Resources Himalaya Foundation (RHF) celebrated our 35th anniversary of its engagement in nature conservation on July 21, 2021. The program was organized virtually with the representatives from various organization including, Department of National Parks and Widlife Conservation, WWF-Nepal, IUCN-Nepal, academic institutions, partner institutions and also scholars who have been involved with Resources Himalaya Foundation (RHF) in research and mentoring program over the past 35 years. Dr. Dinesh Neupane, Executive Director of RHF introduced the program highlighting foundation’s objectives and the major activities that RHF has carried out in the past 35 years. Dr. Neupane also welcomed the participants, guests and speakers of the program. Prof. Dr. Ram Bahadur Chhetri, Chairperson of RHF chaired the formal program.
The formal program was scheduled in two sessions. In the first session, Speakers particularly talked about how RHF has pioneered in carrying out studies and research on different aspects of the country’s natural resources including the cross cutting issues like climate change, biodiversity conservation and creating next generation conservationists. Importantly, Mr. Prasanna Yonzan (CEO of Wildlife Conservation Nepal) provided the backdrop on how RHF was established. Dr. Mahendra Shrestha (Wildlife Conservation Biologist, USA) talked about biodiversity study in Nepal which was one of the pioneer studies by RHF. Mr. Chandra Chaudhari (Associate Professor, Tribhuvan University) highlighted the field study, particularly about the involvement of RHF in Count Rhino ’94. Mr. Rupendra Karmacharya (Bird Education Society, Chitwan) gave an overview on how RHF supported bird watching that led to the beginning of grassroots scientists. Mr. Buddhi Dangol (Faculty, Patan Multiple Campus) talked about one of the major achievements of RHF, which is creating a nationwide database of Churia. Ms. Kanchan Ojha (Ph.D. Student, Oregon State University, USA) shared her experience being an EGH coordinator and a mentee of RHF and highlighted on how RHF mentored many students to grow into esteemed researchers. Dr. Narayan Gaire (Associate Professor, TU) outlined the involvement of RHF in tracking tree lines in Nepal Himalaya. Dr. Kamal Adhikari (Research Director, RHF) gave light to the relatively recent effort of RHF to study the livelihood impacts of climate change.
The second session was dedicated to talk about the RHF’s current engagement and the plans to move forward. Dr. Ghana S Gurung (Country Representative, WWF Nepal) provided his remarks on collaboration for capacity building. Prof. Dr. Hridaya Ratna Bajracharya (Vice-Chancellor, Lumbini Buddhist University) provided his remarks on collaboration with academia. Dr. Sanjeev Rai (Director General, Department of Plant Resources) provided his remarks on the collaboration with new frontiers. Dr. Dinesh Raj Bhuju (Secretary, RHF) described RHF’s activities during the time of COVID pandemic and Prof. Dr. Pitamber Sharma (Board Member, RHF) gave his remarks and wishes RHF to be a think-tank of Nature Conservation in future.
At the end, Chair of the program, Prof. Dr. Ram Chhetri closed the program by highlighting RHF’s achievement and reinforcing the collaboration with different institutions for more successful years ahead.