ICIMOD in collaboration with the Department of Forest (DoF), Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation, Nepal will be organizing a day-long stakeholder consultation workshop on forest fire information management and satellite-based forest fire monitoring and alert system on 19 November 2014 in Hetauda, Nepal. The event will see forest and park managers, senior managers from DoF, Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC) and relevant agencies involved in forest fire management.
Forest fire is a crucial issue in Nepal and is assumed to be a major driver of forest degradation. The timely dissemination of information about fire incidents is critical to extinguish forest fires and reduce damage.
To strengthen fire management, a satellite-based forest fire detection and monitoring system was implemented by the Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation (MoFSC) with the help of the SERVIR-Himalaya Initiative of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). The global SERVIR programme is a joint initiative of United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). SERVIR-Himalaya is implemented by ICIMOD.
The forest fire detection and monitoring system was launched on 12 April 2012 and is managed by Department of Forest in Nepal. The system generates and disseminates three products:
Currently, the system has 256 SMS message subscribers and 211 email subscribers. These subscribers include District Forest Officers (DFOs) in 72 of Nepal’s 74 districts and focal persons of Federation of Community Forestry Users (FECOFUN) stationed across the country.
In 2013, a case study was conducted by SERVIR-Himalaya and the DoF to evaluate the utility and identify measures needed to take advantage of the system for supporting the Department’s fire management activities. Most forest and park managers expressed a need for wider dissemination of forest fire alerts. The workshop at Hetauda is a follow-up to the case study. Through the workshop, ICIMOD and its partners aim to receive further recommendations to make the fire management information system more effective during the upcoming fire season.
Among other things, the workshop also aims to update all attending on the current situation of forest fire in Nepal, embed the satellite-based forest fire monitoring and alert system within the ongoing fire management process of DoF and DNPWC, and identify roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders for the effective implementation of the forest fire monitoring and alert system.