Resources Himalaya Foundation and Environmental Graduates in Himalaya organized a webinar on December 10, 2021 to mark International Mountain Day 2021. International Mountain Day is celebrated every year on December 11 to emphasize the importance of mountains to the ecosystem, environment and human livelihood and to highlight the opportunities and constraints in mountain development, and to build alliances that will bring positive change to mountain peoples and environments around the world.
The topic of the webinar was “Mountain Potentials and Future”. Nepali scientists and researchers from around the world were invited to talk about different aspects of mountain. Dr. Rajiv Ghimire (Research Associate, Arizona State University, USA), Dr. Prajal Pradhan (Senior Scientist, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany), Dr. Nawal Shrestha (Researcher, Lanzhou University, China), Dr. Sojen Pradhan (Lecturer, University of Technology Sydney, Australia) and Dr. Dibas Shrestha (Assistant Professor, Tribhuvan University, Nepal) were the key presenters. The program was moderated by Dr. Dinesh Raj Bhuju (General Secretary, Resources Himalaya Foundation) and summary remarks were given by Dr. Siddhartha Bajra Bajracharya (Academician, NAST).
Dr. Rajiv Ghimire presented on the topic “Adapting to climate change in the mountains through knowledge co-production”. He emphasized on the existing problems on mountains and the need to integrate local knowledge with scientific knowledge for better adaptation to climate change. Dr. Prajal Pradhan presented on the topic “Solar and wind energy potential in the mountains”. He explored the potential of solar energy in the northern and trans-Himalaya region and highlighted that the existing and upcoming hydropower projects should be synchronized with the solar and wind energy in order to address likely increase in energy demand in Nepal. Dr. Nawal Shrestha presented on “Mountains as museums and cradles of species diversity: Evolutionary and conservation insights” and gave an overview of the high biodiversity of mountain regions. He mentioned that even though mountains cover only one-fourth of the land area, it has more than 85% biodiversity due to its high niche diversity. He gave the examples of the evolution of rhododendron in space and time. Dr. Sojen Pradhan presented on the topic “Nexus between mountain tourism and entrepreneurship: A pathway to community development in Nepal”. By sharing his experiences, he discussed the hidden problems of community based tourism in the mountains and provided different approaches to promote mountain tourism through the engagement of local resources. Finally, Dr. Dibas Shrestha presented on the topic “Vanishing Himalayan glaciers: current understanding based on observations over Nepal Himalayas”. He emphasized on the retreating of glaciers over the years by providing background from observations of 15 years in three glaciers of Nepal. He underlined the existing need of huge resources and combined approach of in-situ observations, remote sensing and modelling to study the status of glaciers in Nepal. The program was concluded by Dr. Siddhartha Bajra Bajracharya by providing brief summary and remarks.
Link of the webinar: