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Remote Sensing and Geoinformation Specialist,
I lead ICIMOD’s group on land use, land cover change and ecosystem services within the Geospatial Solutions Theme and I lead our SERVIR-HKH initiative capacity building programme within the MENRIS Regional Programme. My research focuses on monitoring and assessment of terrestrial environments including forestry, agriculture, urban areas, and disasters. I also focus on the dissemination of Earth observation findings to policy makers, practitioners, university students, and stakeholders through education, capacity building workshops, conferences, and publications.
Rajesh Bahadur Thapa
How do you protect the pulse of the planet?
I empower people to use emerging Earth observation and geospatial technologies for making evdience-based decisions to protect the pulse of the planet.
What is your favorite part of the work you do at ICIMOD?
It is an international, multidisciplinary and multicultural environment.
What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about engaging and mentoring young professionals and improving the gender balance in the workplace.
I have over twenty years work experience across various Asian countries including Japan, Thailand, and the HKH region. Prior to joining ICIMOD, I was a researcher for the Japanese Earth Observation Missions ALOS, ALOS-2, and PiSAR-L2 at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. I was also a visiting professor, teaching postgraduate courses at the University of Tsukuba, Japan. I have expertise in SAR, Optical, and LiDAR remote sensing data processing and geospatial analysis for various applications.
Documented in international journals, books, and other media, my research leadership contributed to developing methods for a) mapping land-use and land cover; b) spatial modelling to explain and forecast the expansion of urban areas and deforestation, c) tracking tropical forest carbon stocks and CO2 emission risk, and d) spatial decision support for peri-urban agriculture. I have conducted extensive research and fieldwork in Indonesia, Japan, Nepal, Thailand, and Vietnam and have been honored to receive many international and national awards and recognition. I hold a PhD in Geoenvironmental Science from the University of Tsukuba, Japan, and an MSc in Remote Sensing and GIS from the Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand.