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Senior Ecosystems Specialist and Theme Leader,
My current responsibilities include: developing frameworks for ecosystem assessments and multidisciplinary research for landscape management; conducting participatory action research for improved understanding of ecological and socioeconomic change; undertaking research to monitor environmental changes, enhance ecological functions for better adaptation, improve access to resources for poor people, and fill data gaps in transboundary landscapes; and economic valuation of ecosystem services and innovative financing mechanisms for natural resource management.
How do you protect the pulse of the planet?
Tradition and culture are the backbone of community resilience and ecosystems in the Himalaya. My work on valuing highland ecosystems, strengthening yak systems, and securing yak herders’ livelihoods are crucial to sustaining the identify of Himalaya and protecting the pulse of the planet.
What is your favorite part of the work you do at ICIMOD?
The platform ICIMOD provides for working with diverse multidisciplinary teams both in-house and external partners, also its role as a repository of knowledge and information on all aspects of Himalaya, and the opportunities to build and enhance networks with local communities, scientists, private sector actors, civil society actors, donors, government officials and policy makers.
What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about yaks. Coming from a livestock herding family background myself, I was always interested to learn more about Yak herding and am fascinated by the adaptation and resilience of herders and yaks living in such cold and harsh climatic conditions of the Himalaya.
I obtained a Ph.D. from the Graduate School of Agricultural Sciences at Kobe University in Japan with a dissertation on “Genetic constitution of cattle population of Bhutan,” an MSc from Melbourne University in Australia where my research focused on the genetic diversity of yak populations of Bhutan using microsatellite markers, and a Bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry from Anand Veterinary College, Gujarat, India
I joined ICIMOD as a Livelihood Specialist: Conservation and Development and my main responsibilities involved developing livelihood frameworks, identifying innovative livelihood options including value chains and responsible tourism and natural resources management in the Transboundary Landscapes of the HKH, later I took up the position of Senior Ecosystems Specialist.
Previous to joining ICIMOD, I had worked in different positions within the Ministry of Agriculture and Forest (MOAF), Bhutan. As Chief of Policy and Planning Division, my main responsibilities were to coordinate national planning (Five Year and Annual) for the MOAF, coordinate various donor funding and projects in the renewable natural resources sector; and liaise with national and international development agencies. I also held past portfolios as the Chief of Department of Livestock and the Programme Director of the Renewable Natural Resources Research Centre, Jakar, under the Council for Renewable Natural Resources Research of Bhutan.