KATHMANDU, Nepal and WASHINGTON – The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and Radiant.Earth have signed a strategic partnership agreement for knowledge and technology transfer of Earth observation (EO). Under this agreement, the parties will establish and implement innovative EO and geospatial application services to support monitoring and assessment of climate change related impacts in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region, with a particular focus on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A large-scale audacious blueprint to ensure socio-economic progress globally without destructing the environment, these global actions are focused on ending poverty, addressing climate change, and combating inequality and injustice.
Climate change is increasingly disrupting the way of life for communities living in the HKH region. People face constant threats of droughts, floods, and landslides. ICIMOD is a regional intergovernmental learning and knowledge sharing center serving the eight regional member countries of the Hindu Kush Himalayas, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan. The organization helps communities vulnerable to these natural disasters to understand the changes taking place and how to strengthen their resiliency.
David Molden, Director General of ICIMOD, says achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals involves dealing with complex challenges such as tackling climate change, coping with natural disasters, ensuring ecosystem services, and improving the resilience of mountain communities. Earth observation in combination with emerging geo-information and communications technologies provides viable options to understand rapid social and environmental changes to develop actionable policy and programmes in the region. “Our strategic partnership with Radiant.Earth will augment ICIMOD’s capacity to provide information services for monitoring and assessment of key concerns of regional significance,” Molden states.
To realize the SDGs, Anne Hale Miglarese, Radiant.Earth Founder and CEO, states that new approaches and innovations are needed, “Climate change does not occur in a vacuum. It integrates with other global problems, which is why progressing action towards the SDGs is so important. Implementing the SDGs requires global availability and deployment of EO data, plus new standardized solutions. Forming partnerships with organizations such as ICIMOD is therefore paramount to Radiant.Earth’s vision of open geospatial data for positive global impact.”
As a first step towards achieving this strategic alliance, ICIMOD and Radiant.Earth are identifying existing, priority initiatives for collaboration.
ICIMOD is a regional knowledge development and learning centre serving the eight regional member countries of the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan – based in Kathmandu, Nepal. Globalization and climate change have an increasing influence on the stability of fragile mountain ecosystems and the livelihoods of mountain people. ICIMOD aims to assist mountain people to understand these changes, adapt to them, and make the most of new opportunities, while addressing upstream and downstream issues. ICIMOD supports regional transboundary programmes through partnerships with regional partner institutions, facilitates the exchange of experiences, and serves as a regional knowledge hub. We strengthen networking among regional and global centres of excellence. Overall, we are working to develop economically and environmentally-sound mountain ecosystems to improve the living standards of mountain populations and to sustain vital ecosystem services for the billions of people living downstream – now and in the future.
ICIMOD is also a SERVIR hub in the HKH region supported by USAID and NASA to promote and enable the use of Earth Observation (EO) and geospatial technologies for improved environmental and development decision-making with the key focus on following thematic areas: climate change, agriculture and food security, water and disaster, and forestry and ecosystem services. ICIMOD also supports the Himalayan Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) community as a platform for regional collaboration.
Radiant.Earth is a non-profit organization, committed to aggregating the world’s open Earth imagery and providing access and education on its use to the global development community. At the center of Radiant.Earth is an open technology platform that will help people discover and analyze the vast resources of Earth imagery, accelerating improved decision-making and fueling new solutions, discoveries and innovations. In support of this user-driven platform, Radiant.Earth offers an integrated and robust community development program to guide people in the use of Earth imagery, geospatial data sets, and tools. This includes insights into the commercial market and related policies