The use of Earth observation and geospatial applications for disaster preparedness in Nepal

Date 10:00-16:30 NPT, 31 Aug 2021 to 31 Aug 2021
Venue Armed Police Force Disaster Management Training School, Kurintar, Chitwan, Nepal
Contact Persons
Type Training
Programmes SERVIR-HKH

About the training

Being able to anticipate adverse events before actual occurrence and taking proactive actions to alleviate consequences are the basis for effective risk reduction and resilience strategies. Recognizing the need to enhance such capability in the region, ICIMOD has collaborated with the NASA SERVIR Applied Sciences Team to develop tools to assist in forecasting flash floods, high-impact weather events – extending from sub-seasonal to seasonal, and streamflow in river networks in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region. These science applications provide information that is a significant improvement over current deterministic forecasting systems and is therefore more reliable and actionable. These services are maintained on an open-access web portal for public use and feedback, and ICIMOD regularly engages relevant stakeholders in capacity-development activities.


The overall objective of this one-day training is to demonstrate ICIMOD science applications. Specifically, it will focus on:

  1. The High Impact Weather Assessment Tool (HIWAT)
  2. The HIWAT Streamflow Prediction Tool for Nepal, which provides 48-hour flash flood forecasts from localized extreme weather phenomena like convective storms and thunderstorms
  3. The Forest Fire Detection and Monitoring System for Nepal

Expected outcomes

Upon completion of the training, the participants will have a better understanding of the different science applications for use around disasters – floods, lightning strikes, high impact winds, high rainfall rates, hail, other weather events, and forest fires.

A total of 50 participants, including Armed Police Force (APF) officers from the Disaster Management Training School (DMTS) and technical persons from local organizations associated with disaster risk reduction, are expected to participate in this training.


Sustainable water and forest resources management and reducing risks from natural hazards such as floods and fire are major concerns for countries in the Hindu Kush Himalaya region, including Nepal. Confronted with limited knowledge and scarce resources, mountain-specific solutions for water-related problems have remained rather tenuous and generally ineffective.

ICIMOD’s SERVIR-HKH Initiative, a joint partnership between USAID and NASA, has developed several science applications to contribute to effective, evidence-based decision-making processes by governments, communities, and individuals using scientific data, Earth observation information, and geospatial information technologies. These science applications are categorized to respond to the areas of disaster, natural resources, agriculture, environment, and climate change.

Tentative agenda

31 August 2021

Time Topic
10:00–10:40 Opening session (S1)

Moderator: Keshav Kandel, SERVIR-HKH alumni 2019, Assistant Head Teacher, Chandrodaya Secondary School, Dhading

  • Training overview and introduction of the participants (15 min) – Rajesh Bahadur Thapa, Lead Capacity Development, SERVIR-HKH, ICIMOD
  • Welcome remarks (10 min) – Birendra Bajracharya, Chief of Party – SERVIR-HKH Initiative, ICIMOD
  • Remarks (5 min) – Shusil Subedi, Superintendent of Police, Armed Police Force Disaster Management Training School, Kurintar, Chitwan, Nepal
  • Keynote address (5 min) – Gita Gurung, Chairperson, Ichhakamana Gaupalika, Chitwan, Nepal
  • Group photo (5 min)
10:40–11:00 Break
11:00–12:30 Morning session (S2)
  • Lecture: Extreme weather and streamflow prediction in Nepal – Manish Shrestha, Hydrologist, ICIMOD
  • Hands-on exercise: High Impact Weather Assessment Tool and interpretation of weather forecasts – Kiran Shakya, Geospatial Application Development Specialist, ICIMOD
12:30–13:30 Lunch break
13:30–15:40 Afternoon session (S3)
  • Hands-on exercise: The Streamflow Prediction Tool and interpretation of streamflow forecasts – Manish Shrestha, Hydrologist, ICIMOD
  • Lecture: Exploring forest fires in Nepal – Sunil Thapa, Remote Sensing and Geoinformation Analyst, ICIMOD
  • Hands-on exercise: Analysis of forest fire data and preparation of maps – Sunil Thapa, Remote Sensing and Geoinformation Analyst, ICIMOD
15:40–16:00 Closing session (S4)

Moderator: Rajesh Bahadur Thapa, ICIMOD

  • Reflections from the participants (10 min)
  • Closing address (5 min) – TBC, Armed Police Force Disaster Management Training School, Kurintar, Chitwan, Nepal
  • Closing remarks (5 min) – Birendra Bajracharya, ICIMOD
16:00–16:30 High tea