resources Management – Decision Support Tools for Protected Area Management in Central Karakoram National Park (CKNP) by Nazmal Huda, Karakoram International University (KIU). Finally, discussions followed demonstrations on SERVIR-Himalaya science applications and ICIMOD's Mountain GeoPortal.

Samjwal Bajracharya presents during the SERVIR-Himalaya special session
Special session on Mountains Under Review – Experience Exchange on Remote Sensing-Based Monitoring of Natural Resources in Mountain Regions