KATHMANDU, Nov 15: UNDP Nepal and Himalayan Consensus Institute (HCI) on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the establishment of a joint initiative for crisis and conflict mitigation in the Himalayan region, which has been highly affected by climate change.
In an event organized in Lalitpur, UNDP Nepal Country Director Renaud Meyer and HCI founder Laurence Brahm signed the MoU to collaborate in the areas of crisis prevention and conflict mitigation. The partnership will focus, among other things, on developing systematic early warning systems ahead of environmental catastrophe to aid governments and communities.
The pilot program in Nepal is expected to serve as a model for conflict prevention and mitigation in countries affected by climate change and underdevelopment. Nepal is one of the 20 countries that are most vulnerable to climate change and another kind of hazards.
"This initiative has the potential for far-reaching impact beyond the borders of Nepal. It is envisioned that similar programs could be adopted across the developing world in an effort to address conflict at its root cause rather than its effect," said Laurence Brahm, founder of HCI.
This joint initiative will also focus on training local mediators on the principle that community knows best, and conduct second track dialogues through workshops where crisis can be mitigated and avoided.
Highlighting the importance of the UN's Agenda 2030, country director of UNDP Nepal, Renaud Meyer, said, "Mitigating crisis and conflict requires a multi-disciplinary approach that is holistic, community-based and sustainable in order to sustain long-term peace in our region. The new facility that we plan to put in place will help the government and people of Nepal take informed decisions, better prepare for climate-induced and other kinds of disasters and respond to crisis more systematically."
The organizers said that the upcoming Himalayan Consensus Summit slated for March 23-25 next year would offer another milestone for this partnership.
The three-day summit to be organized by the Himalayan Consensus Institute will cover a wide range of areas where business and finance can directly support achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals-from air travel connectivity to solar and hydro renewable energy systems to agriculture and technology.
"The 2018 HCS focuses on concrete outcomes to prevent conflict through economic development, cultural conservation and adoption of renewable energy and water conservation technologies," said Laurence while announcing the date of the next summit. Each year, the HCS convenes leaders from the development, environmental, business and finance communities together in seeking practical solutions to shared regional challenges.