Side event at the 6th IUCN Asia Regional Conservation Forum

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Nepal Earthquake

Supporting Nature-based Response and Recovery to Strengthen Long-term Resilience

The Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region is ecologically fragile and highly vulnerable to natural disasters. Nepal is one among the eight countries that lie in the HKH region. The region is also one of the most seismically active regions in the world. A powerful 7.8 -magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal on 25 April 2015 caused widespread casualties and devastation. More than 8,600 people have been killed and over 780,000 houses have been completely damaged.

In addition to the immediate impacts on people’s lives and damage to infrastructure and homes, the earthquake caused large-scale damages to forests, ecosystem services, and forest based incomes. Systematic analysis of satellite images has estimated forest loss of 2.2% in six of the earthquake-affected districts. Seven of the nation’s 20 protected areas have been affected, including a World Heritage Site (Sagarmatha National Park) and Ramsar sites (Gosaikunda and Gokyo) that are globally significant in terms of the mountain ecosystem and its rich biodiversity. The destruction caused by the earthquake has the potential to reverse the gains that have been made in poverty reduction, tourism, and the conservation of Nepal’s precious biodiversity and cultural heritage. In a country where rural communities are highly dependent on ecosystems for various goods and services, the country now faces an enormous challenge in counteracting this setback.

In this context, this side event will highlight information on the post-disaster response, satellite imagery services, and the assessment of potential geohazards caused by the recent Nepal earthquake, as well as the lessons learned.

Event objectives

  • Discuss pressing environmental issues caused by the recent Nepal earthquake, share experiences and lessons learned, and explore ways of reshaping conservation efforts to address the challenges of post-earthquake recovery and rehabilitation.
  • Showcase major regional and national level conservation activities as well as post-earthquake relief and recovery activities of IUCN member organizations and disseminate their research and findings. 
  • Discuss the potential of a joint programme of action to enhance the resilience of people and nature in the region.


Draft programme outline

Time Topic Speaker
12:50 - 13:05 Documentary – Kids’ perspective on conservation and the earthquake Sahaj Man Shrestha, Nepal Forum of Environmental Journalists(NEFEJ)

Moderator :

  • Dr Arzu Deuba, IUCN Regional Councilor, South and East Asia
13:05 - 13:10 Setting the scene – The present context Mr Yogendra Chitrakar, NNC-IUCN Chair
13:10 - 13:25 Nepal earthquake 2015: Information debris, Making sense of it all Mr Basanta Shrestha, ICIMOD
13:25 - 13:35 Ecosystem-based approach in disaster management – Concept and practices during the post-disaster response in Nepal Dr Nakul Chettri, ICIMOD
13:35 - 13:55 Discussion on future strategy Moderation by Dr Arzu Deuba
13:55 - 14:00 A token of appreciation to IUCN International Director General for earthquake relief and recovery actions NNC IUCN

Organizers

  • Nepal National Committee of IUCN members (NNC-IUCN)
  • International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)