Multi scale Disaster Risk Reduction Systems Space and Community based Experiences over HKH Region
An increasing trend in the recurrence of natural disasters and associated impacts due to Floods, Glacier Lake out bursts, landslides and forest fire is reported over Hindu Kush Himalyan (HKH) region. Climate change and anthropogenic coupled factors are identified as primary factors for such increased vulnerability. The large degree of poverty, lack of infrastructure, poor accessibility and uncertainties involved in understanding high altitude land surface and climate dynamics poses serious challenges in reducing disaster vulnerability and mitigating disaster impacts. In this context effective development of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) protocols and mechanisms have been realized as an urgent need. The paper presents the adoption and experiences of multi scale DRR systems across different Himalayan member countries ranging from community based indigenous early warning to space based emergency response and decision support systems.
The Establishment of a Regional Flood Information System (HKH-HYCOS) over Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna (GBM) and Indus river basins promoted the timely exchange of flood data and information for the reduction of flood vulnerability within and among the participating countries. Satellite based forest fire alert systems evoked significant response among diverse stakeholders to optimize fire incidence and control. Satellite rainfall estimation products, satellite altimetry based flood early warning systems, flood inundation modelling and products, model derived hydrology flow products from different global data-sharing networks constitutes diverse information to support multi scale DRR systems. Community-based Flood Early Warning System (FEWS) enabled by wireless technology established over the Singara and Jiadhal rivers in Assam also stands as one of the promising examples of minimizing flood risk. Disaster database and information system and decision support tools in Nepal serves as potential tool to support diverse stakeholders.