Panel discussion with International and Regional Experts on Climate Change and its Relevance to Us

05 Dec 2008


A discussion with renowned specialists on the “The Role of the Hindu Kush-Himalayan (HKH) Mountain System in the Context of a Changing Climate” organised by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) started today in Kathmandu, Nepal.

The Himalayan region has a unique ecosystem which plays a critical role in maintaining weather patterns and providing water and other services that are the basis for livelihoods in a large part of Asia. Climate change poses new challenges for all of us, and particularly for the mountain population of the Hindu Kush-Himalayan region. The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) is celebrating its 25th Anniversary and has organised this panel discussion to mark this special occasion in order to help enhance understanding of the effects of climate change in the Himalayas and the implications for the region and the global community.

Seven panellists will discuss, with participants, the key issues and challenges faced by the region such as climate change, deterioration of environmental quality, loss of biodiversity, and shortage of water, and the socioeconomic and environmental consequences for livelihoods, poverty, and food security in the region. The possible role of ICIMOD in enhancing adaptation and building the resilience of mountain communities in the HKH region will also be discussed. The panel discussion is expected to raise awareness and enhance our understanding of the critical issues and challenges in addressing the adverse impact of climate change, and possible actions needed to adapt to and mitigate such challenges. It will also help in shaping ICIMOD’s future agenda. ICIMOD will share the outcomes and conclusions of the session later.
The distinguished panellists are

Dr. Pema Gyamtsho, Minister for Agriculture, Royal Government of Bhutan;
Prof. Sun Honglie, former Vice-President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences;
Prof A. N. Purohit, former Vice-Chancellor of H.N.B. Garhwal University, India;
Mr. Dipak Gyawali, former Minister for Water Resources, Government of Nepal;
Dr. Amir Muhammed, former Federal Minister of Agricultural Research, Government of Pakistan;
Dr. Christoph Beier, Director Asia and Latin America, GTZ; and
Prof Bruno Messerli, former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the International Foundation of Science.

The discussion will be chaired by Dr. Pitamber Sharma, Vice Chairman, National Planning Commission, Government of Nepal, and facilitated by Mr. Surendra Shrestha, Director, Strategic Resource Mobilization/Special Initiatives, United Nations Environment Programme. 

The selected audience will comprise some 200 people including government representatives, members of the diplomatic corps, international development agencies, and members of the ICIMOD Support Group and ICIMOD Board of Governors from its eight regional member countries of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan.

On this occasion, a special ICIMOD 25th Anniversary commemorative publication, ‘ICIMOD and the Himalayan Region: Responding to Emerging Challenges’ will be launched, and a commemorative souvenir cover postmarked.

For further information contact:               
Dr. Golam Rasul
Sustainable Livelihoods and Poverty Reduction
Khumaltar, Lalitpur
GPO Box 3226
Kathmandu, Nepal
Tel: +977-1-5003222
Fax: +977 1 5003299