International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) will hold the SERVIR Himalaya Youth Forum titled ‘Empowering Youth with Earth Observation Information for Climate Actions’ on 5--8 May 2014 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The forum will be held in collaboration with the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS).
The impact of climate change on the mountain system in the Himalayas is evident in the rapid melting of glaciers, receding snow cover, changes in vegetation, biodiversity loss, erratic weather pattern and increasing frequency and magnitude of natural disasters. Bangladesh is situated at the bottom of the Himalayan system, which makes it vulnerable to threats such as glacial melt-water flowing down from the high mountains and rising sea level of the Indian Ocean. These factors of climate change affect the environment as well as society in one way or the other. Future generations of Bangladeshis will face enormous challenges in addressing these climatic changes. It is hence important to raise the awareness of youth and actively engage them in disaster preparedness, risk reduction, adaptation and mitigation.
BCAS believes that the youth have the potential to act as climate activists. They can become agents of change at the national, regional and international level. After the successful completion of the first SERVIR Himalaya Youth Forum in 2012, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development ICIMOD and BCAS felt the need to organize another forum in Bangladesh to continue engaging the youth.
The Forum is organized within the framework of SERVIR-Himalaya, an initiative supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The objectives of this Youth Forum are to:
The forum expects to bring together final-year students from public and private universities in Bangladesh. It will train them to use geospatial technology to address the complex challenges facing ecosystems and human societies that depend on them. We especially welcome applications from students of earth and natural sciences who are interested in interdisciplinary research. Masters-level students under the age of 25 years can also apply for participation in the event. The forum will be limited to about 40 participants, as this has been found to be optimal for student-lecturer interactions, interactive practical sessions and group projects.