Can the Arctic Council model work for the Hindu Kush Himalayan Region?

Like the Arctic, the Hindu Kush Himalayan region is facing warming temperatures twice the global average which are bringing profound climatic and environmental changes with national, regional, and global repercussions. It is also a region rich in natural resources, the most important being water, which ensures food production for 1.9 billion people living in Asia. Like the Arctic, the Hindu Kush Himalayan region is made up of eight nation states – Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, China, Bangladesh and Myanmar. Unlike the Arctic, where the Arctic Council has existed for 20 years, the Hindu Kush Himalayan region has no existing formal, governmental forum bringing the eight Hindu Kush Himalayan states together, promoting sustainable development and environmental protection in the region. It’s clear that the Hindu Kush Himalayan countries could benefit from a similar body to promote cooperation, coordination and interaction among Hindu Kush Himalayan states, indigenous peoples, mountain communities and other inhabitants on these common issues, but the roadmap for getting there is unclear. 

Having recognized the regions’ shared interests, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) organized two side events at the Arctic Frontiers conference in Tromsø in January 2017 to better understand and explore the potential for strengthened collaboration between institutions in the HKH and Arctic. These events brought together researchers, policy makers, universities, and community representatives from the Arctic and HKH for a science-policy dialogue on regional and inter-regional collaboration. A number of areas ripe for collaboration were highlighted, including cooperation amongst pastoralists, cryosphere researchers, and on applying standardised monitoring and assessment approaches to the Himalayan region. 

This side event takes these discussions forward by focusing specifically on the government to government dimensions of cooperation. Organized jointly by ICIMOD and GRID-Arendal, this event will seek to answer if the Arctic Council model could work for the Hindu Kush Himalayan region. It will explore what lessons could be learnt from the history of Arctic cooperation, if the Arctic Council model could be politically feasible in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region, how such a model could be initiated, and how the Arctic states could work with the Hindu Kush Himalayan states towards developing a possible “Hindu Kush Himalayan Science-Policy Forum or Council”.

Moderated by Philippus Wester, Regional Programme Manager Mountain Knowledge and Action Networks (MKAN) and Coordinator Hindu Kush Himalayan Monitoring and Assessment Programme (HIMAP), ICIMOD and Björn Alfthan, Programme Leader, Polar and Mountain Environments, GRID-Arendal

Part 1: Setting the stage for regional cooperation in the Arctic and the HKH: Opening Remarks (6 minutes each, total of 25 minutes)

  • David Molden, Director General ICIMOD
  • Oran Young, Professor at the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara and Director of the Institute of Arctic Studies
  • Alison LeClaire, Senior Arctic Official, Canada
  • Lyonpo Kinzang Dorji, Former Prime Minister of Bhutan, President Bhutan Indigenous Games and Sports Association, Royal Government of Bhutan and Independent Board Member, ICIMOD

Part 2: Table discussions between Arctic and HKH representatives (max 40 minutes)

Depending on the number of participants, five or six tables will be formed, with one table host from the HKH and one from the Arctic. The tables will discuss the following questions:

  • What lessons can be learnt from the history of Arctic regional cooperation and what have been key success factors?
  • Is the Arctic Council model feasible in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region, and how could such a model be initiated?
  • How could the Arctic states work together with the Hindu Kush Himalayan states towards developing a possible “Hindu Kush Himalayan Science-Policy Forum or Council”?

Table Hosts:

Hindu Kush Himalaya

  • Swarnim Waglé, Vice-Chair National Planning Commission, Government of Nepal and ICIMOD Board Member
  • Naba Bikram Tripura, Secretary, Ministry of Chittagong Affairs, Government of Bangladesh and ICIMOD Board Member
  • Wang Yanfen, Vice President, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Independent Board Member ICIMOD
  • Mohammad Rafi Qazizada, Director General, Natural Resource Management, Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation & Livestock, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and ICIMOD Board Member
  • Munir Ahmad, Member, Natural Resources Division, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council, Ministry of National Food Security and Research, Government of Pakistan
  • Ruijun Long, Theme Leader Ecosystem Services, ICIMOD

Arctic

  • Lars-Otto Reiersen, former Executive Secretary AMAP
  • Jan Dusík, Principal Adviser, Strategic Engagement for the Arctic and Antarctic and Acting Director, Europe Office, UN Environment
  • Pekka Shemeikka, Secretary Sustainable Development Working Group, Arctic Council
  • Malgorzata Smieszek, Researcher, Arctic Centre and PhD candidate, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Lapland and Chair of IASC Action Group on Communicating Arctic Science to Policy-Makers
  • Bjørn Willy Robstad, Secretary General of the Standing Committee of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region (SCPAR)
  • Tina Schoolmeester, Project Manager, Polar and Mountain Environments, GRID-Arendal

Part 3: Short report back from the tables by the table hosts (3 minutes per table; 20 minutes total)

Final remarks and way forward by Jan Gunnar Winther, Chair GRID-Arendal Board and Specialist Director of the Norwegian Polar Institute

Organised by ICIMOD and GRID-Arendal

For more information about this side event contact Dr. Anna Sinisalo, Programme Coordinator Cryosphere, Anna.Sinisalo@icimod.org

Arena Arena

Tuesday 23rd January 2018

15:00 - 16:30

Radisson Blu Hotel - Tromsøsal 2

Add to Calendar 2018-01-23 15:00 2018-01-23 16:30 Europe/Oslo Can the Arctic Council model work for the Hindu Kush Himalayan Region? Like the Arctic, the Hindu Kush Himalayan region is facing warming temperatures twice the global average which are bringing profound climatic and environmental changes with national, regional, and global repercussions. It is also a region rich in natural resources, the most important being water, which ensures food production for 1.9 billion people living in Asia. Like the Arctic, the Hindu Kush Himalayan region is made up of eight nation states – Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, China, Bangladesh and Myanmar. Unlike the Arctic, where the Arctic Council has existed for 20 years, the Hindu Kush Himalayan region has no existing formal, governmental forum bringing the eight Hindu Kush Himalayan states together, promoting sustainable development and environmental protection in the region. It’s clear that the Hindu Kush Himalayan countries could benefit from a similar body to promote cooperation, coordination and interaction among Hindu Kush Himalayan states, indigenous peoples, mountain communities and other inhabitants on these common issues, but the roadmap for getting there is unclear.  Having recognized the regions’ shared interests, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) organized two side events at the Arctic Frontiers conference in Tromsø in January 2017 to better understand and explore the potential for strengthened collaboration between institutions in the HKH and Arctic. These events brought together researchers, policy makers, universities, and community representatives from the Arctic and HKH for a science-policy dialogue on regional and inter-regional collaboration. A number of areas ripe for collaboration were highlighted, including cooperation amongst pastoralists, cryosphere researchers, and on applying standardised monitoring and assessment approaches to the Himalayan region.  This side event takes these discussions forward by focusing specifically on the government to government dimensions of cooperation. Organized jointly by ICIMOD and GRID-Arendal, this event will seek to answer if the Arctic Council model could work for the Hindu Kush Himalayan region. It will explore what lessons could be learnt from the history of Arctic cooperation, if the Arctic Council model could be politically feasible in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region, how such a model could be initiated, and how the Arctic states could work with the Hindu Kush Himalayan states towards developing a possible “Hindu Kush Himalayan Science-Policy Forum or Council”. Moderated by Philippus Wester, Regional Programme Manager Mountain Knowledge and Action Networks (MKAN) and Coordinator Hindu Kush Himalayan Monitoring and Assessment Programme (HIMAP), ICIMOD and Björn Alfthan, Programme Leader, Polar and Mountain Environments, GRID-Arendal Part 1: Setting the stage for regional cooperation in the Arctic and the HKH: Opening Remarks (6 minutes each, total of 25 minutes) David Molden, Director General ICIMOD Oran Young, Professor at the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara and Director of the Institute of Arctic Studies Alison LeClaire, Senior Arctic Official, Canada Lyonpo Kinzang Dorji, Former Prime Minister of Bhutan, President Bhutan Indigenous Games and Sports Association, Royal Government of Bhutan and Independent Board Member, ICIMOD Part 2: Table discussions between Arctic and HKH representatives (max 40 minutes) Depending on the number of participants, five or six tables will be formed, with one table host from the HKH and one from the Arctic. The tables will discuss the following questions: What lessons can be learnt from the history of Arctic regional cooperation and what have been key success factors? Is the Arctic Council model feasible in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region, and how could such a model be initiated? How could the Arctic states work together with the Hindu Kush Himalayan states towards developing a possible “Hindu Kush Himalayan Science-Policy Forum or Council”? Table Hosts: Hindu Kush Himalaya Swarnim Waglé, Vice-Chair National Planning Commission, Government of Nepal and ICIMOD Board Member Naba Bikram Tripura, Secretary, Ministry of Chittagong Affairs, Government of Bangladesh and ICIMOD Board Member Wang Yanfen, Vice President, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Independent Board Member ICIMOD Mohammad Rafi Qazizada, Director General, Natural Resource Management, Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation & Livestock, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and ICIMOD Board Member Munir Ahmad, Member, Natural Resources Division, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council, Ministry of National Food Security and Research, Government of Pakistan Ruijun Long, Theme Leader Ecosystem Services, ICIMOD Arctic Lars-Otto Reiersen, former Executive Secretary AMAP Jan Dusík, Principal Adviser, Strategic Engagement for the Arctic and Antarctic and Acting Director, Europe Office, UN Environment Pekka Shemeikka, Secretary Sustainable Development Working Group, Arctic Council Malgorzata Smieszek, Researcher, Arctic Centre and PhD candidate, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Lapland and Chair of IASC Action Group on Communicating Arctic Science to Policy-Makers Bjørn Willy Robstad, Secretary General of the Standing Committee of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region (SCPAR) Tina Schoolmeester, Project Manager, Polar and Mountain Environments, GRID-Arendal Part 3: Short report back from the tables by the table hosts (3 minutes per table; 20 minutes total) Final remarks and way forward by Jan Gunnar Winther, Chair GRID-Arendal Board and Specialist Director of the Norwegian Polar Institute Organised by ICIMOD and GRID-Arendal For more information about this side event contact Dr. Anna Sinisalo, Programme Coordinator Cryosphere, Anna.Sinisalo@icimod.org Radisson Blu Hotel - Tromsøsal 2

This page uses cookies, read more about it here »

Gnist