Home Issues Environment SERVIR-Himalaya: An Innovative, Web-Based Environmental Management System

SERVIR-Himalaya: An Innovative, Web-Based Environmental Management System

NASA and the U.S. Agency for International Development expanded their successful collaboration with international partners to launch an innovative, web-based environmental management system for the Himalayan region.

The partners inaugurated this state-of-the-art regional monitoring system, known as SERVIR-Himalaya, at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development in Kathmandu, Nepal, on Oct. 5. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony in Nepal.

SERVIR was developed by researchers at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., and its name comes from the Spanish word meaning “to serve.” SERVIR features web-based access to satellite imagery, decision-support tools and interactive visualization capabilities, and puts previously inaccessible information into the hands of scientists, environmental managers, and decision-makers. The Earth observation information is used to address threats related to climate change, biodiversity, and extreme events such as flooding, forest fires, and storms.

“NASA’s science mission begins here on Earth, with greater awareness and understanding of our changing planet, and solutions for protecting our environment, resources and human lives,” Bolden said. “The SERVIR technology and our partnership with various organizations and people around the globe reflect NASA’s commitment to improving life on our home planet for all people.”

Since 2005, SERVIR has served the Mesoamerican region and the Dominican Republic from the Water Center for the Humid Tropics of Latin America and the Caribbean, which is based in Panama. SERVIR also has served East Africa from the Regional Center for Mapping of Resources for Development in Nairobi since 2008.

NASA and USAID are expanding SERVIR to the Himalayas to address critical issues such as land cover change, air quality, glacial melt and adaptation to climate change. The agencies are working in partnership with the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), a regional knowledge development and learning center that serves member countries in the Hindu-Kush-Himalaya region, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Nepal, Myanmar and Pakistan.

The countries in the Hindu-Kush-Himalaya region have unique needs related to their extreme mountain environments. The region is known as Earth’s “third pole,” because of its inaccessibility and the vast amount of water stored there in the form of ice and snow.

“USAID’s commitment with SERVIR is to create the linkage from space to village, to apply the best in science and technology to meet development challenges,” said Mike Yates, senior deputy assistant administrator of USAID’s Bureau for Economic Growth, Agriculture and Trade. “We are pleased to work with our partners in Nepal, and in other regions of the world, to build capacity to use satellite data and mapping technologies for making practical decisions that improve people’s lives.”

SERVIR-Himalaya will integrate Earth science data from NASA satellites with geospatial information products from other government agencies. SERVIR was developed in coordination with the Group on Earth Observations, more than 80 nations working together to build a Global Earth Observing System of Systems to benefit the needs of society.

“I am very pleased that through the partnership with USAID and NASA on SERVIR-Himalaya, ICIMOD will be able to augment its capacity and its network of cooperative partners in the region to use Earth observation for societal benefits of the mountain communities,” said Basanta Shrestha, division head of the Mountain Environment and Natural Resources Information System for ICIMOD.

The SERVIR program is operated by the Earth Science Division’s Applied Sciences Program in NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Four other NASA field centers work with Marshall on the program: Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., Ames Research Center in Moffet Field, Calif., the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., and Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.

Alan Gray is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of NewsBlaze Daily News and other online newspapers. He prefers to edit, rather than write, but sometimes an issue rears it’s head and makes him start hammering away on the keyboard.

Content Expertise

Alan has been on the internet since it first started. He loves to use his expertise in content and digital marketing to help businesses grow, through managed content services. After living in the United States for 15 years, he is now in South Australia. To learn more about how Alan can help you with content marketing and managed content services, contact him by email.

Technical Expertise

Alan is also a techie. His father was a British soldier in the 4th Indian Division in WWII, with Sikhs and Gurkhas. He was a sergeant in signals and after that, he was a printer who typeset magazines and books on his linotype machine. Those skills were passed on to Alan and his brothers, who all worked for Telecom Australia, on more advanced signals (communications). After studying electronics, communications, and computing at college, and building and repairing all kinds of electronics, Alan switched to programming and team building and management.

He has a fascination with shooting video footage and video editing, so watch out if he points his Canon 7d in your direction.

Exit mobile version