Workshop on Application of Geospatial Technology in Climate Change Research

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Participants are carrying out Hands-on-exercises on the 4 decade glacier data of Bhutan

In March 2015, the Cryosphere Initiative of ICIMOD and the Centre for Climate Change & Spatial Information (CCCSI) of Sherubtse College in Bhutan jointly organised a week-long workshop on “Application of Geospatial Technology in Climate Change Research” from 23 to 27 March. The programme was supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The workshop discussed the indicators and impact of climate change in the Himalayan region; utilised various types, sources, application and potential of earth observation data to address climate change issues; provided hands-on data analysis exercises using GIS software; and presented climate change related research proposals applying lessons learned during the workshop.

Many experts consider the Himalayan ecosystem to be the most vulnerable to climate change and directly impacts on almost all segments of society, especially those relying on agriculture for their livelihood. Lack of data and knowledge gaps have been identified as the main hurdle in conducting climate change related research in the Himalayan region. Data derived from earth observation, together with conventional data sources, offers much scope for bridging data gaps. Geospatial technique is proving to be a vital tool for mapping, visualizing, integrating, analyzing, modelling, and disseminating information about climate change. 

The training workshop was attended by faculty members from Royal University of Bhutan and other agencies interested in learning more on geospatial techniques and climate change research. Nineteen participants with the civil engineering, geography, and IT backgrounds attended the workshop which was conducted by resource persons from ICIMOD, Samjwal Ratna Bajracharya, remote sensing specialists and Sudan Bikash Maharjan, RS and GIS research associates.