Launch event: Regional Land Cover Monitoring System for the Hindu Kush Himalaya

Date 09:30–11:15 (NPT), 28 Sep 2021
Venue Online, MS Teams
Contact Persons SERVIR-HKH
Type Launch event

About the event

We invite partners, stakeholders, and alumni to the public launch event of the Regional Land Cover Monitoring System (RLCMS) for the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region, where we will be showcasing the web-based RLCMS and releasing annual land cover data (2000–2018).


  • Present the approach, methodology and results from the RLCMS
  • Release the annual land cover data for the HKH region (2000–2018)
  • Demonstrate the web-based RLCMS and its data visualization and download facilities


Land cover mapping is the most common application of Earth observation (EO) science and provides critical information for understanding historical changes in landscapes. Land cover across the HKH region is changing at an accelerated rate due to rapid economic growth and population pressures. These changes impact long-term sustainability of ecosystems and their services, including food, water, and energy. Recognizing the data gaps in land cover and inconsistencies in land cover maps in the HKH countries, ICIMOD initiated the development of regional land cover maps using a harmonized classification schema by adopting FAO’s land cover classification system.

We collaborated with SERVIR-Mekong at Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC), Afghanistan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, Bangladesh’s Forest Department, Nepal’s Forest Research and Training Centre, Myanmar’s Forest Department, the Global Land Analysis and Discovery (GLAD) laboratory at the University of Maryland,  SilvaCarbon, and the United States Forest Services to develop the RLCMS for the HKH region. The RLCMS produces consistent land cover data for the entire HKH region using a robust method and a harmonized classification scheme to enable monitoring and change analysis. The system uses state-of-the-art remote sensing science and technology on the Google Earth Engine and a standard set of input data sources to regularly generate high-quality land cover data at the regional level for the HKH region, and at national levels for Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Nepal.

The system is being developed under ICIMOD’s SERVIR Hindu Kush Himalaya (SERVIR-HKH) Initiative.

  • Tentative agenda

    22 September 2021 | 09:30– 11:15 (NPT)

    Moderator: Utsav Maden, Knowledge Management and Communication Officer, ICIMOD

    Time (NPT) Programme Speaker
    09:30–09:35 Welcome and opening remarks Birendra Bajracharya, Chief of Party –SERVIR-HKH, ICIMOD
    09:35–09:40 Remarks Daniel E. Irwin, SERVIR Global Program Manager, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center
    09:40–09:45 Remarks Evan Notman, Senior climate and land use officer, Forestry and Sustainable Landscapes, Center for Environment, Energy and Infrastructure, Bureau for Development, Democracy and Innovation, USAID
    09:45–09:50 Background and overview of the RLCMS David Saah, Professor, University of San Francisco
    09:50–10:00 Presentation of the RLCMS approach, methodology and results Kabir Uddin, GIS and Remote Sensing Specialist, ICIMOD
    10:00–10:05 Launching of the RLCMS and remarks Basanta Raj Shrestha, Director of Strategic Cooperation, ICIMOD
    10:05–10:20 Demonstration of the RLCMS Sajana Maharjan, RS and Geospatial Analyst, ICIMOD
    10:20–10:30 Remarks from partners Zaheer Iqbal, Deputy Conservator of Forests, Forest Department, Government of Bangladesh

    Dhirendra Kumar Pradhan, Deputy Director General, Forest Research and Training Centre, Government of Nepal

    Peeranan Towashiraporn, Director, Geospatial Information Department, Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC)

    10:30–11:15 Q&A and closing remarks Mir A. Matin, Theme Leader, Geospatial Solutions, ICIMOD