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Cross-cutting workgroup on open geospatial and community-led mapping for sustainable and resilient HKH

published date
16 November 2023 to 18 November 2023
Kritika Sharma
About the event

Himalayan University Consortium(HUC) fellows will be showcasing their mountain-focused work at the Open Geospatial Conference and State of the Map Asia 2023, in Bangkok. The theme for this year’s conference is urban resilience. The meeting will also gather HUC-supported mappers, researchers, and practitioners in the fields of open geospatial and community-led mapping from Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) countries.


  • Showcase mountain-focused, HKH-specific work of HUC-supported mappers as part of the HOTOSM community
  • Discuss the possibility of establishing a cross-cutting workgroup on open geospatial technologies and community-led mapping for sustainable and resilient Hindu Kush Himalaya
  • The expected outcome is a concrete action plan for the cross-cutting workgroup for the year 2024.



Open geospatial tools and technologies are free and accessible to the public. Community-led mapping is a method of participatory approach that engages stakeholders in generating geospatial data based on their needs for socio-economic development and resilience building in the face of climate change and other uncertainties. The use of open geospatial tools and technologies through community-led participatory mapping approach is highly effective for first response and relief operation in extremely challenging circumstances of disruptions in critical infrastructure during cascading and compound disasters. They are also an effective communication tool in resilience and community building, especially for mapping tangible and intangible heritage that matters to local communities.

Members and partners of HUC have been active in promoting the development, application, and refinement of open geospatial tools and technologies for research and practice in the HKH. Since 2021, HUC has collaborated closely with the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team Asia Pacific (HOTOSM) to train young female community members in Bangladesh, Bhutan, and northeast India as part of She Leads and She Inspires programme. In March 2023, HUC collaborated with the University of Innsbruck and University of Bremen in hosting a Training on Glacier Modelling: Practical applications with the Open Global Glacier Model (OGGM). These capacity-building activities generated a cohort of young professionals, many of them women, making use of open geospatial tools in their local context and addressing local concerns. 



Wednesday, 15 November   

Time Programme



17:30 – 18:30 


18:30 – 20:00

Working dinner

  • Discussion on a road map toward the formation of a Cross-cutting Workgroup on Open Geospatial Technologies and Community-led Mapping for Sustainable and Resilient Hindu Kush Himalaya


Thursday, 16 November   

Time (NPT) Programme

8:00 onwards

Full day engagement at the Open Geospatial Conference and State of the Map Asia 2023

18:00 20:00

Reception dinner


Friday, 17 November   

Time (NPT) Programme

8:00 onwards

Open talks: Engaging the Open GeoCommunity and civic partners in Asia

HUC presenters will make three collective lightning talks during this session

  • Strengthening resilience through mapping emergency response routes and health care facilities – Chimi Dema (Bhutan) and Nusrat Jahan Nilima (Bangladesh),
  • From crisis to resilience: geospatial solutions for climate change and disaster resilience in the HKH region – Sameera Noori (Afghanistan) and Dilshad Bano (Pakistan)
  • We Can Show and We Can Tell: Narratives of mapping local and indigenous knowledge with community and youths in Lower Eastern Himalayas – Harshit Sosan Lakra (India)

17:00 onwards

Gala dinner





Nusrat Jahan Nilima


Nusrat Jahan Nilima is determined to be professional with a keen interest in climate change and disaster management. Currently studying Disaster Science & Climate Resilience, she has completed numerous field-level works, data analysis, and research initiatives across multiple disaster-prone regions. Adept at using geo-spatial tools, mapping, and cartography, Nilima has been involved in projects such as Open Street Map for emergent flash flood area mapping. She is also a member of She Leads & She Inspires, a platform that empowers women and marginalized communities. Dedicated to honing her skills and expertise in environmental resiliency, Nilima aspires to make a positive impact on the world. She has demonstrated a strong commitment to using her knowledge and experience to assist those in need and foster sustainable practices that help mitigate climate change and limit its effects on local populations. As a highly motivated and forward-thinking individual, Nilima is poised to make influential contributions to her field and shape its trajectory towards a brighter future.


Chimi Dema

Chimi Dema


Chimi Dema is a dedicated professional with a passion for education, language, and technology. She holds a Master of Arts in Teaching English as an International Language (TEIL) from Prince of Songkla University, Thailand, and has consistently shown her commitment to empowering students as an Associate Lecturer at Gyalpozhing College of Information Technology since its inception in 2017. Her educational background includes a Postgraduate Diploma in Higher Education and a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education, reflecting her expertise in pedagogy and educational technology. Chimi's research in language and communication, particularly her work on language-in-talk log assignments, has resulted in impactful publications and international conference presentations. Her skill extends to UX design, and she recently earned a Google UX Design Certificate, showcasing her dedication to expanding her skill set. Her impressive academic journey includes outstanding achievements, such as the 2021 Outstanding Dissertation and Thesis Award, and she is a recipient of His Majesty's Academic Excellence Certificate Award. Furthermore, Chimi's recent accomplishment in the She Leads She Inspires (SLSI) Program, where her team's project "Mapping of Hospitals and Basic Health Units (BHU) in Bhutan" secured support, demonstrates her commitment to making a positive impact in various fields, including education, technology, and humanitarian efforts.



Dilshad Bano

Dilshad Bano


Dilshad Bano, a seasoned professional from Pakistan, has accumulated an impressive 15 years of experience within the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), where she has been a vital contributor to disaster and emergency management. Her extensive expertise spans a wide array of areas, including geospatial information, hazard mapping, remote sensing, technology, innovation, modeling, and spatial data infrastructure. Currently serving as the Programme Manager of GIS, Data Management, and Habitat Planning at the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) Pakistan, Dilshad is based at the head office within the Emergency Management department. In this capacity, she shoulders the pivotal responsibility of constructing and maintaining geospatial decision support systems. Her role also entails providing critical insights through data analysis, which informs project and program development, ensuring the effective implementation of disaster and emergency management strategies. Dilshad Bano is not only a dedicated GIS professional but also a committed environmentalist, striving to bridge the gap between science, technology, and sustainable habitat planning.