Republica: President Dr Ram Baran Yadav on Sunday stressed the need for regional cooperation to address the issues of poverty and vulnerability in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region.
Inaugurating the International Conference on Addressing Poverty and Vulnerability in the HKH region, jointly organized by the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and the National Planning Commission (NPC) of Nepal in Kathmandu, President Dr Yadav said, “No country alone can solve the problems (of the mountain people). This needs regional cooperation and international support.”
Reaffirming the fact that the development and environmental issues related to the mountains are trans-boundary in nature, President Dr Yadav said, “I am confident that this conference will also discuss the issues related to regional cooperation among the countries in this (HKH) region.”
Praising the mountain people as hard-working, resilient and adaptive, President Dr Yadav also highlighted the threats that climate change has posed to their livelihood. “The pace at which the climate is reported to be changing makes it difficult (for the mountain people) to cope with it,” said he. “This, as I understand, also constrains the achievement of the MDGs (Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
President Dr Yadav expressed his hope that Nepal, through the NPC and other agencies, would provide leadership for other countries of the HKH region in formulating policies to achieve the MDGs post 2015, a deadline previously set by the UN countries to meet several development targets.
The four-day conference, attended by over 200 representatives from 19 countries, international organizations and the UN committees, will conclude on December 4. The conference also marks the completion of three decades by the ICIMOD, which was formed as an inter-governmental organization in 1983.
On the first day of the workshop, presenting his key note address on ´realizing the future we want: why should addressing poverty and vulnerability in the HKH region matter for global sustainable development´, Phrang Roy, President of North East Slow Food and Agro biodiversity Society (NESFAS) of India, pointed out the need for incorporating the role of biodiversity in rural biodiversity strategies into development planning process.
“Biodiversity in the Himalayan region is both highly diverse and of great importance to the livelihoods and local economies of rural communities,” said Roy. “But, the role of biodiversity in rural livelihood strategies is not always considered in the development planning process.”
Roy added, “In the face of climate change, rural communities need some assurance of the future functioning and sustainability of their traditional livelihoods and the eco-system services that they have managed for generations.”
The conference, supported by the German government through the GIZ, will see three high-level policy panel discussions: Realizing the future we all want: why is sustainable mountain development critical for national development agendas, translating science to policy and practice for reducing development disparities and identifying the development enablers for the Himalayas-lessons from across the region.
Started in year 2010, ‘Climate Himalaya’ initiative has been working on Mountains and Climate linked issues in the Himalayan region of South Asia. In the last five years this knowledge sharing portal has become one of the important references for the governments, research institutions, civil society groups and international agencies, those have work and interest in the Himalayas. The Climate Himalaya team innovates on knowledge sharing, capacity building and climatic adaptation aspects in its focus countries like Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan. Climate Himalaya’s thematic areas of work are mountain ecosystem, water, forest and livelihood. Read>>