HEROES, Himalayan Environmental Rhythm Observation and Evaluation System, is a schools and communities based initiatives to monitor the climate changes and its impact on Himalayan mountain ecosystem.
The Himalayas are one of the most magnificent mountain ranges on the planet. The forests and the watersheds in these mountains support an estimated tenth of the world’s population. As such, in addition to being a storehouse of unique biological diversity and storing a major chunk of the world’s water in the form of ice after the poles, the Himalayas also regulate regional climate and provide crucial eco-system services.
With rapid global warming, mountain ecosystems are increasingly under stress and undergoing profound and unpredictable changes. The Himalayas are no exception. Understanding the drivers and manifestations of such changes will be crucial in helping communities to successfully adapt to climate change in the Himalayas and other mountain regions of the world.
Currently, in the Himalayas, apart from scattered and low resolution meteorological data, there are no systematic systems in place to understand the nature and extent of environmental changes.
As monitoring system, HEROES not only generates a yearly climate and phenology data, but also promotes better understanding and appreciation of climate change and its impact on biodiversity in Bhutan. In addition, it also foster a mechanism to share information among researchers, educator, resource manager and citizens on climate change and its impact.
In total, 21 schools located across the country and representing different ecological zones, are currently involved in HEROES.
Students involved in the project every year
Environment teachers trained on phenology monitoring protocol
People sent for ex-country short term training from the project fund
Focal teachers and schools involved in the project
Level of ES curriculum incorporates phenology
Phenology records submitted till date
Plants observed by students every year
Weather stations log weather data every 10 minutes
Months of phenology observation carried out every year
Reports published using HEROES data