USAID Administrator Underscores The Importance Of Science And Technology For Development In The Hind
ICIMOD scientists presented interactive tools that have been developed as a part of the USAID-funded SERVIR Himalaya initiative, which was created to bring NASA’s satellite data together with ICIMOD scientists to develop tools that provide innovative solutions to meet development needs, including:
Forest Fire Detection and Monitoring System for Nepal, which can be used by forest managers to improve their ability to respond to forest fires;
Agricultural Monitoring to Support Food Security in the Eastern Himalayas, which can estimate crop yields to enable countries to take appropriate measures to avoid famine;
Land Use and Land Cover Change for Nepal, which can be used to perform vulnerability assessments, food and livelihood security analysis, and to determine Nepal’s reference emissions level to support REDD programmes; and
Glacier and Alpine Hazards to Development and Habitation in the Hindu Kush Himalayan Region.
Dr Shah stressed the importance of open and improved access to data, and the need for local ownership and engagement in development decision-making.
“It is hard to fix a problem that you cannot see,” Dr. Shah said, “and by harnessing science and technology, we can put critical information in the hands of the people most affected by natural disasters. At the same time, we can encourage civic participation in the planning and response processes—ensuring that government and citizens are collaborating on ways to create sustainable economic growth in the Hindu Kush region.”