PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Nagarkot/Kathmandu, Nepal, 19 December 2010)
Representatives from China, India, and Nepal have developed a draft Regional Cooperation Framework for conservation and sustainable development of the Kailash Sacred Landscape. The Landscape covers the area linked culturally and geographically to the sacred mountain -- also known as Kang Rinpoche, Gangrenboqi Feng, and Kailasa Parvata – which spreads across all three countries. The representatives met at the Third Regional Workshop on the Kailash Sacred Landscape Conservation Initiative held from 16 to 18 December 2010, in Nagarkot, Nepal. The workshop was organised by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and hosted by the Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation, Government of Nepal, supported by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and German Technical Cooperation (GTZ).
The Regional Cooperation Framework focuses on enhancing biodiversity and cultural conservation, ecosystem management, sustainable development and climate change adaptation. The Framework is expected to facilitate transboundary biodiversity, environmental, and cultural conservation through scientific and technical cooperation. It will enhance information exchange among the member countries and help in the development and management of a knowledge base. The Framework is based on principles of participatory management, equitability, sustainability, partnerships, ecosystem management, transboundary cooperation, and national sovereignty.
The 35 participants at the workshop came from 13 institutions, and included senior government officials and representatives of the lead partners – the Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China; GB Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development, India; and the Central Department of Botany, Tribhuvan University, Nepal. Participants also discussed and finalised a Regional Conservation Strategy and Comprehensive Environmental Monitoring Strategic Plan. UNEP’s World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) based in Cambridge, UK, helped develop the environmental monitoring plan. Participants also shared the results of studies on traditional knowledge, ecotourism, and community based environmental.
The chief guest, Mr. Ram Kumar Sharma, Member of the National Planning Commission of Nepal, mentioned the inclusion of Kailash Initiative in the ‘Millennium Development Goals - Nepal 2010 Progress’ as a promising transboundary conservation initiative. He added that the initiative will provide ample opportunity to act, learn, and share ideas and experience on biodiversity conservation, climate change, and livelihoods. Appreciating the development of the Framework, Mr. Yuba Raj Bhusal, Secretary at the Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation, Government of Nepal, added that the Framework will help support regional action, as well as facilitating national action at ground level in the landscape. Dr. Elizabeth Migongo-Bake of UNEP reiterated UNEP’s strategic commitment to the initiative, remarking that programmatically, the initiative will be significant not just for the Hindu Kush-Himalayan region but for the other mountain regions of the world. Relating to the institutional vision of ICIMOD, Dr. Andreas Schild, Director General of ICIMOD, stated that the Kailash Initiative is unique, and the learning will be replicated in the future in other transboundary landscapes of the Hindu Kush-Himalayas. He emphasised the need to have a simple and modest mechanism.
Dr Eklabya Sharma of ICIMOD summed up saying that the draft Framework will be shared with the concerned authorities in the three countries for endorsement. The preparatory phase of the Kailash Sacred Landscape Conservation Initiative will culminate in January 2011, following which the start-up phase will be launched in February 2011.
Read more about the Initiative at http://www.icimod.org/?page=529
For further information contact:
Ms Nira Gurung, Communications Officer
International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, ICIMOD
GPO Box 3226, Kathmandu, Nepal
email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com