NOTE FROM THE CHAIR PERSON
Annual Report 2014/15 records the programmes and activities of the Resources Himalaya Foundation undertaken in the last fiscal year. 2015 also marks the end of the Strategic Plan for RHF that we had drawn in 2010.
The Strategic Plan (2010 -15) had focused on three programme areas: monitoring bio-diversity and conservation, addressing contemporary issues in conservation and development, and capacity building and mentoring the new generation. In our own small way with limited financial and human resources we have strived to follow the path indicated in the strategic plan. To be fair, our efforts in the first two areas have been rather limited and clearly inadequate.
Dr Pralad Yonzon, our founder, wished RHF to develop not only as a think-tank on issues of environmental conservation and management, but also as a forum for independent and objective monitoring and assessment of biodiversity and conservation efforts in Nepal and the Himalayas. While we have made small strides – for example, the annual assessments of the habitat an conservation status of the Red Panda – the scope for more comprehensive programmes and activities remains immense. Similarly, in addressing contemporary issues in conservation and development we have not even been able to scratch even the tip of the iceberg. There are a whole host of institutional, managerial and operation issues in conservation that remain to be explored. The link between conservation and livelihoods, which is getting more and more tenuous by the year, also calls for rigorous research and analysis. While enumerating the lapses in our annual activities my effort is to draw attention of enthusiastic young researchers to come forward to take advantage of the forum that RHF provides in addressing contemporary problems in conservation and development, and to test their own worthiness in addressing these concerns. In the area of capacity building and mentoring of the younger generation of environmental researchers our efforts are small but we believe significant. In spite of our small foot-print, we are the only institution in this part of the Himalayas dedicated to the new generation –the future torchbearers of environment and conservation.
Mention may be made of two programmes that have been initiated this year and we hope to continue on to the future. The first is the first ever Annual Graduate Conference on Environment and Sustainable Development in partnership with TU Central department of Environmental Studies and ISET-Nepal. The second is the series of policy dialogues related to issues of environment, natural resources and livelihoods in partnership with WWF and Committee related to natural resources in the parliament. The first provides a platform for young researchers to present, interact and engage in quality research. The second facilitates the interface between experts, researchers and the policy makers/politicians to enrich both the research as well as the policy making process. Some positive outcomes are already evident, and we hope to continue both these initiatives in the coming years.
As in previous years I would like to reiterate the continuing commitment of RHF towards the building of a future generation of enthusiastic and competent conservationists. To that end this annual report remains an open invitation for dynamic, young researchers and professionals to join the efforts of RHF in building the new generation that can secure the environment to meet the development aspirations of the people in the Himalayas.
Chair, Resources Himalaya Foundation