A four-day long conference on “Resilient Hindu Kush Himalaya: Developing Solutions Towards a Sustainable Future for Asia” concluded on Wednesday after an invigorating discussion on resilience issues in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region.
The event was jointly organised by the Ministry of Population and Environment (MoPE), and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (Icimod).
Speaking at the closing session of the event, Icimod Director General David Molden called attention to the crucial need to include youth and women in future mountain planning and development across all sectors.
MoPE Secretary Prakash Mathema said: “This conference has been able to raise awareness on resilience solutions from mountain perspective. It has also encouraged partnership for urgent actions to combat climate change and other threats to the lives and livelihoods of the vulnerable people of the Hindu Kush Himalayan region.”
The conference had held discussions on topics ranging from disaster risk reduction to gender equity and building social capital.
According to the organisers, all the sessions held over the past four days repeated a theme of collective action for increasing the resilience of mountain communities in the HKH, which is already witnessing adverse impacts from climate change, outmigration, and other man-made activities on its natural resources.
German Ambassador Roland Schaefer said that the HKH region was well-positioned to harness the power of social capital.
“The HKH has a unique brand that signifies trust, reliability, and inherent ability for planning that stems from the deep social ties of the mountain communities. This is a strong brand that should be promoted and positioned outside,” he said.
Participants also realised that changing the narrative will also require significant coordination and cooperation among HKH countries.
“HKH challenges are often transboundary and geopolitical in nature. Addressing such challenges requires transformative, inclusive and scalable actions at all governance levels,” said Rojina Manandhar, programme officer with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The conference had brought together more than 400 experts from around the world, to discuss solutions to the problems faced by mountain communities.