ICIMOD, reaching out people to adapt to climate change: internationally climate change is now a biggest concern. Probably every corner of the nature is showing heavy impact due to the frequent changes year after year. The ecosystem of our hills is getting out of balance due to climate change. Therefore, with world class experts and experts from the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region, grand initiative ICIMOD has been taken to discuss about the new ways for sharing knowledge and increasing engagement about the adaptation to climate change as Dr David Molden the Director General of ICIMOD said, “The next few years will determine the future of global action on climate change and adaptation”. This increased strong partnerships to open the doors to further adaptation in the region at a four-day international conference. This is a Government initiative to teach people of the hilly region how to adapt themselves to the climate changes. The international conference on ‘Mountain People Adapting to Change: Solutions beyond Boundaries Bridging Science, Policy, and Practice’ was organized from 9 to 12 Nov jointly by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment (MoSTE), Nepal.
People’s livelihood depending on hills: For the livelihood of the locals, the importance of the Hindu Kush region is boundless. But, now there is huge threat to the balance of the ecosystem due to socioeconomic and climatic changes in the region. This is impacting the lives of people there. Jamie McGoldrick, UNDP-Nepal said, “Development could be undercut by issues related to climate change and adaptation. Keeping these issues in the global agenda is not only essential, it’s imperative”, Therefore, to minimize the negative impact solutions must be thought out in brief time period. Also discussion on this public forum was the push for positive involvement of rural mountain communities. This also brings out lot of traditional and scientific knowledge for effective adaptation strategies. In this respect commented Anil Sinha, Bihar SDMA, ‘We need to harness our own knowledge and transform this into action’.
ICIMOD Knowledge Park at Godavari: In the month of March 1993, ICIMOD Knowledge Park at Godavari was set up on the southern slopes of the Kathmandu Valley. The activities at the site are strongly related to ICIMOD’s initiative to promote the development of an environmentally and economically mountain ecosystem. Originally the site was named the ‘Godavari Trial and Demonstration Site’ and was intended for demonstration and testing of various methodologies related to sustainable farming practices and integrated mountain development on the sloping land of the mid-hills of the Hindu Kush-Himalayan region.
Young Change Makers:
Dr Eklabya Sharma, Director Programme Operations earlier said “Mountains are essentially green & Youth have a special role in retaining this!”
Satyarup Siddhanta who has been successfully scaling renowned peaks around the globe was one of the poster presenters under the “young change makers” category in this conference.
“My Poster talked about the empowerment of Mountain people with environmental strategies thereby creating the value chain and improving the livelihood of the people in the mountains. This way we can have a sustainable approach to adapt to the climate change. Additionally it will open up multi stakeholder dialogue which will be crucial to evidence based policies” Satyarup said.
Satyarup believes mountaineers should come forward and proactively take some responsibilities. They should do some researches in these mountains while they are in their expeditions. The real time information, notes, pictures and observations on the livelihood, adaptation and climatic changes will not only become a huge assets for the scientific community but will also add a new dimension to the mountaineering community. “I have been doing some study on the various mountains I have climbed in Africa, Europe, North America and South America from different angles. Each of these mountains is so different from others. I am doing a comparative study on these”. Scientists from G.B.Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment & Development offered to empower Satyarup Siddhanta seeing his enthusiasm. Satyarup will write his observations in their research journal soon. “The ICIMOD conference left me inspired, committed and motivated. I want to do my part to give back to the Mountains and the mountain people” said Satyarup.
Satyarup is climbing Mount Everest in 2015 and plans to do similar research while he is on the expedition. It is great to see people like Satyarup Siddhanta getting invited for conferences like ICIMOD and making a difference. This will be an inspiration to many mountaineers who want to contribute to the scientific community.