Many thanks to Information and Research Institute of Meterology, Hydrology and Environment at the National Agency for Meteorology and Environmental Monitoring (NAMEM) for hosting the SIBELIUs Workshop, which took place over two days on 25th and 26th, June 2019. And many thanks also to all the 45 participants who came and took part in the wide ranging discussions about how satellite earth observation data can be used to help improve the dzud resilience of the Mongolian herding community.
In addition to the staff from NAMEM, the main Mongolian institutions represented at the workshop were the Agency for Land Administration and Management, Geodesy and Cartography, Mercy Corps, the Center for Nomadic Pastoralism Studies, Mongolian Reinsurance JSC, The Mongolia Geospatial Association, The National Emergency Management Agency and the Inter-Aimag Otor Pasture Use Administration.
We are especially grateful to the local governors from the project’s test sites (Delgerkhaan soum in Khentii aimag, Khishegundur soum in Bulgan aimag and Airag soum in Dornogovi aimag) who attended the workshop. Their participation in the workshop was particularly valuable for making sure that the perspective of people from the countryside was kept in focus.
International participants included UN-FAO and the World Food Programme, who were able to present their new project based in Mongolia, which they have recently initiated.
The UK participants were from eOsphere Limited, Deimos Space, the University of Leicester, the UK Space agency and Caribou Digital. The British Embassy based in Ulaanbaatar was also represented.
The Workshop contained a mixture of presentations to update participants on the progress that has been made on the project, especially regarding the Mongolian Open Data Cube and new pasture, snow and drought products. A series of updates were also provided from key Mongolian institutions about the importance of their activities with respect to serving the herding community. However, the most important feature of the Workshop were the many discussions that took place throughout the two-days, plus dedicated feedback gathering sessions, where requirements were collected regarding which environmental products are needed for each institution and what additional training is required.
The SIBELIUs participants on Tuesday 25th June (left) and participants on Wednesday 26th June (right).
Odbayar Mishigdorj, Head of RS department, Information and Research Institute of Meteorology, Hydrology and Environment, speaking about the wide range of environmental products that are provided by NAMEM to serve the people of Mongolia and its economy.
Oyunbat Terbish, Chief Underwriting Officer at Mongolian National Reinsurance JSC, explaining how satellite earth observation data can help the Mongolian insurance sector.
Anneley Hadland from Deimos Space talking about the Mongolian Open Data Cube.
Zolzaya J. from the Inter-Aimag Otor Pasture Use Administration explaining how their work is aiming to make herding more sustainable given the pressures being put on pasture levels by livestock numbers and the changing climate.
Enkhtuya N. from Mercy Corps explaining the SMS system that has been set up and is now being run by NEMA, which provides a range of meteorological and other information, which is used by herding communities.
Munhzul G. from the Land Management Division of the Agency for Land Administration and Management, Geodesy and Cartography, explaining their work and the different data sources they administer which impacts on the herding community.
Filippo Contenta from eOsphere speaking about the importance of training for the long term sustainability of systems like the Open Data Cube and trying to capture different stakeholders requirements for training.
Batbuyan Batjav from the Centre for Nomadic Pastoralism Studies describing the results of the countryside fieldwork interviews and focus groups, which were aimed at understanding the current dzud resilience levels of herding households, whether this has changed recently and if so, why.
Jack Lidgley from eOsphere discussing new pasture products being produced as a part of the SIBELIUs project.
Caroline Upton from Leicester University providing some further analysis of the results of the interviews and focus groups with the herding community.
David Taverner from Caribou Digital explaining how monitoring and evaluation can provide an important source of information to feedback to governmental organisations, to demonstrate quantitatively the value of the work done.
Workshop participants taking part in discussions and providing feedback to the workshop.
We are very grateful that Nicolas Bidault and Darko Petrovic from the World Food Programme were able to attend the Workshop, to discuss how their work can integrate within the Mongolian context, including the SIBELIUs project.In this photograph WFP’s Nicolas Bidault is talking with Anneley Hadland from Deimos Space.
It was very useful to have Connor McSharry from the UK Space Agency at the Workshop. Connor gave a presentation explaining the International Partnership Programme, which is the wider context that provides support to the SIBELIUs project. Here Connor is talking with Batbuyan Batjav and Caroline Upton.
Elbegjargal Nasanbat from NAMEM played a major role in organising the Workshop and gave a presentation on the satellite remote sensing work being conducted within the IRIMHE group. Here Elbeg is talking with Caroline Upton.
A big thank you to our translator Tserenchimed from Double Check LLC, who did a fantastic job simultaneously translating between Mongolian and English and vica versa. Here talking with Anneley Hadland from Deimos. Connor McSharry from the UK Space Agency is talking with Caroline Upton from the University of Leicester in the background.
Last but not least, many thanks to the students at IRIMHE/NAMEM who helped throughout the workshop with the registration desk and many other tasks, including taking all of the photographs in this blog!