SERVIR- Himalayan Youth Forum “Empowering Youth with Earth Observation Information for Climate Actions” Kathmandu, Nepal, 2013



              The youth forum is organized by ICIMOD (International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development) in collaboration with AITM and Nepal GIS society and is part of the server-Himalayan initiative supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administrative (NASA) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The main aim of this youth forum is to raise awareness and empower youth in Nepal on the use earth observation information and allied technology for climate action.

Mr. Basanta Shrestha (senior manager, ICIMOD) forwarded his welcome remark on “Empowering Youth with Earth Observation Information for Climate Actions”. He mentioned climate change is one of the most critical global concerns of this generation where the youth of the region will face enormous challenges in future. It is therefore important to bring about awareness among youth and actively engage them in areas of preparedness, risk reduction, adaption and mitigation. Youth have innovative ideas knowledge and abundant energy to undertaken local action. Youth can play ‘agent for change’ and act as effective communicators in their communities and be involved in regional and international arenas.

First day begins with discussion and presentation about global issues like climate change, glacier melting, climate change and ethics. Space technology has helped us to monitor change for

1. Understand (be aware of issue)

2. Better informed

3. Involved in the action ( to create a climate friendly future).

It helps to improve environmental management and resilience to climate change. As mountain matter, climate change has put the Himalayan region in center of the international attention-as one of the most vulnerable ecosystem in the world severely impacting its social and environmental security. Earth observation is providing to be vital tool to improve our understanding of the climate change phenomena by providing information on the changes on various attributes which are indicators to climate change. Since 1860 earth temperature is increased by 0.86 degree. With the increase in temperature mainly developing countries are being affected. There is a unsound concept “YOU RICH COUNTIRES POLLUTED THE ATMOSPHERE-NOW ITS OUR TURN’ in underdeveloped and developing countries which is further degrading the initial conditions. Ethical precept suggests- if future generation exists they should receive same ethical attention as current generation. Furthermore it suggest us to take action to deal climate change, because there is a proposal of dealing with it at lost cost now if not then by 2200 5.3% of world GDP will be damaged (according to stern estimation change). Ethical conclusion is to seek climate policy to avoiding extremely damage and catastrophes at relatively low cost.

Glacier is considered as a good indicator of climate change.  A glacier is a persistent body of dense ice exceeding a surface area of 0.1km2 constantly moving under its own gravity. The Hindu-Kush Himalayans region is considered as the third pole. According to present datas, the number of glacier is increasing with decrease in area. Glacier lake are being formed which threat of glacier lake bursting. Shifting of Glacier Lake, formation, shape is consequently taking place, which is direct result of climate change. We explore server web application on status of glacier and snow ,forest fire detection from space and explored SERVIR online forest fire detection system.

Mr. Sebastian Wesselman (ICIMOD) introduced to developing proposals for a research project on geospatial solutions for climate change. We participants were divided into groups and given group work to develop proposal for research project on geospatial solutions for climate change. We made our own story map with ArcGIS online. GPS concept and practical use was also demonstrated.

Dr. Nama Raj Budhathoki (the World Bank) explained about origin, evolution and current state of Open Street Map (OSM). Youth have a vital role in OSM. Youth are as local sensors for collecting data in field and information is life blood of modern society.  We prepared for field work , collected data and finally edited data in OSM.  The Kathmandu living lab team explained the innovative uses of OSM data in Nepal.

We made a tour to MENRIS and MODIS receiving station in Nepal and we visited climate change exhibition at Nepal Art Council.

Final day begins with the presentation on “climate change impact and Himalayan landscape; remote sensing application for integrated mountain development”. We developed a proposal for research project on geospatial solutions for climate change and give presentation on our topic.

The total five days of forum was full of excitement, informative with group works. We were as “MOUNTAIN HEROS”. We got information about diverse field and various geospatial technologies and their particle uses. Geoinformatics technology was focused. Geoinformatics is the art science or technology dealing with the acquisition, storage, processing, production, presentation and dissemination of geo information. The satellite technology captures the data where human is accessible is hardly possible. Climate change is threaten to world but as the people of mountain, we are facing the direct effect of it. Climatic variation, migration, flood , bursting of glacier are some sort of example we face but as if these goes on we have to face critical situation. We youth , nation and world world should act in particle manner not in papers about climate change. It is not the one who faces the problem but the world is going to suffer.

1. The story map .


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