The SERVIR-Himalaya system has been launched on 5th October 2010, by Mr. Charles F. Bolden Jr., NASA Administrator, and Mr. Michael Yates, Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator of USAID in Kathmandu. The launch had been held on the occasion of the international symposium, 'Benefiting from Earth Observation: Bridging the Data Gap for Adaptation to Climate Change in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan Region', which started on 4th October. SERVIR is an earth observation, monitoring, and visualisation system that integrates satellite and other geospatial data as a contribution to improved scientific knowledge to support decision-making by managers, researchers, students, and the general public. Initiated by NASA and USAID, SERVIR has been recognised by the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), as an early achiever of the GEO vision.
In the following months SERVIR-Himalaya will gradually be adapted to the specific needs and priorities of the Hindu-Kush Himalayan region. In close interaction with governments and stakeholders from the region’s countries, SERVIR will fine tune its applications and customise them in order to provide decision support in priority areas such as cryosphere monitoring, disaster, land cover and transboundary air quality. In line with the SERVIR activities, ICIMOD took up rapid response mapping of the recent floods in Pakistan, which provided local teams in disaster management with daily updates of inundated areas. Such information helps in decisions for relief work and rehabilitation. These kinds of applications will be combined and systematically organised through the SERVIR-Himalaya system. In addition to being an outreach platform, SERVIR-Himalaya will also create a network of users through training and capacity building.