REPORT ON INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON HIMALAYAN BIO-DIVERSITY 2003
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REPORT ON INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON HIMALAYAN BIO-DIVERSITY 2003 February 26-28, 2003, Kathmandu, Nepal Conservation, management and utilization of biological resources as tourism products of Nepal, which are becoming increasingly scarce and unexplored, need due attention so that the living planet can be protected for our future generations and benefit natural ecosystem. The International Conference on Himalayan Biodiversity (ICHB-2003) was organized by Himalayan Resources Institute (HIRI), Biodiversity Research Group (BRG), Central Department of Zoology, Tribhuvan University, The Ecological Association of Nepal (ECOAN) and Nepal Biotechnology Association (NBA) on Feb. 26-28, 2003 in Nepal Tourism Board on the auspicious occasion of the International Year of Mountains (IYM), 2002 and the International Year of Eco-Tourism, 2002. The 3 day conference was supported and promoted by Nepal Tourism Board. The conference focused on the sustainable approach of natural resource management which included, specifically, Himalayan Flora and Fauna, Biodiversity Conservation, Trade Related Property Rights (TRIPs) and above all discussions and paper presentations on the prospects and challenges of eco-tourism in Nepal and the Himalayan region. It provided an opportunity to interact and exchange ideas amongst innovative, green entrepreneurs, scientists, academicians, policy makers, social organizations, environmentalists, tourism experts and related stakeholders and industrialist for evolving practical solutions for the conservation and management of the Himalayan biodiversity. The theme of the Conference was “Conservation of Himalayan Biodiversity for Human Welfare” with the following the major topics of the conference: a) Himalayan Flora and Fauna, b) Biodiversity Conservation, c) Indigenous Knowledge on Biodiversity Conservation, d) Trade Related Property Rights (TRIPs). e) Eco-Tourism The specific objectives of the conference were to: 1. Identify the major issues and options on biodiversity conservation in the Himalayan region. 2. Highlighting the importance of eco-tourism as a sustainable tool in the Nepalese Economy. 3. Share ideas on recent biodiversity conservation and management approach. 4. Review the existing government policies and programmes of the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) countries. 5. Explore mutual regional cooperation for effective implementation of biodiversity action plans. 6. Develop international network of Himalayan biodiversity conservation to exchange information and technologies at local, national, regional and international levels. 7. Emphasizing "Conservation through Tourism" in the Himalayan region. More than 150 scientists, researchers, planners and development professionals from Hindu Kush Himalayan Region and other parts of the world including India, Pakistan, Shri Lanka, Bangladesh, China, Germany, Croatia, Japan, USA, Russia and other countries participated and presented their country papers in the conference. The conference was inaugurated by Hon'able Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Badri Mandal. Mr. Subash Nirola, director for Tourism Products and Resources Development of Nepal Tourism Board presented a theme paper on "Ecotourism in Nepal" during the conference. The International Conference concluded with 10 points recommendations. The conference was also supported by International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and other various National & International organizations from Nepal and abroad.