Local people in the mountains feel like they do not get much out of research scientists do on the glaciers and rivers. Is there a better way to link scientists with local people, and apply the knowledge gained more directly to the ground reality?
ICIMOD is already engaged in involving the communities in most of its programs, including in river basin management. Providing early warning and preventing disasters from events like glacier lake outburst floods directly impact the communities. Of course, there is a need to better link research and science with policy and practice so that grassroot level benefits are seen and felt.
ICIMOD just convened a virtual conference of environmental ministers, are we any further in the plans to set up a Himalayan Council?
The Ministerial Mountain Summit is definitely an historic step in ICIMOD’s journey. The Ministerial Declaration lays out a clear roadmap for the countries to come together to address urgent issues of climate change, ecosystems degradation, and sustainable livelihoods. We will be pursuing the establishment of an institutional mechanism such as a Himalayan Council rigorously but at a pace that is in sync with the priorities of our member countries.
How does it feel to be back in Nepal?
Indeed, it is my second innings at ICIMOD having worked here previously as a natural resources policy specialist. I am deeply grateful to the people and Government of Nepal for not only generously hosting ICIMOD but also for the warm hospitality extended to me personally. I have always enjoyed the friendship and support of my colleagues from Nepal and other countries and will try to build a strong and dedicated team that reflects the diversity of nationalities, cultures, professional expertise and disciplines that can respond effectively to the challenges that our region is facing.