agri-HIMAL



GIScience Assessing Feasibility
of
Agricultural Diversification in the Himalayas

(
co-funded by Eurasia-Pacific Uninet, Austria, 2016-17)
INTRODUCTION

The total population of the Himalayas is about 55 million out of which more than 75 per cent live in rural areas and largely depend on subsistence cultivation of crops mixed with animal husbandry. The socio-economic wellbeing and sustainable development of the Himalayan societies largely depends on the nature of their economic activities which are significantly influenced by the prevailing physiographic and climatic conditions. Most of the agricultural terraces have been carved on the mountain slopes where crops largely depend on favourable weather conditions. Some terraces are situated in the lower parts of the narrow valleys where irrigation is possible due to the availability of streams. Both types of terraces are vulnerable to climatic changes i.e. dry-hot weather reduces the agricultural production on the mountain terraces and heavy run-off damages the valley terraces due to glacial melt and floods in the streams. Recent researches on the regional climatic conditions have established that these are not simply the reflections of annual or periodic variations but the overall climate is changing and this is manifesting in various forms like increased incidences of high and low temperatures, draughts, flash floods, glacial melts etc. The effects of such extreme climatic events on the rural subsistent agricultural economies are already being recorded in the Himalayas as well as around the world. Hence there is a need to assess the feasibilities of agricultural diversification and Geoinformatics can contribute to such analysis to a large extent.

OBJECTIVE
  • Develop institutional capacity to use GIScience for Assessing the Feasibility of Agricultural Diversification in the Himalayas by enhancing conceptual understanding and improving technical skills.
ACTIVITIES
  • Organise a short intensive Faculty-Development Workshop in Nepal.
  • Disseminate the results through a participant level Seminar in Nepal.

The reason for organising a short intensive multi-partner GIScience Faculty Development Workshop and Dissemination Seminar is to share the ’know-how’ regarding the methods of identifying crucial indicators of environmental and socio-economic changes in mountain environments, and to generate higher multiplier effect within a short period (1 week) and initiate a network for future cooperation.

PARTNERS

 Organiser Institutions
AUSTRIA:
 - Austrian Academy of Sciences - GIScience, Vienna / Salzburg
 - Interfaculty Department of Geoinformatics - Z_GIS, University of Salzburg, Salzburg
 - Eurasia-Pacific Uninet, Vienna

NEPAL:
 - Central Department of Education, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu

Participant Institutions

AUSTRIA:
 
- Austrian Academy of Sciences - GIScience, Vienna / Salzburg
 - Interfaculty Department of Geoinformatics - Z_GIS, University of Salzburg, Salzburg

 
BHUTAN:
 -
College of Natural Resources (CNR), Lobesa
 
- College of Science and Technology (CST), Rinchending
 - Jigme Namgyel Engineering College (JNEC), Dewathang
 - Samtse College of Education (SCE), Samtse

 - Sherubtse College (SC), Kanglung
 
NEPAL:
 - Institute of Forestry, Pokhara

 - International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Khumaltar
 - Kathmandu University, Dhulikhel
 - Prithvi Narayan Campus, Pokhara
 - Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu

OUTCOMES (see the blog here)
  • A workshop was organised at  - Central Department of Education, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu
    from 27th to 31st August, 2017.
  • about 20 teachers, students and professional from Nepal, Bhutan and Austria will participate in the workshop.
  • All the participants will complete individual practical projects and present in the dissemination seminar.
Contact: Dr. Shahnawaz, Interfaculty Department of Geoinformatics - Z_GIS, University of Salzburg, Austria.