24 February: Earth Debate in the Hindu Kush Himalayas – Can We Put a Price on Nature?


ICIMOD’s Asia-Pacific Mountain Network (APMN) and the British Council Nepal organized a regional ‘Earth Debate’ in the Hindu Kush Himalayan countries as part of a series of debates held by the British Council in the United Kingdom from January to March 2012. Representatives of ICIMOD, other development organizations, the private sector, youth, and the media convened at ICIMOD Headquarters on 24 February 2012 to debate ‘Ecosystem Economics – Can We Put a Price on Nature?’. The debate was video-linked with country groups in Dhaka, Bangladesh; Vishakhapatnam and Kochi, India; and Beijing, China through Skype. Opening speakers Dr David Molden, Director General, ICIMOD, and Dr Robert Monro, Director, British Council Nepal, took audiences through the major environmental milestones over the last two decades and highlighted the importance of Rio+20 in sharing the environmental agenda for the coming decade. Likewise, panellists Dr Madhav Karki, Deputy Director General, ICIMOD; Ms Smriti Mallapaty, Correspondent for SciDev.Net; and Raj Gyawali, Founding Director, Socialtours.com shed light on environmental, social, entrepreneurial, media, and youth views on the topic. The panel was the highlight of the debate, particularly the discussion that took place between country groups and the panel.