Resources Himalaya Foundation and Environmental Graduates in Himalaya in collaboration with Mid-West University successively organized a seminar to celebrate and mark International Mountain Day on December 11, 2022.The seminar was chaired by Dr. Dinesh Raj Bhuju, Chairperson, Resources Himalaya Foundation and the opening remarks were given by Professor Dr. Nanda B. Singh, Vice Chancellor, Mid-West University.Professor Dr. Netra Chhetri of Arizona State University presented on the topic “Clumsy Solutions to Wicked Problem of Climate Adaptation in Himalayas”. The presentation was followed by country perspective remarks from Ms. Jamyang Pelmo (Bhutan), Dr. Shahid Ahmad Dar (India), Dr. Vineeta Thapa (Nepal), and Dr. Hussain Bakhsh Magsi (Pakistan). The seminar was moderated by Dr. Gauri Shankar Bhandari (Resources Himalaya Foundation).
With general introduction about mountains, the seminar started with Dr. Bhuju highlighting the importance of mountains and celebrating International Mountain Day.Similarly, Dr. Nanda B. Singh, during his opening remarks, stated that indigenous people have huge role in safeguarding the mountains, their diversity and the culture. Similarly, he emphasized on the role of women in mountain conservation. The seminar moved towards the presentation of Professor Dr. Netra Chhetri where he stated that we claim, talk about and glorify the mountains and people of the mountains, yet we fail to actually leave the knowledge space around mountains. Also adapting to climate change is very complex which makes it a wicked problem.The classic farming system in the Himalayas interacts with crop system and communal property simultaneously. Further, the global phenomena like globalization, changing technologies, migration, and changing climate, is threatening the co-existence of this system. Thinking about the adaptation to this particular setting also requires imagining solutions which is not in the bound of households. Similarly, there is no contiguous supply of land to the households which makes it difficult for the farmers to make their living. This needs a different kind of solution to make them productive.He further demonstrated that the way twin goal of adaptation and resilience can be achieved is through the blend of local and expert driven knowledge. During the country perspective remarks, Jamyang Pelmo from Bhutan mentioned that Bhutan is a carbon negative country with 60% to 70% of country’s area covered by forest but still it has to bear the consequences of climate change.She also discussed climate-smart agriculture and other strategies being adopted to mitigate the impacts of climate change. Dr. Shahid Ahmad Dar from India presented the geographical and climatic features of Kashmir Himalayas and measurement of Black Carbon in glaciers and water quality of Kashmiri lakes. Further, Dr. Vineeta Thapa from Nepal highlighted the impacts of climate change in mountain glaciers and mountain economy. Finally, Dr. Hussain Bakhsh Magsi from Pakistan highlighted the impacts of climate change on socio-economic condition and vulnerabilities of Pakistan Himalayas and discussed the adaptation measures adopted by the government. After the remarks, the seminar moved towards discussion session where the participants indulged in active discussion with the guest speaker. Finally, the seminar ended with the concluding remarks by Dr Dinesh Raj Bhuju.