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17 Apr 2015 | News

A new collaboration to manage forests

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The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) will be collaborating with the World Resources Institute (WRI) through its Global Forest Watch (GFW) initiative to develop a periodic forest cover monitoring system and to identify forest change prone areas that need critical management attention. The collaboration includes sharing technology and data for improved forest cover information in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region.

Through its Global Forest Watch, WRI monitors and reports regularly on the status of tree cover loss worldwide. And under its SERVIR-Himalaya Initiative, ICIMOD has consolidated Landsat-based decadal land cover change assessments in the HKH countries. The collaboration between the two organizations will look into making global products more useful at regional and national context.

A stakeholder workshop was organized on 15 April 2015 to present new developments in forest cover mapping and current initiatives undertaken by two organizations and to discuss opportunities.

At the opening of the workshop, ICIMOD’s Director Programme Operations, Dr Eklabya Sharma, welcomed the new partnership and acknowledged that working with WRI can contribute to reducing data gap in the region.

Also speaking at the occasion, Director of Global Forest Watch, Crystals Davis, said that regularly monitoring global forest cover has contributed in sustainable management of natural resources and ecosystem services. She said the new partnership would not only complement ICIMOD’s efforts in the region but will also help in exploring better means of monitoring forest cover in the future.

ICIMOD’s Regional Programme Manager for MENRIS, Birendra Bajracharya, talked about a number of SERVIR science applications in supporting decision making in the region. He pointed out that the partnership would benefit ICIMOD in learning from global experiences and also contribute to improving global assessments.

Also, at the workshop, ICIMOD’s Theme Leader for Geospatial Solutions, Dr MSR Murthy, shared regional experiences of application in geospatial approaches for monitoring of forest ecosystems from landscape level to tree canopy level. This kind of assessment has contributed in turning data and information into actionable products.

The stakeholder meeting was attended by experts form WRI and ICIMOD, and officials from the Department of Forests in Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal.

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