Between 6-12 August, Dr. Linxiu Zhang led a UNEP-IEMP team visited Nepal to attend an international workshop and meet with partners related to the “Assess the Impacts of Environmental Change and Policy Recommendations for Green Silk Road” project. This project is implemented by UNEP-IEMP, taking Nepal as one of country cases for study on sustainable livelihoods and green development strategy in vulnerable regions, in collaboration with the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research (IGSNRR) of Chinese Academy of Science. Dr. Chao Fu, Head of UNEP-IEMP’s Research Unit, and Ms. Qinghe Qu, Chief Operations Officer and Assistant to the Director of UNEP-IEMP, joined the visit.
The team first participated in an international workshop on “Belt and Road Initiative in Nepal: Opportunities and Challenges” which was jointly organized by the IGSNRR and the Southasia Institute for Advanced Studies (SIAS) on 7 August in Kathmandu. Honorable Pradeep Gyawali, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nepal, made his remarks as chief guest at the opening session of the international workshop, witnessed by nearly 50 researchers from IGSNRR, SIAS, Tribhuvan University, as well as the UNEP-IEMP team. The workshop calls for more joint researches between Chinese and Nepalese researchers to provide information and suggestions for decision makers to ensure the green development and sustainability of BRI. To this end, Dr. Linxiu Zhang made a presentation to share UNEP-IEMP’s case studies in China and Nepal on ecosystem-based approaches to climate change adaptation (EbA) and sustainable livelihoods. She also spoke as a panelist to highlight the significance of multilateral cooperation among stakeholders in the journey of green development.
Following the workshop, the team successively visited the head quarter office and project sites of Local Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research and Development (LI-BIRD) in Pokhara and the office of Resource Himalaya Foundation (RHF) in Kathmandu. Work plans for identifying demonstration sites on EbA and sustainable livelihoods and for conducting cases studies on the impacts of EbA on livelihoods in Nepal were discussed with the two partners, respectively. Towards the end of her visit, Dr. Linxiu Zhang exchanged views on the partnership for project implementation with Dr. David Molden, Director General of the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). It was concluded that through various exchange activities during the visit, the project team of UNEP-IEMP built closer contact with major technical partners in Nepal.