SERVIR-Himalaya Youth Forum - “Empowering Youth with Earth Observation Information for Climate Actions in Nepal”

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Background

Climate change is the singular defining environmental issue of our times affecting every segment of society in one way or the other. The global climate change discourse has put the Himalayan region in the centre of international attention as one of the most vulnerable ecosystems in the world. 

Climate change is one of the most critical global concerns today with the younger generation expected to face enormous challenges in future. It is therefore important to create awareness among youth and actively engage them in the areas of preparedness, risk reduction, adaptation, and mitigation. Youths not only have innovative ideas and knowledge, but also possess abundant energy to undertake local actions. They can be the proverbial agents of change and act as effective communicators in their communities and in the regional and international arenas.

Earth observation is proving to be a vital tool to improve our understanding of climate change. In this context, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) is implementing the SERVIR-Himalaya Initiative supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) with the goal to improve environmental management and resilience to climate change. 

The SERVIR-Himalaya science applications include the areas of cryosphere and water, ecosystems and biodiversity, agriculture and food security, disaster risk reduction, and air quality monitoring. Information derived from earth observation helps visualize the impacts of climate change and take appropriate actions. The SERVIR-Himalaya Initiative is putting increasing emphasis on education and exposure of innovative tools and technologies to youth that will enable rapid response on issues related to climate change in the Himalayan region.

ICIMOD is internationally regarded as a regional resource centre for geo-information and earth observation application with a specific mountain focus. In particular, it has worked with both national and regional partners to provide access to data and information, to integrate analysis and modelling, and disseminate information through interactive mapping and spatial visualization. ICIMOD makes continuous efforts to enhance capacity of its member countries, and has a special focus to inspire youth to use earth observation information and geospatial technologies.

The Asian Institute of Technology & Management (AITM) offers high-quality national and international level educational programs in Nepal. Managed by experienced educationists and professionals, AITM wishes to be a positive agent of change by engaging youths, within the country as well as regionally and internationally. The Institute aims to be a ‘Centre of Academic Excellence’ by blending research into pedagogy. Its current expertise include climate change, aquatic ecology and biogeochemistry, hydrology and water resources, groundwater, nexus research, water-related disaster risk reduction, water-sanitation-hygiene, geospatial solutions (GIS and remote sensing), biotechnology, and management (business and hospitality).

This Youth Forum is being organized by ICIMOD in collaboration with AITM and the Nepal GIS Society and is part of the SERVIR-Himalaya Initiative. The main aim of the Youth Forum is to raise awareness and empower youth in Nepal on the use of earth observation information and allied technologies for climate actions.

Objectives

The objectives of this Youth Forum are to: 

  • Educate and inspire young people about geospatial science, earth observation, and its potential to address climate change issues;
  • Provide hands-on exercises with GIS software and GPS systems and online mapping resources;
  • Have participants prepare a short essay proposing innovative ideas on how to use geospatial technologies to research, visualize or otherwise address climate change issues;
  • Provide a platform and network for mutual sharing and learning of experiences among youth, and; 
  • Increase the visibility of SERVIR-Himalaya Initiative among youths in Nepal.

Intended audience

The Youth Forum targets youths from different professional backgrounds, universities, and colleges in Nepal (20 – 25 years of age) with interest in climate change issues and geospatial science and technology. About 30 to 40 youths are expected to participate in the event.

Application process

Applicants should submit a short CV, a motivation letter outlining his/her specific interests, and a short essay proposing innovative geospatial ideas, research projects or applications to address climate change issues. The applications should be submitted by 20 November 2013, and must be sent online to Suyesh Pradhan at  

The deadline for the application is already over.

Reference to some relevant links:

http://geoportal.icimod.org/ScienceApp.aspx

http://geoportal.icimod.org/storymap.aspx

http://www.earthzine.org/nasa-develop-fall-virtual-poster-session/

https://www.servirglobal.net/default.aspx

http://spaceappschallenge.org/

http://science.nasa.gov/earth-science/focus-areas/climate-variability-and-change/

http://www.eyeonearth.org/en-us/Pages/Home.aspx

https://earth.esa.int/web/guest/earth-topics 

http://www.arcgis.com/features/