Satellite products support Afghanistan early warning system

Flash floods in Afghanistan in 2016.

According to the International Disaster Database, floods and other hydrological hazards have claimed 15,000 lives and cost an estimated USD 396 million in Afghanistan between 1980 and 2015. Earlier this year, flash floods following heavy rains killed at least 60 people in the country's eastern province of Badakhshan.


Publishing Date: 

Fri, 25/08/2017 - 10:13

United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA)

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) is a political mission established by the Security Council in 2002 at the request of the Government to assist it and the people of Afghanistan in laying the foundations for sustainable peace and development in the country.


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International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)

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At a glance: 

ICIMOD has been inducted as the 14th Regional Support Office (RSO) for UN-SPIDER. A Memorandum of Understanding to this effect was signed with the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) on the sidelines of the 4th RSO Meeting in Vienna, Austria on 11 and 12 February 2013. The UN-SPIDER RSO will be housed in ICIMOD’s Geospatial Solutions Theme (formerly MENRIS), which promotes the use of spaced-based information and GIS for sustainable development to improve the lives and livelihoods of mountain women and men in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region.

Available expertise: 

ICIMOD employs nearly 170 staff. Within the main thematic disciplines – Livelihoods, Geospatial Solutions, Ecosystem Services, and Water and Air – are housed specialists with range of mountain-relevant expertise including economists, sociologists, anthropologists, statisticians, high value product specialists, gender specialists, governance specialists, climate change specialists, disaster risk reduction specialists, hydrologists, glaciologists, water resources specialists, watershed management specialists, atmospheric scientists, rangeland specialists, ecologists, biodiversity specialists, natural resource management specialists, forestry specialists, GIS and RS specialists, highly specialized software developers, knowledge management and communication specialists, and monitoring and evaluation specialists.

Available databases and space-based information: 

The Geospatial Solutions Theme is a repository for geospatial databases relevant to a wide range of applications including disasters and served through the GeoNetwork. The database includes satellite images, maps, and feature datasets – a total of 4,852 to date.

About the host institution: 

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 Himalayan (HKH) region – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan. Mountains are important global ecosystems facing especially rapid socioeconomic and environmental changes, particularly the impacts of climate change. Our aim is to influence policy and practices to meet the associated challenges emerging in the HKH region. To do this we bring together top researchers from the region and around the globe to generate and disseminate state-of-the-art knowledge in the physical and social sciences, including traditional knowledge, for evidence-based decision making; and we provide a neutral meeting point for transboundary research, knowledge sharing, and collaboration. Working to deliver impacts in five Regional Programmes across four Thematic Areas – Water and Air; Ecosystem Management; Livelihoods; and Geospatial Solutions – and supported by integrated knowledge management, we seek to improve the lives and livelihoods of mountain women and men, now and for the future.

<p>Mr Birendra Bajracharya<br /> GIS Specialist<br /> Mountain Environment Natural Resources’ Information Systems (MENRIS) division<br />International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) <br /> Email: <br /> Phone: +977-1-5003222 Ext 119 <br /> Fax +977-1-5003277</p> <p>International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development <br /> GPO Box 3226, Kathmandu, Nepal<br /> Tel +977-1-5003222 <br /> Fax +977-1-5003277 <br /> Web: <a href="" target="_blank"></a>

Afghanistan - Expert Mission

Afghanistan is a country exposed to earthquakes, floods, droughts, mass movements and other hazards. Recent droughts in the years 2000, 2006, and 2011 have impacted millions of Afghans. Earthquakes have also caused fatalities, injuries and losses of various kinds. On 22 June 2009, UN-SPIDER was invited to a briefing among United Nations agencies in Kabul to discuss how best to make use of spatial data/mapping tools to support disaster risk reduction and emergency response activities in Afghanistan.


Mon, 22/06/2009

Host Institution: 

United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA)


Mission Expert: 

Shirish Ravan, UN-SPIDER

Mission Profile: 

The mission was conducted via an inter-agency meeting with representatives of United Nations agencies in Afghanistan that contribute to disaster risk management and emergency response efforts in this country.

Mission Outcome: 

The mission allowed UN agencies working under the umbrella of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) to become aware of UN-SPIDER, its mission, and the type of technical advisory support that it can provide to countries such as Afghanistan. The important role of remote sensing in humanitarian response and planning was underlined through examples provided by OCHA concerning recent floods that impacted this country, including the most recent one in May 2009, where UN-SPIDER was requested to provide technical support. UN-SPIDER pledged additional technical expertise to support both the Government and the United Nations Country Team in Afghanistan to ensure this forum is closely linked to available resources; and encouraged the Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority to establish a working group as a way to promote the sharing of information as a way to improve efforts targeting disaster risk reduction and emergency response.

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