Nepal – the country of the Buddha and the Mt. Everest

Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without – Buddha

NASA chief to talk climate here

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 29, 2010

ekantipur By Anil Giri

The issue of climate change and its effects on Himalayan glaciers is becoming a cause of concern for the world’s environmental and scientific community. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is showing keen interest in building the at-risk mountain communities’ regional capacity for adapting to the climate change.

NASA’s Administrator Charles F. Bolden is arriving here on Oct. 1 to attend a weeklong high-level symposium on fostering regional and international cooperation to promote the use of and access to earth observation for improved scientific knowledge and understanding to support adaptation to climate change in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan (HKH) region. The HKH is the only reservoir of

biodiversity and includes all or part of four global biodiversity hotspots.

Bolden, who also holds the designation of US Secretary (minister level), will receive VIP treatment from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He will meet Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal and other senior government officials during his stay in Kathmandu.

According to the itinerary provided by ICIMOD, one of the organisers of his Nepal trip, he will be launching SERVIR Himalaya, an earth observatory which monitors and visualises systems that integrate satellite and other geospatial data for improved

scientific knowledge and

decision-making by managers, researchers, students and the general public.

“SERVIR provides a model for building the capacity of countries to use earth observations and geospatial information technologies in regions around the world,” said ICIMOD.

More than 250 delegates from 24 countries — scientists, researchers, and development practitioners, policy makers from the HKH region and beyond will be participating. Michael Yates, Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator of USAID, Indian Minister of State for Environment and Forest Jairam Ramesh, Group on Earth Observation (GEO) Secretariat Director Prof Jose Achache of Switzerland are expected to attend the symposium.

The jamboree of researchers and policy makers, the first of its kind in Nepal, will discuss remote sensing of snow, glaciers, spatial decision support systems for ecosystem management, space-based information for disaster management, land cover change and carbon socks, trans-boundary air pollution monitoring and spatial data infrastructure for climate change adaptation.

“The systematic collection of data and information about the HKH mountain system is critical for improved understanding of climate change, and its trends and impacts for protecting future scenarios. Data and information derived from Earth observation are proving increasingly vital to gaining insights into regional status and trends, especially climatic implications at the global level,” ICIMOD said in a briefing.

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