A national consultation workshop on a needs assessments for SERVIR-HKH was organized in Kabul from 14–15 December 2015 by ICIMOD in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) Afghanistan and with the support of USAID. Following the successful completion of the 5-year SERVIR-Himalaya, which ran from July 2010 to September 2015, USAID and ICIMOD have entered into the second phase of the cooperative agreement, renewing the partnership to address environmental issues and climate-change impacts in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region. ICIMOD, as the operational hub for SERVIR in the HKH region, has been working within the overall framework of the Global SERVIR programme to increase the sustainable use of earth observation information and geospatial technologies in development decision-making. SERVIR-HKH is being implemented by ICIMOD’s Mountain Environment Regional Information System (MENRIS) programme.
The objectives of the workshop were to introduce the overall framework and objectives of SERVIR-HKH to the relevant partner agencies; assess the context in Afghanistan in terms of institutional capacity and expertise in the application of geospatial technologies in various climate-services, the status of data availability, and access and sharing mechanisms; identify the priorities for specific geospatial applications, products, and decision support tools in the relevant thematic areas; and explore the potential for collaboration with institutions in the implementation of relevant activities.
A total of 32 participants attended the workshop from 13 agencies, including government ministries, academic institutions, donor-supported projects, and ICIMOD staff from MENRIS and the Kabul Office. Over the two days of knowledge sharing, technical discussions, and group work the workshop participants identified and prioritized activities for programme implementation for the next five years. Based on the findings of the workshop, ICIMOD, together with its partners, will conduct detailed assessments with inputs from line agencies to specify the details of the activities to be undertaken. The outcome of the workshop will also be discussed with other regional programmes at ICIMOD for potential synergies. Data gaps and capacity needs assessments will be carried out and activities implemented to respond to these findings.