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Kailash CAFE: Sharing knowledge of a sacred landscape

The Kailash Consortium of Academics and Researchers for Experience-sharing.

Agenda Concept note

Kailash CAFE



The Kailash Sacred Landscape Conservation and Development Initiative (KSLCDI) promotes transboundary cooperation and sustainable development in the Kailash landscape. This landscape is spread over 31,000 across parts of China, India, and Nepal, around the sacred Mt Kailash.

KSLCDI is currently in its second phase of implementation with a focus on three components: 1) transboundary cooperation, 2) ecosystems management at scale, and 3) resilient livelihoods.


The Kailash CAFE

The COVID-19 pandemic has proven that physical distancing is no obstacle to interacting – exchange of information and ideas can be effectively achieved through digital platforms. These innovative platforms are low-cost, time saving, and have a low carbon footprint.

The Kailash Consortium of Academics and Researchers for Experience-sharing (Kailash CAFE) is a digital platform that will bring together researchers working across multiple disciplines within the Kailash Sacred Landscape. It will provide them an opportunity to share their findings with peers and other interested stakeholders, exchange ideas and methodologies, and explore research collaboration and networking opportunities.



The Kailash CAFE 2021 aims to achieve the following objectives:

  • Share knowledge, research findings, and expertise
  • Establish a platform for people-to-people exchange
  • Determine areas for future interventions


Expected outputs

Bringing together individuals conducting a variety of research in the landscape, Kailash CAFE 2021 is expected to:

  • Increase understanding of the diversity of research conducted in the landscape
  • Foster research collaboration among academics and researchers
  • Publish a special issue of research papers from the landscape
  • Organize annual editions of the Kailash CAFE for sharing of research findings and experiences



Time Agenda Speakers/Presenters

Opening session
Moderated by: Srijana Joshi

10:00-10:05 Journey across Kailash Sacred Landscape – a film
10:05-10:15 Welcome remarks Pema Gyamtsho, ICIMOD
10:15-10:30 Setting the context within ICIMOD’s Regional Transboundary Landscapes Programme Nakul Chettri, ICIMOD
10:30-10:40 About Kailash cafe Janita Gurung, ICIMOD
10:40-10:55 Overview of the programme Srijana Joshi, ICIMOD
10:55-11:00 Tea/coffee break

Session I: Landscapes and Biodiversity
Moderated by Bharat Babu Shrestha, Tribhuvan University

11:00-11:10 Session introduction and hand over to session moderator Sunita Ranabhat, ICIMOD
11:10-11:25 Integrated landscape approaches to building resilience and multifunctionality in the Kailash Sacred Landscape, China
Download presentation here
Shi Peili
11:25-11:40 Dendroecological and dendroclimatic study in the Api Nampa Conservation Area, Nepal Himalaya
Download presentation here
Narayan Prasad Gaire
11:40-11:50 Slido-break
11:50-12:05 Perception and knowledge on invasive alien plant species in Chandak-Aunlaghat and Hat-Kalika watersheds, Kailash Sacred Landscape-India: A case study
Download presentation here
Alka Chaudhary
12:05-12:20 The breeding status of the Himalayan griffon, Gyps himalayensis for a decade in Baitadi District, Nepal
Download presentation here
Krishna Prasad Bhusal
12:20-12:40 Q&A session
12:40-12:45 Closing remarks Bharat Babu Shrestha
12:45-12:50 Feedback on Day 1
Menu for Day 2
Sunita Ranabhat, ICIMOD
12:50 CAFE closes for the day

Time Agenda Speakers/Presenters

Session II: Ecosystem Services & Sustainable livelihoods
Moderated by Pradyumna Rana, ICIMOD

14:00-14:10 Kailash CAFE re-opens Sunita Ranabhat, ICIMOD
14:10-14:25 Forest-cover change in the north-western border districts of far-west Nepal
Download presentation here
Sushila Rijal
14:25-14:40 Wood for thought? Untold consequences of the Himalayan gold collection in the Kailash Landscape Kesang Wangchuk
14:40-14:55 The trade potential of oils extracted from khabu (Prunus davidiana), rittha (Sapindus mukorossi) and, timur (Zanthoxylum armatum) in the Kailash Sacred Landscape Area, Nepal Dipesh Pyakurel
14:55-15:15 Q & A session
15:15-15:25 Closing remarks Pradyumna Rana, ICIMOD
15:25-15:30 Tea/coffee break

Session III: Poster presentations (MS Teams)


5 minutes for each poster presentation

Kailash Hall
Moderated by Smriti Gurung, Kathmandu University
Mansarovar Hall
Moderated by Srijana Joshi, ICIMOD
‘Invisible’ indigenous beings: Sketching the exclusionary lifeworld of the Raji Tribe in Uttarakhand – Bhawesh Pant 
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Relocations of settlements in the Limi Valley in Humla driven by natural hazards in the context of changing climate – Jan Kropáček 
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Construction in Western Nepal and its repercussions on health – Saurav Dev
Download presentation here
The transformation of livelihood through agribusiness promotion – a case study in Pulan County – Siteng Jia
Status of human-wildlife conflicts in the lower Namkha region, Humla, Nepal – Rinzin Phunjok Lama
Download presentation here
An assessment of the traditional techniques used by the communities in the Kailash Sacred Landscape for minimizing human-wildlife conflict – Ajaz Hussain
Religion as an entry-point to communicate climate knowledge in the Kailash Sacred Landscape – Alice Millington
Download presentation here
Chemical profiling and bio-activities of the essential oil of Zanthoxylum armatum DC (Timur) – Achyut Adhikari 
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Local communities’ perception and attitude towards transformed ecosystem: A case study from Kailash Sacred Landscape-India – Arti Kala
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Sustainable eco-tourism for promoting livelihood opportunities development of cultural heritage based indigenous communities: A case of Munsyari village, Pithoragarh, Kumaon region – Zia ul Haque
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Q&A session
16:30-16:40 Feedback on Day 2
Menu for Day 3
Sunita Ranabhat, ICIMOD
16:40 CAFE closes for the day

Time Agenda Speakers/Presenters

Session IV: Culture and heritage
Moderated by Abhimanyu Pandey, Heidelberg University

10:00-10:10 Kailash CAFE reopens Pradyumna Rana, ICIMOD
10:10-10:25 Mapping the hotspots and coldspots of the cultural ecosystem services in the Kailash Sacred Landscape
Download presentation here
Prashant Thapaliya
10:25-10:40 Understanding the visual image of the Kailash Sacred Landscape: A perspective from GIS and the computer
Download presentation here
Zhang Yucheng
10:40-10:55 An architectural reflection of shared cultural heritage of transhumance routes in Pithoragarh
Download presentation here
Samiksha Srichandan
10:55-11:20 Q&A session
11:20-11:30 Closing remarks Abhimanyu Pandey
11:30-11:40 Tea/coffee break

Session V: Technology
Moderated by Rajesh Bahadur Thapa, ICIMOD

11:40-11:55 Characterization of the Sapindus murokossi (Rithha) seed oil for medicinal purposes
Download presentation here
Prasamsha Pant
11:55-12:10 Extraction, purification, and characterization of oils from wild apricot (Prunus davidiana)
Download presentation here
Meena Rajbhandari
12:10-12:25 iHeritage – A citizen science mobile application for collecting the cultural heritage data in the Kailash Sacred Landscape
Download presentation here
Deepak Kumar Shah
12:25-12:45 Q&A session
12:45-12:50 Closing remarks Rajesh Bahadur Thapa, ICIMOD
12:50-13:00 Feedback on Day 3
Menu for Day 4
13:00 CAFE closes for the day

Time Agenda Speakers/Presenters

Session VI: Gender and Governance
Moderated by Binaya Pasakhala, ICIMOD

14:00 Kailash CAFE re-opens
14:10-14:25 Building the resilience of women traders in the Kailash Landscape Veena Vidhyadharan
14:25-14:40 Assessment of green fodder resource diversity, availability, utilization pattern, and women drudgery: A case study of representative watershed of the Kailash Sacred Landscape, India Bhaskar Joshi
14:40-14:55 Tourism and rural livelihoods: A review of the tourism development programmes in the Khaptad region of Nepal
Download presentation here
Kishor Aryal
14:55-15:20 Q&A session
15:20-15:25 Closing remarks Binaya Pasakala, ICIMOD
15:25-15:40 Feedback on Day 4
Tea/coffee break

Closing session
Moderated by Sunita Ranabhat

15:40-15:50 Snapshots from Kailash CAFE 2021
15:50-16:00 Remarks Yan Zhaoli
16:00-16:10 Remarks Vikram Negi
16:10-16:20 Remarks Chandra Subedi
16:20-16:30 Closing remarks Srijana Joshi, ICIMOD
The Kailash Consortium of Academics and Researchers


The Kailash Consortium of Academics and Researchers for Experience-sharing (Kailash CAFE)

The Kailash Consortium of Academics and Researchers for Experience-sharing (Kailash CAFE) is a digital platform that brings together researchers working across multiple disciplines within the Kailash Sacred Landscape. It provides them with an opportunity to share their findings with peers and other interested stakeholders, exchanges ideas and methodologies, and explore research collaboration and networking opportunities. Researchers are also able to assess ongoing research in the landscape, avoid duplication, and explore possibilities for joint research. This publication is a collection of abstracts presented at a Kailash CAFE event in April 2021.

Read more

Post event news

Kailash CAFE: Promoting sustainability in the Kailash Sacred Landscape through academic collaboration

The Kailash Consortium of Academics and Researchers for Experience-sharing (Kailash CAFE) showcased the diversity of research conducted on the Kailash Sacred Landscape (KSL), promoted research collaboration in academia, and assisted in determining areas for future interventions.

Read more



Day 1

Day 2


Day 3

Day 4


19 February 2021: Call for abstracts for oral and poster presentations

19 March 2021: Deadline for abstract submission

29 March 2021: Notice of abstract acceptance

19 April 2021: Registration deadline for Kailash CAFE

20-23 April 2021: Kailash CAFE in operation

31 May 2021: Deadline for full paper submission


Ajaz Hussain

Ajaz Hussain

Ajaz Hussain received his doctoral degree from the Wildlife Institute of India affiliated with Saurashtra University, India, with his thesis focusing on patterns on human wildlife interactions in and around Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand. He is currently a research associate at the Wildlife Protection Department at Leh in Ladakh, working on high altitude wetland ecosystem services and wetland health assessment. His research interests include human wildlife interactions, assessment of ecosystem services, socioeconomic assessment, and mammal conservation.

Alice Millington

Alice Millington is a PhD student in Geography and Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge. Her research focuses on how climate change is understood by high-altitude communities in the Himalayas. She has plans to conduct ethnographic fieldwork in the Kangchenjunga Landscape in 2021.

Alka Chaudhary

Alka Chaudhary

Alka Chaudhary is currently pursuing her PhD in forest ecology and environmental studies at the Forest Research Institute, Dehradun, India. Chaudhary has more than seven years of experience working with the Wildlife Institute of India, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in Dehradun, and the Indian Institute of Tropical Metrology in Pune. She is currently studying the potential impact of climate change on plant invasion in India’s Kailash Sacred Landscape.

Arti Kala

Arti Kala

Arti Kala received her doctoral degree in forest botany from Forest Research Institute (FRI Dehradun), India. Kala is involved in research activities on resource dependency on the forests of Western Himalaya and sustainable development using a participatory approach. She previously worked in the Kailash Sacred Landscape Conservation and Development Initiative (KSLCDI) project from 2013 to 2018 with Wildlife Institute of India as a Research Associate in KSL-India.

Bhaskar Joshi

Bhaskar Joshi

Bhaskar Joshi completed his MSc in Forestry from Kumaun University, India. Currently, he is working as a Project Associate in the SECURE Himalayan biodiversity conservation and management, particularly in forest ecology, natural resource management, and medicinal plants of the alpine and cold desert areas of the Indian Himalayan region.

Bhawesh Pant

Bhawesh Pant is pursuing his MPhil from the Centre for Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. For his MPhil dissertation, he is focusing on the Raji tribe of Uttarakhand, who are classified by the Government of India as a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG). Pant is delving into issues of social exclusion, governance, and decolonial theories.

Deepak Kumar Shah

Deepak Kumar Shah is a software engineer with an extensive experience in Geographic Information System (GIS). He is currently working at ICIMOD as a Geospatial Application Developer where he is responsible for analysis, design, and development of different spatial and non-spatial application including machine learning applications, web applications and mobile applications. Shah has more than seven years of experience in software development. He is currently pursuing his postgraduate degree in geographical science and systems from the University of Salzburg, Austria.

Dipesh Pyakurel

Dipesh Pyakurel has over two decades of in-depth experience in the Nepalese medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) sector and has conducted almost six dozen assignments on resource assessments, preparing biodiversity management and conservation plans, knowledge documentation, and trade of MAPs. Pyakurel has extensive knowledge on and experience in forestry and agricultural value chains and has conducted more than two dozen value chain related assignments.


Kesang Wangchuk

Kesang Wangchuk is a professional researcher in natural resources. Wangchuk holds a PhD from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria. He has 21 scientific publications in international peer-reviewed journals. Currently, he is a Biodiversity Specialist at ICIMOD and leads work on human-wildlife conflict in the Hindu Kush Himalaya.


Kishor Aryal

Kishor Aryal is a Senior Watershed Management Officer at the Ministry of Industry, Tourism, Forests and Environment, Sudurpaschim Province, Nepal. He is also a PhD student at the University of Southern Queensland, Australia. He has a decade long experience in forest and natural resource management. His main research interests include forest governance, policy, and institutions.


Krishna Prasad Bhusal

Krishna Prasad Bhusal graduated in zoology from the Central Department of Zoology, Tribhuvan University. Since 2009, he has been researching on the conservation of threatened vultures in Nepal. He is currently working at Bird Conservation Nepal, one of the partners of BirdLife International. Bhusal has visited more than 65 districts of Nepal for vulture monitoring and has also ran a campaign for their conservation. He is also a member of the IUCN-Species Survival Commission, Vulture Specialist Group.


Narayan Prasad Gaire, PhD

Narayan Gaire is an Associate Professor of Environmental Science at Tribhuvan University, Nepal. He is an award-winning young scientist from Nepal with more than a decade of research experience in Dendrochronology. Gaire’s research focuses on treeline dynamics in the Himalaya in response to climate change, sensitivity of forest growth to climate, and long-term climate reconstructions from the past. He has authored or co-authored more than 50 scientific research articles in national and international journals.


Prasamsha Panta

Prasamsha Panta is a PhD scholar at the Central Department of Biotechnology, Tribhuvan University, Nepal. Her research focuses on nanomedicine-based drug delivery systems where natural plant products will be used as drug excipients for rheumatoid arthritis therapy. Panta is also working on nutraceutical food, biopesticides and bioprospecting (product formulation using MAPs).


Prashant Thapaliya

Prashant Thapaliya is currently engaged with the Geospatial Solutions at ICIMOD. His interests include Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing (RS). Prior to joining ICIMOD, Thapaliya worked as a GIS Analyst at Naxa Pvt. Ltd. where he was involved in trail and community infrastructure mapping in Humla District for Emergency Preparedness and Response (ERP) and landslide susceptibility assessment. He holds an undergraduate degree in geomatics engineering from Kathmandu University.


Saurav Dev

Saurav Dev completed his BTech in civil engineering from National Institute of Technology Warangal (NITW), India. His interests encompass geotechnical engineering, geotechnical earthquake engineering, computational methods for civil engineers, and the advancement of civil engineering using machine learning. Dev is currently collaborating with MultiLab, Nepal to set up engineering projects aimed at sustainable development in the construction sector.


Shi Peili

Shi Peili is a scientist of plant ecology in Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences. He is interested in alpine ecology, with a focus on plant eco-physiology, and alpine plant life and ecosystem processes on the Tibetan Plateau. As the national coordinator for the Kailash Sacred Landscape Conservation and Development Initiative at ICIMOD, he is also responsible for ecological monitoring and ecosystem management of the landscape.

Siteng Jia

Siteng Jia

Siteng Jia is currently pursuing his doctoral degree in gender and development from the Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand. Jia integrates a gender lens in his research interests which include agrarian transitions, livelihoods, and land use change.

Veena Vidyadharan

Veena Vidyadharan

Veena Vidyadharan is a fellow at CUTS International, a global public policy think- and action-tank based in Jaipur, India. She holds a doctorate in agricultural science (Agronomy) from Rajasthan Agricultural University, India. Vidyadharan has more than 15 years of experience in research and project management related to agriculture, climate change, transboundary water governance, and livelihoods. Currently, she is leading projects on mainstreaming gender in international trade, particularly in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, and India.

Yucheng Zhang

Yucheng Zhang

Yucheng Zhang is a second-year postgraduate student in the Department of Urban and Rural Planning of Tianjin University, China. He is also a member of Spatial Humanities and Place Computation Lab (SHAPC lab). Zhang’s research interests include GIS spatial analysis in landscape archaeology, landscape image analysis, and cultural landscape in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. He is now conducting his postgraduate research in the SHAPC lab on understanding the image of Kailash Sacred Landscape from the perspectives of social media images.

Zia Ul Haque

Zia Ul Haque

Zia Ul Haque graduated in urban and regional planning from CEPT University (Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology), Ahmedabad, India. His interest areas lie in urban planning design and sustainable urbanization of urban/rural regions. Haque is also interested in exploring the indigenous Himalayan settlements’ art and culture of vernacular geographies in planning development.


Amina Maharjan

Dr Amina Maharjan works as a Senior Specialist in Livelihood and Migration, and leads the Resources, Capabilities, and Institutions group within the Livelihoods Theme at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). She started her career as a development practitioner and has experience in sustainable development, human mobility and migration, sustainable agriculture, gender equity and social inclusion, and vocational skills development. At ICIMOD, she works in the broad field of human mobility and migration in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region and its linkages with sustainable development and climate change adaptation. Her other interests include interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research looking at science–society linkages, with the objective of building the resilience capacities of communities.


Bharat Babu Shrestha

Dr Bharat Babu Shrestha is a plant ecologist working at the Central Department of Botany, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal. His areas of research interests include biological invasions, forest ecosystems, and the mountain environment. Currently, he is working on plant invasions in Nepal with a particular focus on the distribution patterns of the invasive alien plant species, their impacts, and management options. Dr Shrestha has also been one of the Lead Authors in the Assessment of Invasive Alien Species and Their Control (2019–2023) which is being undertaken by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

Kamala Gurung

Kamala Gurung

Dr Kamala Gurung is currently working as a Gender and Natural Resource Management (NRM) Specialist at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Nepal. She is a gender focal person for the Air Pollution Solutions Initiative, Kailash Scared Landscape Conservation and Development Initiative and the SERVIR-HKH Initiative at ICIMOD. She has more than 15 years of experience in the fields of “Gender and Social Equity” in 37 agriculture and natural resource management. She has worked with women and marginalized groups at the grass-roots level and has also been part of international research and development organizations in South Asia. She got her PhD degree from James Cook University, Australia, and her master’s from Clark University, USA.

Kesang Wangchuk

Kesang Wangchuk

Dr Kesang Wangchuk is working as a Biodiversity Specialist at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). His main responsibilities include biodiversity conservation, research, development of conservation strategies, and building policy recommendations to mainstream sustainable biodiversity management in the HKH. Prior to joining ICIMOD, he worked as Deputy Chief Research Officer for the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests in Bhutan. He completed his PhD in 2013 from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria.

Pasang Yangjee Sherpa

Pasang Yangjee Sherpa

Dr Pasang Yangjee Sherpa is an anthropologist and a Programme Director of the Nepal Studies Initiative (NSI) at the University of Washington. She was a lecturer at the Department of Anthropology in Pennsylvania State University (2013–2015) and a postdoctoral fellow at The New School (2015–2016) before joining the Nepal Studies Initiative, initially as a visiting scholar. She previously served as an executive council member of the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies (ANHS), and was a board member of the Resources Himalaya Foundation in Kathmandu. She has a decade of field-based research experience studying human dimensions of climate change, indigeneity, and development in the Himalaya. She is the recipient of the 2014 Senior Fellowship award from ANHS.


Rajesh Bahadur Thapa

Dr Rajesh Bahadur Thapa is a Remote Sensing and Geoinformation Specialist at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). His work focuses on radar applications to monitor and assess terrestrial environments, and capacity building on Earth observation and geoinformation technologies in the region.


Sanjeev Bhuchar

Dr Sanjeev Bhuchar has been serving as a Watershed Management Specialist at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). His role has been to provide strategic, thematic, and capacity building inputs to ICIMOD’s collaborative programmes and initiatives. He has worked with G.B. Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development in India, and Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation in Afghanistan. He has experience working in all the eight HKH countries. He holds a PhD in botany with specialization in ecology from Kumaun University (India).

Smriti Gurung

Smriti Gurung

Dr Smriti Gurung holds a Ph.D in high-altitude limnology and freshwater biodiversity. Currently an Assistant Professor at the Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Kathmandu University, she has 20 years of experience teaching in Nepal and India. Her research involvements have included work on projects related to water-quality assessment and freshwater biodiversity with a particular focus on diatoms, macroinvertebrates, and fish. Gurung’s articles have appeared in several national and international peer-reviewed journals. She is a member of the International Development Peer Review College.


Vikram Singh Negi

Dr Vikram Singh Negi is working as Scientist E at G.B. Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development. He has also worked as Scientist D and as a fast-track young scientist and research associate at G.B. Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development. He completed his PhD in botany from Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University, Srinagar, Garhwal, in 2009.

Wang Jinniu

Wang Jinniu

Dr Wang Jinniu is working as Associate Professor at Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. His main research interests lie in: alpine plant functional ecology; vegetation patterns and its drivers in the forest and grassland ecotone; and sustainable development in mountainous areas. He is also a Deputy Secretary of a specialized committee on Alpine Ecology and Ecological Society of China.


Yan Zhaoli

Dr Yan Zhaoli holds a PhD in restoration ecology from the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences. She has 30 years of experience in natural resource management and rural development in China and the neighbouring Himalayan countries. Her research interests lie in natural resources and the ecosystem, especially rangeland management, sustainable rural development, and environmental changes and its reflections on ecosystem services and human well-being.

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