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Earth Observation for advancing regional sustainable development in the Hindu Kush Himalaya




Kathmandu, Nepal (hybrid)

Date & Time

25 September 2023 to 29 September 2023

About the training

We are delighted to announce the upcoming 2023 AOGEO seminar and training workshop, organised by ICIMOD and the Aerospace Information Research Institute of Chinese Academy of Sciences (AIRCAS), with the support of the ASIA-OCEANIA Group on Earth Observation (AOGEO), AOGEO Regional Capacity Development Center (RCCD), and Alliance of International Science Organizations (ANSO).

This seminar and training workshop is a continuation of the AOGEO RCCD activities, aiming to foster networking and capacity building on the use of Earth Observation (EO) data in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region. The event will cover a broad range of topics related to glacial and water resources, ecosystem, air quality, crop and disaster.



The seminar aims to provide a platform for experts and researchers to share their research findings, innovative approaches, and best practices in utilising EO techniques. Additionally, the training workshop is designed to equip young scientists from the HKH region with specific skills and knowledge to enhance eco-environmental and agricultural sustainability using EO techniques.


Expected participants

The seminar will accommodate 50 participants with academic backgrounds in geography, science, environmental science, and geographic information technology, while the training workshop will accept 30 young participants.



AOGEO, as a Regional Group on Earth Observations, has a primary objective of establishing an efficient cooperation framework at the regional level and enhancing Earth Observation capacity in Asia-Oceania countries. Since 2018, AOGEO has organised several capacity building training workshops in Laos, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and China.

Building on these successes, a new initiative under the framework of AOGEO – the Regional Capacity Development Center (RCCD) – was launched in July 2021. RCCD is a collaboration between the National Remote Sensing Center of China (NRSCC), ICIMOD and AIRCAS, which demonstrates AOGEO’s commitment to capacity building, knowledge-sharing, and promoting solutions for pressing environmental challenges using EO technique within the Asia-Oceania region.



Time Programme
09:00–09:30 Registration
09:30–10:30 Opening ceremony – Birendra Bajracharya, Senior Remote Sensing and Geoinformation Specialist, ICIMOD
Introduction of guests and trainees (5 mins): Birendra Bajracharya, ICIMOD

Remarks (5 mins) – Pema Gyamtsho, Director General, ICIMOD

Remarks (5 mins) – Jing Zhao, Director General , NRSCC

Remarks (5 mins) – Yirong Wu, Director General , AIRCAS

Remarks (5 mins) – Wenbo CHU, Sr. Program Officer, GEO-

Remarks (5 mins) – Xingfa Gu, Professor, AIRCAS

MoU signing ceremony (10 mins) – DGs of ITPCAS and ICIMOD

Group photo – ICIMOD

10:30–11:00 Tea break









Keynote speeches

Session Chair: Xiang Zhou, Professor, IEECAS


Keynote speech – Xin Li, Professor, CAS

Topic: Earth observation in the age of AI and big data analysis


Keynote speech – Arun Bhakta Shrestha, Strategic Group Lead, Reducing Climate and Environmental Risks, ICIMOD

Topic: Impacts of climate change on water resources and disasters in the HKH region: challenges and solutions

12:00–13:30 Lunch break
13:30–17:00 Afternoon session (S3) AOGEO Academic Seminar

Theme: Advancements, challenges, and limitations in harnessing EO data for monitoring glacial & water resources (Q&A: 5 mins)

Session chairs: Neera Shrestha Pradhan, Action Area Coordinator, Managing Cryosphere and Water Risks, ICIMOD and Shanlong Lu, Professor, AIRCAS

13:30–14:00 Topic: ICIMOD efforts in monitoring cryosphere in the HKH

Lecturer: Miriam Jackson, Senior Cryosphere Specialist, ICIMOD

14:00–14:30 Topic: Investigating periglacial environment with remote sensing big data

Lecturer: Min Feng, Professor, ITP, CAS

14:30–15:00 Topic: New technologies for remote sensing observation of hydrology in rivers and lakes

Lecturer: Shanlong Lu, Professor, AIRCAS

15:00–15:30 Tea break
15:30-16:00 Topic: Monitoring of snow-glacier and geological hazards using remote sensing

Lecturer: Jinghui Fan, Professor, China Aero Geophysical Survey and Remote Sensing Center



Topic: Thinking from citizen science approach: application of geospatial technology in identifying potential of rooftop farming

Lecturer: Reshma Shrestha, Associate Professor, Geomatic Engineering, Kathmandu University

Time Topic
09:30–12:30 Morning session (S3) AOGEO Academic Seminar

Theme: advancements, challenges, and limitations in harnessing EO data for monitoring disaster & ecological environment

Session chairs: Babar Khan, Action Area Coordinator, Building Institutions for Regional Cooperation and Collaboration, ICIMOD and Jianjun Wu, Professor, Beijing Normal University (BNU)



Topic: Earth Observation– applications in disaster monitoring and risk assessment

Lecturer: Suju Li, Professor, National Disaster Reduction Center of China (NDRCC)

10:00–10:30 Topic: Earth Observation applications in forest ecosystem monitoring and assessment

Lecturer: Pem Kandel, Chief Policy Advisor, ICIMOD

10:30–11:00 Tea break


Topic: GEO data publishing and application for SDGs

Lecturer: Poonam Tripathi, Geospatial Training Analyst, ICIMOD



Topic: Earth Observation– applications in disaster monitoring in the HKH region

Lecturer: Jianjun Wu, Professor, BNU



Topic: Air quality modelling in the HKH

Lecturer: Bhupesh Adhikary, Senior Air Quality Specialist, ICIMOD

12:00–12:30 Discussion and wrap–up the seminar
12:30–13:30 Lunch break
13:30–17:00 Afternoon session

Theme: Disaster



Topic: High resolution transformer-based water body extraction and spatiotemporal analysis in the HKH

Lecturer: Xiangbing Yan, Professor, Wuhan University

Topic: SDGs monitoring and assessment in the HKH

Lecturer: Jia Song, Associate Professor, IGSNRR

15:00–15:30 Tea break
15:3017:00 Topic: Earth Observation applications in weather monitoring in HKH

Lecturer: Kiran Shakya, Geospatial Application Development Specialist, ICIMOD

Hand-on session: Kiran Shakya, ICIMOD

Training workshop

9:3012:30 Morning session

Theme: Ecosystem

9:3010:30 Topic: Earth Observation– applications in vegetation monitoring in the HKH region

Lecturer: Tingting LV, Associate Professor, CAS

Hand-on session: Yuxuan Huang, Researcher, CAS

10:3011:00 Tea break
11:0012:00 Topic: Regional land cover monitoring service for Hindu Kush Himalaya

Lecturer: Kabir Uddin, GIS/RS Specialist, ICIMOD

Hand-on session: Sajana Maharjan, Remote Sensing and Geoinformation Analyst, ICIMOD

12:30–13:30 Lunch break
13:3017:00 Afternoon session

Theme: Air quality

13:3015:00 Topic: Earth Observation– applications in air quality monitoring in the HKH region

Lecturer: Xingfeng Chen, Associate Professor, AIRCAS

Hand-on session: Xingfeng Chen, Researcher, AIRCAS

15:00–15:30 Tea break
15:3017:00 Topic: ICIMOD’s efforts on air quality monitoring

Lecturer: Arshini Saikia, Air Quality Modelling Analyst, ICIMOD

Hand-on session: Arshini Saikia, ICIMOD

Training workshop

Time Topic
9:30–12:30 Morning session

Theme: Crop monitoring

9:30–10:30 Topic: Crop classification and acreage estimate with remote sensing


Lecturer: Qiangzi Li, Professor, AIRCAS

Hand-on session: Yunqi Shen, Researcher, AIRCAS

10:30–11:00 Tea break
11:00–12:00 Topic: Crop growth status monitoring and yield estimation with remote sensing


Lecturer: Xin Du, Associate Professor, AIRCAS

Hand-on session: Yong Dong, Researcher, AIRCAS

12:30–13:30 Lunch break
Afternoon session

Theme: Glacier and water resource

13:30–15:00 Topic: Glacier monitoring in Hindu Kush Himalaya


Lecturer: Finu Shrestha, Remote Sensing and Geo information Analyst , ICIMOD

Hand-on session: Finu Shrestha, ICIMOD

15:00–15:30 Tea break
15:30–17:00 Topic: Water dynamic monitoring in the Hindu Kush- Himalayan based on multi-source remote sensing


Lecturer: Xidong Chen, Researcher, University of Hong Kong

Hand-on session: Xidong Chen, University of Hong Kong

Time Topic
09:00–12:30 Morning session (S10)

Field expedition (135 mins) – Yona Khaling Rai, Associate, Living Mountain Lab, and Rajesh Bahadur Thapa, Senior Remote Sensing and Geoinformation Specialist, ICIMOD

Field visit to ICIMOD’s Living Mountain Lab, Godavari, Lalitpur

Post-training assessment (15 mins) – Poonam Tripathi, Geospatial Training Analyst, ICIMOD

12:30–13:00 Closing session (S11)

Reflections on the training participants and way forward (15 mins) – Poonam Tripathi, ICIMOD

Certificate distribution (10 mins) – Rajesh Bahadur Thapa, ICIMOD

Closing remarks (15 mins)– AIRCAS, NRSCC, ICIMOD

13:00–14:00 Lunch break and adjourn

National Remote Sensing Center of China (NRSCC) is a quasi-governmental entity under the direct leadership of the Ministry of Science and Technology of China. By focusing on enhancing independent innovation in aerospace field and featuring international cooperation, NRSCC gathers national scientific and technological strength and makes every effort to promote innovation in aerospace field.



The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) is a regional knowledge development and learning centre serving the eight Regional Member Countries of the Hindu Kush Himalaya – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan. An intergovernmental knowledge and development organisation with a focus on climate and environmental risks, green economies, and sustainable collective action, ICIMOD have worked in its eight regional member countries – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan – since its foundation in 1983.

Since the early 1990s, ICIMOD has been working on strengthening the capacity of national institutions in the region on EO and geospatial technologies. ICIMOD is a GEO Participating Organisation and has been actively engaged in AOGEO as the lead of Himalayan GEOSS. It is a collaborating organisation of AOGEO RCCD.



The Aerospace Information Research Institute (AIR) under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) was established in July 2017, following the approval for consolidation of three CAS institutes: the Institute of Electronics (IECAS), the Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth (RADI), and the Academy of Opto-Electronics (AOE). The merger is the outcome of CAS efforts towards reformation of its research and development system to meet future R&D challenges and to better meet the national demands.



Asia-Oceania GEO (AOGEO) is a regional cooperation focusing on using Earth Observation to support realizing the sustainable development goals. AOGEO was launched at the 13th GEO plenary as AOGEOSS (Asia-Oceania Global Earth Observation System of Systems) in 2016 with 11 country members and 12 participating organisations.