ICIMOD staff attends programme for Women Climate Leaders in US

On the nomination of the US Embassy in Nepal, Bidya Banmali Pradhan, Environment Officer for MENRIS at ICIMOD, was invited to attend the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) for Women Climate Leaders. The programme exposed participants to a wide range of activities at institutions in Washington, DC; San Francisco, California; Denver, Colorado; Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, including talks on climate-related scientific research and policy development, demonstrations of efforts at climate mitigation, and presentations on how NGOs are working with the government on climate-related issues. 

During the US State Department-sponsored programme, conducted by the Meridian International Center June 18–July 6 2012, 19 participants from 17 countries were given the opportunity to engage in discussion with NGO leaders, government representatives, and panellists on climate change, urban sustainability, and green technologies as well as women’s empowerment. The programme encouraged the exchange of knowledge and networking with others involved in fields relevant to ICIMOD’s work, such as black carbon and the cryosphere. The programme also demonstrated how effective advocacy and awareness programmes can impact policy.

In Washington, DC, the primary focus was on policy issues, and participants had the opportunity to meet US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who delivered brief remarks on the key role that women play in addressing climate change and on the impact of such exchange programmes. They were also able to meet with Melanne Verveer, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, and hear Senator John Kerry and Senator John McCain delivering speeches on the Senate floor. The programme also included visits to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Pacific Energy Centre (PEC), Sierra Club, US Geological Survey (USGS), National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), University of New Mexico, and the Philadelphia mayor’s office