The synergistic convergence of geospatial technologies with mainstream information technology in the past few years has resulted in many applications that have influenced the lives of common people. There is widespread penetration of smart mobile devices even in rural areas and many applications integrate location-based information. Agriculture advisory services, weather information, and navigation services are just a few examples that seamlessly integrate various spatial and non-spatial information to generate desired services for users. Similarly, there has been exponential growth in Earth observation (EO) applications with LandSat from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Sentinel satellite data from the European Space Agency (ESA). Both systems are freely accessible while commercial satellite companies are providing opportunities to capture multi-source high spatial and temporal satellite images from any part of the Earth. Easy access to EO information has made scientific and consistent monitoring of phenomena possible like never before.
Over the past five years, ICIMOD strengthened its role as a regional information resource centre to address the dearth of consistent, comparable, reliable, and timely data and information for regional planning and policy development in the region. The Mountain Environment Regional Information System (MENRIS) programme focused on developing information and knowledge on key regional priorities and promoting active regional cooperation among RMCs to support informed decision making.
The implementation of two initiatives – SERVIR and Regional Database Systems (RDS) – within the MENRIS Programme has helped ICIMOD build its capacities in adopting many new technologies and contextualizing them to the needs in the region. Many applications on the thematic areas of agriculture monitoring and food security, disaster risk reduction, ecosystem services, land use and land cover mapping, and climate services were initiated with greater emphasis on user engagement and stakeholder involvement in the design and development process.
Significantly contribute to effective evidence-based decision-making processes by governments, communities, and individuals using scientific data, Earth observation information and geospatial technologies in the areas of agriculture, environment, natural resources, and climate change.