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Monday, January 19, 2009

The IUCN 4th Asia Regional Conservation forum

The World Conservation Union (IUCN) organized "Synergies for a Sustainable Asia" the 4th Asia Regional Conservation Forum at Hyatt Regency Kathmandu from September 10-14, 2007. The conference majorly focused on generating dialogue on critical environmental conservation and development issues highlighting the impacts of emerging socio-economic trends on regional environment in the region.

The conference was participated by around 400 representatives from 30 Asian countries of IUCN's membership, commission, secretariat, and council in Asia where the participants discussed on innovative conservation approaches, shared regional experience and build partnership for future action.

Girija Prasad Koirala, the current Prime Minister of Nepal inaugurated the conference where Dev Prasad Gurung, Minister for Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation chaired the event among distinguished guests from business world, tourism industry, expatriates community, foreign diplomats, participants, media person's etc.

Speaking at the inauguration, Girija Prasad Koirala, Prime Minister of Nepal said, " Nature and people have a close relation and they go hand in hand. In current scenario when we look at the context of globalization, nuclear weapons and deforestation issue, we humans have paid tragic consequences for our doing. Moreover, people harm the nature for their selfish motives where it waits for its turn and strikes in the form of flood, earth quake, land slide, drought etc endangering the whole existence of human race."

He opined, At first people should be educated, in-fact the awareness should be raised from early stage where children should be taught about the conservation topic which would help them to near themselves with nature and can be used as an effective approach.

"Nepal has beauty but we should not forget it has poverty which also needs to be addressed ", said Koirala.

The prime minister showed his solidarity to reinforce the partnership on conservation and sustainable development based on the democratic principles of cooperation, shared responsibility and mutual benefit to formulate appropriate strategies for a better Asia.

Likewise, Dev Prasad Gurung, Minister for Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation said, "Our country is endowed with a rich biological as well as cultural and economical diversity. In-fact addressing the issues of biodiversity conservation and sustainable livelihood is a primary need of today. The new developments in view of the conference would provide exciting backdrop to address and to focus on some of the key issues related to the topic."

On Tuesday, September 11, the conference overviewed on the proposed IUCN global and Asia regional programmes for the 2009 –2012 where panel of expert highlighted the sessions. Moreover, two sessions emphasized on examining the sustainable development options, followed by a session on alternative development paradigms focusing on the integration of social and ecological perspective in development process. The session also highlighted case studies of China, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Thailand and further the day was ended with session of IUCN 's new initiative on private sector engagement in sustainable development.

On Wednesday, September 12, the third day highlighted on issue including biodiversity loss, climate change and energy crisis and poverty. The first session of the day showcased the conservation issues with suitable examples in the region. Similarly exemplifying, it also concentrated on the financial and economical means to help conservation and copy mechanism to address the climate change issue.

The second session primarily dealt with the conserving biodiversity issue highlighting the priority of the theme as the corner stone of IUCN's work on biodiversity. It also directed its goals towards examining broadly the challenges and opportunity of IUCN.

The human and ecological relationship was focused in the third session lighting the issue of increased vulnerability of poor to disasters. Similarly, the session also encompassed the issue of emerging climate change and energy crises by creating awareness about the growing energy demand and green house gas emissions in the region.

Likewise, the last session focused on promoting participation of marginal and vulnerable groups in conservation processes highlighting the linkage between human and sustainable ecosystem management. The session generated exchange of information, best practice and lessons learnt mechanism for participants.

On the final day, the closing session presented a summary of the technical sessions held during the forum where Dev Prasad Gurung, Minister for Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation presented awards and letter of appreciation to the participants.

By Shreedeep Rayamajhi


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