Monthly Archives: September 2013

International conference on Addressing Poverty and Vulnerability in the Hindu Kush Himalayas


International conference on

Addressing Poverty and Vulnerability in the Hindu Kush Himalayas

Forging regional partnerships to enable
transformative change  

Kathmandu, Nepal

1–4 December 2013

Poverty eradication remains one of the greatest challenges facing the world today and is a prerequisite for sustainable development. However, despite global poverty eradication efforts, over 1 billion people – one in five people on this planet –  live in extreme poverty. One in seven is undernourished, of which a significant proportion are in Asia.

In the mountainous regions of the Hindu Kush Himalayas (HKH), the poverty rate is on average 5% higher than the rate for the countries as a whole. The determinants of poverty also differ considerably. In particular, parameters such as lower access to basic amenities, poor physical access, and higher dependency rates are more prominent in the mountains.

Mountain communities have a high degree of self-reliance and a rich tradition of practices to avert risks. However, increasing uncertainties, inadequate and insecure access to resources, technology and finance, a rapidly degrading natural resource base, and insufficient integration into value chains and markets severely compromise their capacities to effectively deal with change and take advantage of emerging opportunities to pull themselves out of poverty.

There is an urgent need to support the adaptation abilities of vulnerable mountain households, communities, and ecosystems and enhance their resilience focusing specifically on the challenges confronting mountain women and disadvantaged groups. Mountain specific policies and development interventions to address the needs of the people in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region are still inadequate, primarily because of insufficient knowledge.

The Conference aims to compile updated knowledge on the contours of poverty and enablers of a sustainable development approach for the HKH and thereby, provide inputs specific to the mountain context that can contribute to the formulation of the Post-2015 Development Agenda. The Conference also proposes to set the tone for forging and strengthening regional partnerships for sustainable mountain development.

© 2008 – 2013

Marketplace for development agencies and projects

A marketplace will be organized during the Conference to provide a forum and opportunity to development agencies and projects to showcase their ongoing (or completed) programmes and projects implemented in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region. The mode of presentation in the marketplace will be through posters, displays, or audio-visuals. The programme/project has to address poverty and vulnerability reduction in the HKH and must have a focus on at least two or three sub-themes of the Conference.

The themes are:

  • ·        Quantitative Approaches for Effective Targeting of Poverty and Vulnerability
  • ·        Challenges in Inclusive Development (Gender, Indigenous Communities and Marginalized Groups)
  • ·        Migration and Remittances
  • ·        Climate Change Adaptation
  • ·        Mountain Goods and Services
  • ·        Inclusive Economic Development

Preference will be given to those programmes/projects that highlight community innovations and approaches and have been/or are under the process of scaling up. The programmes/projects should showcase inclusive development, in particular, gender inclusiveness and should be good practices of inclusive economic development. A maximum of 20 institutions/programmes/projects will be selected for exhibiting their material in the marketplace.


Development agencies/projects should submit a one page write-up highlighting the programme/project achievements, ensuring that indications of how the project/programme involves community innovations, gender inclusiveness, and inclusive economic development are adequately highlighted. Young professionals from the development agencies/projects closely involved in the implementation will be given preference for presentations at the Marketplace. It is expected that the participants in the Marketplace will cover their own costs to attend the Conference.


Please send your abstracts to [email protected] latest by 20 October 2013.


Selected development agencies and projects will be informed of their selection by 1 November. The Marketplace is only open to nationals/projects from countries in the HKH region.


Special poster session for young professionals

International conference on

Addressing Poverty and Vulnerability in the Hindu Kush Himalayas

Forging regional partnerships to enable 

transformative change
Kathmandu, Nepal

1–4 December 2013


Special poster session for young professionals

A special session devoted to showcasing cutting edge research and innovative development approaches will be organized during the last day of the Conference. The aim of this special session is to provide a forum to young professionals from the region to showcase research findings on the main sub-themes of the Conference.


The themes are:

  • Quantitative Approaches for Effective Targeting of Poverty and Vulnerability
  • Challenges in Inclusive Development (Gender, Indigenous Communities and Marginalized Groups)
  • Migration and Remittances
  • Climate Change Adaptation
  • Mountain Goods and Services
  • Inclusive Economic Development


Young professionals (up to 35 years old) are encouraged to submit a 300 word abstract highlighting their research findings in any of the themes listed above in addition to a visual outline of the poster. The research work should highlight issues/concerns, or document innovative approaches that address critical issues within the particular sub-theme, and thus contribute to the deliberation on the sub-themes during the Conference. A total of approximately 24 posters will be selected for presentation covering all the eight countries of theHindu Kush Himalayas. Selected poster presenters will be provided support to attend the Conference.



Please send your abstracts and visual outline of the poster to [email protected] latest by 20 October 2013


Selected young professionals will be informed of their selection by the end of 1 November. The poster session is only open to the young professionals from countries in the HKH region.



(The announcement has been published for wide dissemination to attract prospective  participants at the marketplace as requested by ICIMOD.The announcement has been taken from the link:

Seminar on the Guidelines of the JSPS fellowship Programmes held in Dhaka, Bangladesh :Dr.Syed Md.Zainul Abedin

Seminar on the Guidelines of the JSPS fellowship Programmes held in Dhaka, Bangladesh


The Bangladesh JSPS Alumni Association (BJSPSAA) and the Japan Society for Promotion of Science (JSPS) Bangkok office  jointly organized  a seminar on  14 September 2013   to introduce the JSPS fellowship guidelines to the potential future JSPS fellows in Bangladesh.

The seminar was held at Watercress Restaurant, 186 Bir Uttam Mir Shawkat Sarak, Tejgaon, Dhaka,Bangladesh under the chairmanship of    Prof. Dr. M. Afzal Hossain, President, BJSPSAA.

Prof. Dr. Kuniaki Yamashita, Director, JSPS Bangkok office was the speaker

at the seminar.He explained elaborately about the various categories of Japan Society for Promotion of Science (JSPS) scholarships through a PowerPoint presentation.

Dr. Nur Ahamed Khondaker,General Secretary, BJSPSAA assisted Prof. Dr. Kuniaki Yamashita while he presented the seminar.He  appreciated and thanked Prof. Dr. Kuniaki Yamashita for coming to Bangladesh to encourage Bangladeshi scientists to secure higher opportunities.He also thanked  Dr. M. Abdul Maleque, Research and Publication Secretary, BJSPSAA for inviting and contacting personally all participants to attend the seminar.

Prof Dr M Amzad Hossain,Department of Aquaculture, BSMRAU, Salna, Gazipur who recently returned from Japan after availing JSPS program shared his experience in Japan.

The floor was opened for questions from the participants regarding various aspects of the JSPS programs. Prof. Dr. Kuniaki Yamashita and  Mr.Daisuke Yamada of JSPS Bangkok office,leaders of The Bangladesh JSPS Alumni Association (BJSPSAA) answered the questions.All of them encouraged the participants for applying for the JSPS programs.They also requested the interested persons to visit the website of JSPS for

taking timely steps for application and complying with necessary formalities.The website of JSPS is and it provides  all aspects of the international


Prof. Dr. M. Afzal Hossain, President, BJSPSAA thanked Prof. Dr. Kuniaki Yamashita

for organizing the seminar in Bangladesh in his concluding address. He hoped that many Bangladeshi scientists will avail the JSPS programs and thus the friendly ties between Bangladesh and Japan will be enhanced remarkably.



The seminar was followed by lunch at  Watercress Restaurant.The seminar was attended by more than 50 participants from various universities and organizations.


I attended  the seminar and was impressed by the sincerity of Japanese government for promotion of science in collaborative manner. I personally thank Prof. Dr. Kuniaki Yamashita, Director, JSPS Bangkok office for his great efforts.

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Save food campaign Asia-Pacific kicked off (Taken from FAO website)


Save food campaign Asia-Pacific kicked off

Initiative aims to reduce post-harvest and consumer food waste


Photo: ©AFP Franck Guiziou

Food losses are high and the problem of food waste is growing in Asia and the Pacific region.

Bangkok, Thailand, 27 Aug 2013 – Denouncing the huge amount of food that goes to waste, FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific, Hiroyuki Konuma, announced a new initiative aimed at stopping post-harvest food losses and market-to-consumer food waste.

“The Save Food Asia-Pacific Campaign seeks to raise awareness about the high levels of food losses – particularly post-harvest losses – and the growing problem of food waste in the region,” Konuma said.

“FAO estimates that if the food wasted or lost globally could be reduced by just one quarter, this would be sufficient to feed the 870 million people suffering from chronic hunger in the world,” said Konuma.

The announcement came as Konuma opened the two-day High-Level Multi-Stakeholder Consultation on Food Losses and Food Waste in Asia and the Pacific Region in collaboration with the Asian Institute of Technology and other partners.

More than 130 participants from 20 countries attended the Consultation, including four Agriculture Ministers. The Consultation will study ways to reduce food loss and waste and is expected to issue a communiqué outlining actions that can save food from farm to table.

According to Konuma, “The world produces more or less sufficient food to meet the demand of its current population of 7 billion. However, 12.5 percent of the global population, or 868 million people, equivalent to one in eight people, go hungry every day. In 2012, the Asia-Pacific region was home to 536 million hungry people, or 62 percent of the world’s undernourished.”

The Asia-Pacific region benefitted from rapid economic growth in the first decade of the 21st century. But, successful economic growth did not alleviate hunger and poverty, because the benefits of economic growth were unevenly distributed, resulting in a widening income gap in many countries in the region.

According to statistics from the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, an estimated 653 million people across the region, lived below the national poverty line in 2010.

Inefficient food systems

Yukol Limlamthong, Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives, speaking at the Consultation’s opening session, said: “Within the context of Asia and the Pacific Region, more effort is needed to raise global awareness of the critical issue of food losses and particularly post-harvest losses as well as food waste, which is a is increasing nowadays.”

Limlamthoung added: “The Government of Thailand is deeply committed to working with FAO and with other partners and stakeholders in the region to promote the security of the region and also of the world.”

Indian geneticist M. S. Swaminathan, who played a leading role in India’s Green Revolution, said in his keynote address on reducing post-harvest losses for food security: “Food waste is also a waste of natural resources like land and water. To a great extent, food losses and waste are symbolic of the inefficiencies of food systems” and this explains “why food losses and waste are becoming so central to discussions on both food security and sustainable development.”

Worsak Kanok-Nukulchai, Interim President and Professor at the Asian Institute of Technology, said in his remarks: “The issue of food loss and waste is important to our agenda at AIT.” It is cross-cutting and multi-disciplinary and is being scientifically targeted by several fields of study at AIT including the recently opened Asian Center of Innovation for Sustainable Agriculture Intensification (ACISAI).

The Save Food Campaign Asia-Pacific will be an on-going advocacy initiative that will appeal to consumers to have more respect for food and to stop wasting this precious commodity.