Back to news
8 Aug 2011 | Press releases

Youth Forum prepares tomorrow’s leaders to address climate change adaptation and the mountain agenda

3 mins Read

70% Complete

A week-long training and knowledge sharing workshop for young people from 17 Asian countries opened today in Kathmandu, helping to build the next generation of leadership in sustainable mountain development and climate actions.

The ‘Asia-Pacific Youth Forum on Climate Actions and Mountain Issues’, organised by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), runs from 8 to 12 August. The participants include 33 youth from ICIMOD’s eight regional member countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan) plus 9 from across the wider Asia-Pacific region. Coming from a wide spectrum of social and academic backgrounds, all the participants are below the age of 29; more than 60% of them are female.

This event is being organized in the backdrop of the upcoming seventeenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 17) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in December 2011, and the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development to be held in June 2012 as follow-up to the 1992 Earth Summit (also known as the Rio+20 conference).

During the workshop, the young people will learn how they might contribute as individual and collective agents of change within the realm of climate change adaptation and contribute to ongoing international negotiations, in particular the Rio+20 and the UNFCCC meetings. Participants will engage in sustainability leadership exercises, while learning about pertinent issues related to climate change and mountain issues from ICIMOD experts and leading advocacy, sustainability, and climate change adaptation practitioners from the Asia-Pacific region. The event also marks the celebration of the International Year of Youth 2010/2011 and International Youth Day, 12 August.

The Honourable Mr Gokarna Bista, Minister of Energy, Government of Nepal, in his inaugural speech emphasised the need to engage the youth population in the development process by empowering them with knowledge, skills, and resources. He called upon the participants to broaden their thinking, improve their understanding of national and global concerns, and be prepared to face up to the challenges such as poverty, environmental degradation, and vulnerability that mountainous countries face in achieving sustainable development goals.

Dr Madhav Karki, Acting Director General of ICIMOD, in his welcome address said that the Rio+20 conference should be about a new paradigm of development – a rethinking of current approaches for achieving human wellbeing. For vulnerable mountain countries, it represents an opportunity to advocate strongly the need to recognize the `green growth’ potential of mountain ecosystems in the face of increasing threats due to climate change. He noted the urgency of conveying the political, financial, and institutional commitment that world leaders will have to make at Rio+20 so that least developed and developing mountainous countries and regions can successfully integrate the three pillars of sustainable development – economic, environmental, and social – to achieve their development goals.

‘We offer a unique opportunity for students and speakers from across the Asia-Pacific region to engage
 each other in addressing the challenges of applying and adapting the broad principles of sustainability, climate change adaptation, and mountain development to create location-specific solutions. The emphasis will be on issues specific to mountain development in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan region and beyond, especially in the context of ICIMOD’s work and ongoing and planned regional and global processes on relevant topics,’ said Mr Daan Boom, Programme Manager at ICIMOD.

Mr Tek Jung Mahat, event manager, said, ‘The forum participants will define the Asia-Pacific youth perspective on Rio+20 in the mountain context. The recommendations of the forum will find their place in Rio+20 documents and climate change discussions through ICIMOD preparatory activities in the months to come.’

The Asia-Pacific Youth Forum is technically supported by more than ten global and regional initiatives working on sustainability, climate change, and youth leadership issues.

For more information please contact: 

Ms Nira Gurung
Communications Officer
Tel +977-1-5003222 Fax +977-1-5003277

21 May 2015 Press releases
Streamline ecotourism in protected areas, say experts

More than 200 experts, policymakers, government officials, and journalists who participated in the three-day international conference on ecotourism in protected ...

11 Dec 2014 Press releases
Raising the voice of the mountains at UNFCCC COP 20

Representatives from LDC mountain nations call for greater investment in the mountains for a sustainable global future (11 December ...

22 Feb 2021 Climate change
ICIMOD’s Adaptation Fund accreditation paves the way for strengthened regional cooperation on climate change adaptation in the HKH

On 17th February 2021, the Adaptation Fund Board announced its decision to accredit the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development ...

14 Jun 2019 Press releases
Managing the shifts in shifting cultivation

Saraswat also cautioned against a narrow sectoral approach. The transitions must be enabled by research and development that is contextual, ...

13 Feb 2015 Press releases
Regional water-energy-food nexus workshop held in Kathmandu

A South Asia Regional Fulbright Alumni Workshop on the Water-Energy-Food Nexus convened in Kathmandu on February 10-12, 2015. The workshop ...

23 Jan 2016 Press releases
Bangladesh-ICIMOD partnership day 2016 – future collaboration and emerging opportunities

Bangladesh is a founding member of The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), a regional intergovernmental learning and knowledge ...

3 Aug 2020 Press releases
HKH post COVID-19 resilient recovery plans must consider mountain realities

As governments around the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region reel from the shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic immediate, medium- and ...

13 Dec 2018 Press releases
Tackling human-wildlife conflict and wildlife crime in a shared transboundary landscape

Speaking at the Reconciling Human-Wildlife Interface in the Kangchenjunga Landscape: Regional Dialogue for Action event organized by West Bengal Forest ...