ICIMOD at the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD) 2018

Building Resilient Societies in the Face of Climate Change and Disasters: Participation and Partnerships from the Mountains and Beyond


The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) will participate in the Fifth Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD). The event will take place from 28–30 March 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand at the United Nations Conference Centre (UNCC). At this global gathering, ICIMOD will co-host a side event to draw attention to a range of mountain-specific climate change-related issues and their impacts on the ecosystems of the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH). 

ICIMOD will have an exhibit booth that will display scientific information on climate change impacts, vulnerability and policy measures, and adaptation actions with a special focus on mountains. ICIMOD will also be screening selective documentaries during the event.


Building Resilient Societies in the Face of Climate Change and Disasters: Experience with Participation and Partnerships from the Mountains and Beyond

Venue: UNCC, Meeting Room G

Date: 29 March 2018

Time: 13:00–14:00

Organizers: Embassy of Sweden in Thailand; and International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)

The HKH serves a quarter of humanity with numerous ecosystem services, including water, biodiversity, and energy. The region – with its fragile mountain landscape, vulnerability to climate and numerous societal changes, unique geology, steep terrain, intense seasonal precipitation, and high seismicity – is highly vulnerable to floods and flash floods. Against the backdrop of ongoing climatic change and its impacts, it is crucial to enhance the resilience of communities and institutions (formal and informal) to face future climate impacts that could be beyond their experienced coping range. Research on climate change vulnerability shows that the poor and the most vulnerable inevitably suffer most from the impacts of changing environmental conditions. These impacts affect people as well as ecosystem services. Important ecosystem services are undermined, compounding impacts for the poor and vulnerable who depend most on natural resources, creating a vicious cycle. Clearly, the world requires more than adaptive measures to deal with this scenario. Building social and ecological resilience, which will allow people to recover from shocks, is essential to building adaptive capacity and to enabling transformative change.


Research shows that networking, collective action, and inclusivity are important to resilience building. In moving towards resilient societies, the involvement of women, children, and vulnerable groups is important to decision-making and risk reduction. Therefore, participation is an important aspect of resilience building.  

Building on Regional Workshop by the Embassy of Sweden in Thailand held prior to this conference, this session will focus on participation for resilience building. It will provide an overview of a resilience framework to strengthen the capacities of women and men, and take examples from related floods to showcase the participation of multiple stakeholders in developing and implementing solutions for building resilience to these challenges. The event will highlight the advantages of partnership at local and regional levels to co-create improved approaches to resilience building.

Key Questions

  • What are the enabling factors and key principles of engagement to building the resilience of mountain women and men?
  • What are the challenges/barriers, and how can these be overcome through multi-stakeholder participation to co-create and implement resilience-building solutions?
  • How can meaningful multi-level participation contribute to resilience building?


  • Challenges of Women and Men in the Mountains and Beyond in the Context of Climate Change and Disaster Risks Reduction – Dr Neera Shrestha Pradhan, Programme Coordinator, Water Resources Management in Afghanistan, Senior Water and Adaptation Specialist, ICIMOD
  • Multi-stakeholder engagement in building Resilient Societies: Examples form the Hindu Kush Himalaya region – Dr Suman Bisht, Senior Gender Specialist, ICIMOD
  • Key principles of engagement, enabling factors, and solutions (Related outcomes of SIDA’s Regional Workshop on ‘Building Resilience Through Participation’) – Daniel Klasander, Regional Programme Manager, Embassy of Sweden, Thailand 
  • Q&A, discussion, and way forward

For additional information contact: 

Udayan Mishra

Knowledge Management and Networking Officer, ICIMOD