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GEO 2017-2019 Work Programme


Himalayan GEOSS

Activity ID: 98


Mountain regions cover about 24% of the earth surface and provide important ecosystem services to almost half of humanity around the world. It is estimated that the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) ecosystem alone provide goods and services to about 1.5 billion people living in the mountains and it’s downstream. While the Himalayan ecosystem functions as a life support system, it is also recognized as one of the most vulnerable ecosystems in the world due to climate change and rapid social transformations that are taking place due to globalization.

Mountain areas with often difficult terrain and high degree of inaccessibility present a formidable challenge to collect and manage data and information. Earth observation (EO) in combination with the emerging Geo-information and communications technologies, and new innovations provide viable solutions to bridge the important data and knowledge gaps in the region as aspired by the GEO’s vision.

Himalayan GEOSS will develop a platform for regional collaboration by bringing together all the GEO member organizations and thematic line agencies from the region working on EO and Geospatial technologies. Regional meetings and workshops will be organized for policy dialogs and exchanges of technical knowledge. It is expected that the activities of Himalayan GEOSS will ultimately contribute to development of SDI in the region through promotion of policy, standards and practices for open access to data, information and services.

Activities for the period

In the initial phase, the activities will focus on setting up a conceptual framework for Himalayan GEOSS and ensure participation from the member organizations and line agencies in the region.  Institutional mechanism for implementation and coordination will be defined through consultations with partner organizations. More specifically, the following activities will be carried out.

  • Coordinate and liaise closely with GEO and the GEO-member states in the region on the concept of Himalayan GEOSS;
  • Organize workshop to brainstorm on the operationalization of the concept of Himalayan GEO and seek inputs and guidance from regional member countries and key international partners;
  • Formation of a working group with representation of GEO Member States and Participating Organizations from the region;
  • Encourage and catalyze for GEO Membership for Afghanistan, Bhutan and Myanmar;
  • Organize a joint regional workshop on Himalayan GEOSS with all HKH countries and international partners to finalize the concept paper of Himalayan GEOSS and get endorsement by the GEO;
  • Devise an institutional mechanism for Himalayan GEOSS with the formation of coordination framework and network;
  • Devise a funding strategy for the implementation of Himalayan GEO and its sustainability; and
  • Detail out strategies and work plan for capacity building in the member countries.

Future Plans

ICIMOD has become is Participating Organization in GEO and the third SERVIR node for the HKH region. As such, it has been able to draw a significant mileage from increasing interests from international agencies and regional and global level initiatives.

  • Building on these foundations of ICIMOD and its network, ICIMOD can serve as a Himalayan node contributing to the sub-regional implementation of GEOSS with active involvement of the regional member countries and international partnerships;
  • The focal organizations in the GEO member countries in the region will be the main contributors in this initiative. Participation will be sought from the relevant line agencies working in the thematic areas of agriculture, forestry, disasters and climate;
  • Private sector participation will also be encouraged. ICIMOD will host the initiative within its Regional Program - Mountain Environment Regional Information System (MENRIS). Complimentary contributions will be managed through ongoing initiatives within ICIMOD such as SERVIR for co-hosting workshops/ meetings and development of tools and services.


  • SERVIR is a joint development initiative of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID), working in partnership with leading regional organizations world-wide to help developing countries use information provided by Earth observing satellites and geospatial technologies for managing climate risks and land use. SERVIR-Himalaya was established in 2010 at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) in Kathmandu, Nepal.
  • We hope to raise the needed financing together with GEO by partnering with appropriate development partners, private sector as well as from on-going initiatives at ICIMOD in a complementary basis.



Members: Bangladesh, China, India, Nepal, Pakistan, USA.

Participating Organizations: ICIMOD.

Others: Afghanistan, Bhutan, Myanmar.

Leadership & Contributors (this list is being populated)




Implementing Entity



Birendra Bajracharya




Basanta Shrestha