ICIMOD and UCAS Symposium on Resilience in the HKH at International Congress of Ecology

Eklabya Sharma, Deputy Director General of ICIMOD and Yanfen Wang, Vice President of UCAS jointly convening the resilience symposium session at INTECOL 2017, Beijing

The 12th International Congress of Ecology (INTECOL), one of the most important international conferences for global ecologists, was held in Beijing, China from 21 to 25 August 2017. The University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS) and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) organized a symposium session titled Hindu Kush Himalaya Ecosystems: Resilience, Adaptation, and Services at the conference.

Eklabya Sharma, the Deputy Director General of ICIMOD, delivered a keynote speech at the conference. Sharma talked about the importance of building ecological and community resilience in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH). He discussed ICIMOD’s commitment to the concept of resilience, specifically in relation to working on resilient mountain solutions in achieving adaptation goals and transboundary landscape management cooperation. An ideal resilience approach covers climate resilience, socio-economic resilience, and future resilience. Sharma shared a few examples of ICIMOD’s experiences in responding to resilient outcomes and solutions for both ecosystem- and community-based adaptations.

Eklabya Sharma, Deputy Director General of ICIMOD, delivering the keynote speech in the symposium at INTECOL 2017, Beijing

Ten experts working in the Himalaya and the Tibetan Plateau gave presentations during the one-day session. The topics covered included grasslands, peatlands, treeline, permafrost, vegetation phenology, and nutritional balance in relation to livestock rearing. Over 100 participants, including graduate students, attended the experts’ presentations. 

Yanfen Wang, Vice President of the UCAS and Independent Board Member of ICIMOD was the convener of the symposium session. Sharma presided over the afternoon discussion session as chair of the event. “Promoting ecological research on mountains through more active transboundary cooperation will deepen our understanding of various ecosystems in the HKH and be greatly supportive to the implementation of UN SDGs in ICIMOD regional member countries,” he said. 

The five-day INTECOL 2017 congress organized 74 symposium sessions and three workshops featuring stimulating ecological research on a broad range of topics from around the world. Around 2,000 participants from over 70 countries attended the event. The congress provides an important platform for researchers and scientists to present the latest in global ecological research and serves as a forum for ecologists to network and collaborate.