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Strategic Group Lead
Strategic Group 1: Reducing Climate and Environmental Risk
As the Regional Programme Manager of our River Basins and Cryosphere Programme, my role is to ensure that the initiatives within the programme contribute towards the policies, strategies, and development programmes highly critical to water resources management and disaster risk reduction across our regional member countries. For this, I facilitate generation of robust evidence from scientific research, gender responsive practices and capacity building in the areas of river basins and cryosphere. As our Senior Climate Change Specialist, I lead or support projects on climate projection and scenario development across a variety of sectors and apply them for impact assessment.
Arun Bhakta Shrestha
How do you protect the pulse of the planet?
My 1999 article on temperature trends in Nepal was first of it kind, clearly demonstrating the climate change happening in the Nepal Himalaya. Since then, I’ve devoted myself to improving understanding of past and possible future scenarios of climate change and their impacts on cryosphere, water resources and natural hazards in the HKH. This work has contributed to protecting the pulse of the planet by raising awareness about climate change, helping to generate more understanding of climate change impacts, and stimulating stakeholders to take action.
What is your favorite part of the work you do at ICIMOD?
ICIMOD is an unique organisation, providing opportunities to conduct cutting-edge scientific research and to use the science results to inform policies, strategies and development plans in the region. This is possible only because we have highly qualified international teams in place.
What are you passionate about?
I love to observe, measure, and understand things happening in nature and I try to use my understanding to solve societal problems. However, when possible solutions emerge from my studies or others, I make sure to test and validate them before recommending implementation.
I have a PhD in Earth Sciences from the University of New Hampshire, USA and my doctoral dissertation was on the “Physical and chemical climate of the Himalaya.” I also earned a Master’s degree in Hydraulic Engineering from Byelorussian Polytechnic Institute, Minsk, former USSR.
Since I joined ICIMOD in 2006, I’ve worked in various capacities, including Action Area Team Leader for Strengthening Upstream Downstream Linkages, Regional Programme Manager for River Basins Programme and Acting Programme Manager for the Cryosphere and Atmosphere Programme. Before joining ICIMOD, I served in the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology, Government of Nepal, where I was responsible for the operation of high altitude hydrometeorological stations.