Back to top
26 May, 2024

At the "International Expert Dialogue on Mountains, People and Climate", organized in Kathmandu on May 22 and 23, Dr. Krishna Prasad Oli, Chairperson of NTNC, emphasized on the need to advance and integrate nature-based tourism with environmental-friendly and climate-smart policy, preparation and practice. He noted that a significant aspect of sustainable development planning ought to revolve around balancing the needs of people, landscapes, and nature to achieve harmonious coexistence. 

The two-day dialogue event was hosted by the Government of Nepal aiming to address the impact of climate change on mountain regions, formulate a unified stance among mountain countries on related issues, and enhance the effectiveness of both national and international initiatives. The Rt. Hon’ble Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' inaugurated the event, urging regional and global cooperation to enhance mountain peoples' well-being, boost ecosystem diversity, and identify sustainable development options tailored to local needs. Foreign delegates and dignitaries participating included high-level government representatives and experts from more than 25 countries across multiple plenary and thematic sessions.

At the panel session titled "People, Policy, and Prosperity: Living in Harmony with Nature," Dr. Oli highlighted added opportunities for enhancing the value of conservation through: Developing comprehensive business plans and guidelines for the tourism industry incorporating climate-smart strategies; Addressing data gaps and disaster preparedness levels concerning climate change impacts on tourism destinations; Incentivizing low-carbon tourism practices to green and decarbonize the tourism industry; Promoting access to finance through subsidies and/or loans among local green enterprises and nature-based tourism initiatives; Diversifying eco-friendly adventure tourism products through regulatory incentives; Investing in tourism-related digital infrastructure and skills; Better aligning tourism policies and regulations with national plans; Increasing budget allocation for sustainable tourism projects across ministries; Integrating climate considerations into forest policies.

Other panelists at the discussion included Ms. Dasho Tashi Pem, Chairperson, Royal Civil Service Commission, Bhutan, Dr. S. P. Yadav, Director General, International Big Cats Alliance, India, Ms. Rojina Manandhar, Lead, Nairobi Work Programme, UNFCCC, Germany. Dr. Matthew McCartney, Lead Scientist, IWMI, Sri Lanka was the key speaker at the discussion. Dr. Bhaskar Singh Karky, Consultant and Coordinator BARHKH-ADB moderated the session.

  • Rt. Hon'ble Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' addressing the event
  • Hon. Narayan Kaji Shrestha, Deputy Prime Minister and Minster for Foreign Affairs, participating as key presenter, together with foreign dignitaries, at the first session titled "Ambition 1.5: Urgency for Action in Mountains and Beyond"
  • Hon. Nawal Kishor Sah Sudi, Minister for Forests and Environment, in address
  • Hon. Saber Hossain Chowdhury, Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change of the Government of Bangladesh, in address
  • H.E. Mr. Younten Phuntso, Minister for Agriculture and Livestock of the Royal Government of Bhutan, in address
  • NTNC Chairperson, Dr. Krishna Prasad Oli, addressing the session titled "People, Policy, and Prosperity: Living in Harmony with Nature"
  • Experts from Nepal, India, China, and the U.S., during the session titled "The Science and Evidence on Climate Change Impact, Vulnerability and Risk"
  • Q&A session glimpses
  • Q&A session glimpses

Three key discussion points at the panel included: Bhutan's journey to becoming the first net-zero country, exploring the benefits, costs, and sustainability of this achievement; The impact of hydropower infrastructure on mountain ecosystems and the balance between economic growth and environmental integrity; and Recognizing and respecting the roles of Indigenous Peoples, local communities, women, and youth in conservation and sustainable use, and leveraging the environmental benefits of upland regions for lowland communities.

All the panelists pressed for priorities toward: Addressing mountain vulnerability, accessibility, fragility, and marginality, in ways that transforms them into opportunities by nurturing diversity and human adaptability; Promoting partnerships between mountain and lowland communities to share environmental benefits; and Advocating for people-centric policies tied with incentives to support landscape-level approaches, community-based forest management, and nature-based solutions.