The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) is a regional intergovernmental learning and knowledge sharing centre serving the eight regional member countries of the Hindu Kush Himalayas – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan – and 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-downstream issues.
ICIMOD support regional transboundary programmes through the partnership with regional partner institutions, facilitate the exchange of experience and serve as a regional knowledge hub. We strengthen networking among regional and global centres of excellence. Overall, we are working to develop an economically and environmentally sound mountain ecosystem to improve the living standards of mountain populations and to sustain vital ecosystem services for the billions of people living downstream now, and for the future.
Disaster Reduction Goal
The Himalayan belt is the youngest and the highest mountain range in the world. The weak geological condition, steep topography, strong hydrodynamic with short seasonal monsoon rainfall and excessive human intervention have made the Himalaya very fragile and unpredictable at times. The landslides, avalanches, floods, flash floods, debris flow from landslide dammed lakes and glacial lake outburst floods, earthquake are the common hazard in the Himalayan range and sometimes occurs in multifaceted collectively. In general, climate change is expected to increase the frequency and intensity of extreme events. The lack of capacity to manage and adapt to disaster related risks is already a central development issue in the RMCs. ICIMOD has a niche to bridge this gap in the region by interfacing with key international agencies in order to adapt tools and methodologies for mountain specific DRR. Strengthening national cooperation partners in disaster risk mapping is a priority identified in ICIMOD’s strategy which will invariably involve developing capacity in handling of GI systems with necessary spatial tools and methods for risk management.
ICIMOD is focusing to contribute to the national efforts to strengthen national institutions for better understanding of landforms to reduce hazards and risk by utilizing remote sensing and geographical information system (RS and GIS)innovative approaches. ICIMOD currently focusing on developing forest fire monitoring system, piloting early warning for GLOF hazards in Imja and developing tools and methods for multi-hazard risk assessment and mapping. Furthermore, ICIMOD is partnering with key international agencies and programmes to work together on international charter – “Space for major disasters” for disaster response with satellite based data and information.
Policies and Programmes in DRR
International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) has engaged in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) activities and projects over the course of the past two decades, supporting regional member countries (RMCs) and other partners in the region prepare for and reduce disaster vulnerability of communities to disasters. ICIMODs DRR mission is to Assist HKH region communities to access suitable resources, technologies, policies and practices for reducing natural disaster risk by working with national, regional and international actors.
Membership in Key Networks
Sentinel Asia initiative
Asia Pacific Adaptation Network
Making disaster risk reduction a policy priority, institutional strengthening (HFA 1)
ICIMOD observes, analyzes and informs on governance and policy aspects of disaster risk reduction with a focus on mountain hazards in the 08 members in the Himalaya Hindu Kush mountain region. ICIMOD conducts regular policy dialogues and capacity development activities on DRR governance.
Risk assessment and early warning systems (HFA 2)
The ongoing ICIMOD regional projects on Regional flood information system, flash management, satellite rain fall estimation and satellite based disaster information system conduct regular risk assessment activities in the region.
Education, information and public awareness (HFA 3)
Education and knowledge management are core strategic strengths of ICIMOD. The DRR website of ICIMOD (www.icimod.org/drr) is widely accessed and used by professionals in the HKH region. ICIMOD has also been working with media networks and youth networks on climate change mitigation.
Reducing underlying risk factors (HFA 4)
A number of projects on sustainable livelihoods and sustainable mountain environment contribute to reducing underlying risk factors.
Preparedness for effective response (HFA 5)
ICIMODs space based disaster information systems in collaboration with NASA, USGS, UNSPIDER provide decision support services to member countries in the region.
Making Cities Resilient Campaign Activities
Kathmandu Valley Earthquake Emergency Management and Response System project provides following services:
Development of integrated GIS database environment involving multi-stakeholder partnership – to help the system evolve towards a public information infrastructure for emergency response;
Interactive geo-visualization and on-demand mapping services for local institutions and the public (e.g. Ward offices, communities, and the public)
Incident reporting using social media and mobile phones by integration of USAHIDI open source system for crowd sourcing information;
Emergency and logistical management by integration of SAHANA open source system;
Mobilizing youth for awareness raising, campaigning and allowing self-organizing capability for the communities by utilizing emerging online social media;
Disaster Risk Reduction Focal Point(s)
GIS and Remote Sensing Specialist