Hyderabad (India), February 9, 2015: At the recently concluded South Asia Geospatial Forum , Basanta Shrestha, Director for Strategic Cooperation and Regional Programme Manager, ICIMOD spoke on how geospatial data is helping to address key environmental challenges occurring due to developmental projects. South Asia Geospatial forum was held on February 9, 2015 at HICC Hyderabad.
Cautioning against ignoring the debates on ecological issues he said, “ Climate and rapid demographic change due to migration, globalisation and other issues arising from various developmental initiatives such as land-use change etc. are affecting the youngest mountains in the world — Himalayas. Mountains are often sidelined from the debates about ecology; this, despite the fact that the Hindukush Himalayan region is a disaster hotspot. ”
Shrestha, however, also stressed that convergence of technologies are creating an enabling environment. He also voiced the need for SAARC countries to collaborate on various projects, “Monitor, assessing, modelling and reporting is imperative to assess the changing ecological landscape. Also, linking science technology and innovation in policies and practices is critical to ensure that we move towards a sustainable development approach.”
Showing several satellite imagery of the Himalayan region, he added, “The SAARC region is a very vibrant region with the potential to work together and collaborate on projects. Transboundary air pollution and black carbon have accelerated. This has resulted in increasing the melting pace of glacial, impacting human health and agriculture across this region. Unless we put a value to link knowledge and information with people and decision makers, the efforts will not bear fruits.”
Later in the day, Shrestha also took part in the panel discussion in which the decision to set-up a SAARC working group for regional collaboration in using geospatial technology for sustainable development.
Source: Our Correspondent