HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: An operational remote sensing forest fire detection and monitoring system for Nepal was officially launched at a programme today in Kathmandu. The system which is also equipped with an automated alert system sending email and SMS notifications to subscribers including District Forest Officers and focal persons of the Federation of Community Forestry Users in all 75 districts.
The system, which is first of its type of system in the region, is installed on the rooftop of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development in Kathmandu.
The receiving stations get the information from the satellites of NASA twice a day and the information will be subsequently relayed to concerned officials.
The system is believed to be crucial for timely response to disastrous fire, which can help protect natural resources, including forest and wildlife as well as the prone closest human settlements.
The system, which was piloted in Nepal over the last year, uses active fire data generated by ICIMOD’s MODIS receiving station for near real-time detection of forest fires.
The system was inaugurated during a regional policy workshop which included discussions for identifying the gaps in technology, capacity and policy in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region.
According to a press release by ICIMOD, it is planning to implement similar systems in other countries of the Hindu Kush Himalayan region.