Resources Himalaya Foundation (RHF), in collaboration with Central Department of Environmental Science (CDES-TU) and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) organized “EbA Kathmandu Conference – III” on September 28, 2022. The aim of this conference was to provide the platform to share EbA knowledge and experience gained from the EbA pilot projects and other activities and also discuss the practical implication of EbA in mitigating the effects of climate change and promoting environmental conservation. The four themes of the conference were Mountain and forest ecosystems, agricultural ecosystem, river and wetland ecosystem, and urban ecosystem.
The conference consisted of four sessions: Opening Ceremony, Two Technical Sessions and Valedictory Session. The opening session was chaired by the Chair of RHF, Dr. Dinesh Raj Bhuju who focused on the importance of EbA in the current situation of ‘climate emergency’ in his welcome note. The chief guest of the session Prof. Dr. Shilu Manandhar- Bajracharya, VC of Nepal Open University gave the opening address by highlighting the importance of living a meaningful, mindful and responsible life to conserve the earth’s resources for a sustainable life. A featured talk was given by Prof. Emeritus Dr. Ram Prasad Chaudhary who pointed out a list of role of scientists, national policy makers, and community in order to mainstream EbA in scientific, political and local community. Further, remarks were given by Dr. Narendra Man Babu Pradhan (Program Coordinator, IUCN) who focused on the EbA activities carried out by IUCN; Prof. Dr. Chhatra Mani Sharma (Head of Department, CDES-TU) who talked about the need for an evidence-based data; and Dr. Buddhi Sagar Poudel (Chief of Climate Change Division, GON-MOFE) who mentioned about the integration of EbA in policy and also talked about the urgent need of Nepal to focus on adaptation.
The first technical sessions was chaired by Prof. Dr. Kedar Rijal (Professor, CDES-TU) and moderated by Dr. Nani Sujakhu (Yunnan University). The second technical session was chaired by Dr. Khem Poudyal (Professor of Physics, IOE, Pulchowk Campus, TU) and moderated by Dr. Ramdevi Tachamo Shah (Asst. Professor, KU). Each of the technical sessions consisted of seven presentations by researchers from various organizations as well as students from various institutions. The presentations showcased findings of research in biodiversity, livelihood, disaster, and climate change revolving around the idea of EbA.
A panel discussion was carried out on the topic “EbA Knowledge in Policy Formulation” in the presence of representatives from various organizations working on EbA and climate change. The group of panelists consisted of Mr. Gauri Shankhar Timala (Former DG, Department of Forestry, MoFE), Dr. Bimala Devkota (Senior Scientist, NCCKMC, NAST), Mr. Yalamber Rai (UNDP), and Mr. Dil Bahadur Bhattarai (Machhapuchhre Development Organization). This interactive panel discussion was facilitated by Dr. Meena Bohara from NOU. The panel discussion was mainly focused around the initiation of EbA in Nepal, the challenges faced during the process, the success stories, current projects, future prospects as well as the incorporation of EbA at policy level.
Lastly, valedictory remark was given by Dr. Usha Jha (Former Member, National Planning Commission) who applauded the platform of EbA Conference and highlighted the importance an integrated approach to promote ecosystem resiliency as well as ensuring clear visualization of the functionality of EbA to the local communities. The conference ended with vote of thanks from Ms. Anu Adhikari (IUCN).
The proceeding of the conference will be published soon.