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Stakeholder consultation workshop on SERVIR-HKH early warning systems for flood and extreme weather: Achievements and way forward

Date 24 October 2019
Venue ICIMOD, Kathmandu, Nepal
Contact Persons servirhkh@icimod.org
Type Workshop
Programmes SERVIR-HKH

SERVIR connects space to village by helping developing countries use satellite data to address challenges in food security, water resources, weather and climate, land use, and natural disasters. A partnership of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and leading technical organizations, SERVIR develops innovative solutions to improve livelihoods and foster self- reliance in Asia, Africa, and the Americas.

The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) implements the SERVIR Hindu Kush Himalaya (SERVIR-HKH) Initiative – one of five regional hubs of the SERVIR network – in its regional member countries, prioritizing activities in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan. The Initiative falls under ICIMOD’s Mountain Environment Regional Information System (MENRIS) Regional Programme, which caters to the specific needs of regional member countries in addressing different aspects of environmental degradation and climate change impacts.

Working closely with the SERVIR Applied Science team, SERVIR-HKH is implementing weather research and long- and short-term forecasting models and deploying climate services for consumption across other service areas – agriculture and droughts. Concurrently, the Initiative has been working on enhancing flood early warning information for flood-prone rivers in Bangladesh and Nepal and strengthening ICIMOD’s regional flood outlook. In the last few years, SERVIR-HKH has been working with partners to implement streamflow prediction tools for flood early warning based on the Global Flood Awareness System (GLOFAS) forecasts jointly developed by the European Commission and the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), and ensemble forecasts generated from SERVIR’s High Impact Weather Assessment Toolkit (HIWAT).

The early warning systems are now being used by national meteorological and hydrological institutions and non-governmental organizations in Bangladesh and Nepal to strengthen existing forecast and warning systems. The partners have been using the tools internally to support their understanding of the warning situation. However, the systems have not been used in an integrated fashion for mainstream flood forecasting usage as expected. Against this backdrop, ICIMOD is organizing a stakeholder consultation workshop to bring together partner institutions and share knowledge and user experiences in using these tools.

This will help solicit constructive inputs to further improvements and enhancements of functionalities to make the early warning systems fit-for-purpose and ensure their sustained usage. A preliminary report on the validation exercise for the current monsoon season will be presented to enable feedback, discuss various issues and challenges, and deliberate on the next step to full operationalization.

Objectives
  • Bring key stakeholders and partners together to discuss the state of national services in forecasting and warning for water and hydro-climatic disasters
  • Share experiences and lessons from the use of SERVIR-HKH early warning systems
  • Review validation results with recommendations for a way forward towards full adoption and operationalization of the systems
Expected Outcomes
  • Realistic timelines to fully operationalize the tools and integrate them into national early warning systems
  • Concurrence on a joint paper on tools validation for publication in a peer-review journal
  • Meeting report