Thursday, March 22, 2012

CALL FOR PAPERS - 14th Annual BIOECON Conference, 18-20 2012, Cambridge, UK

14th Annual BIOECON Conference
Resource Economics, Biodiversity Conservation
and Development
18-20 September 2012
Kings College Cambridge, England

Hosted by the Department of Land Economy of the University of Cambridge and
the Department of Spatial Economics of  VU University Amsterdam
Supported by the Founding Partners of the BIOECON Network:
UNEP, EIB, IUCN, Conservation International, FEEM and IHEID
In Association with the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), London, UK and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia

The Scientific Partners of BIOECON are pleased to announce the 14th Annual International BIOECON conference on “Resource Economics, Biodiversity Conservation and Development”. The conference will be held in the historical premises of Kings College Cambridge, England on 18-20 September 2012. The conference will be of interest to both researchers and policy makers working on biodiversity policy, especially natural resources in developing countries.
The conference takes a broad interest in the area of resources, development and conservation, including but not limited to: plant genetic resources and food security issues, deforestation and development, fisheries and institutional adaptation, development and conservation, wildlife conservation and park pricing, and international trade and regulation. The conference will have sessions on economic development and biodiversity conservation, and on institutions and institutional change pertaining to the management of living resources.
Papers are specially invited on the themes of:
  • Different institutional frameworks for resource conservation (property rights, etc)
  • Developing countries and issues of governance and management of natural resources
  • Resources management, distribution, equity, conflict, conservation, growth and development, poverty alleviation
  • Biological diversity and its global conservation
  • Valuation of ecosystem services and their application to biodiversity conservation
  • Incorporating natural capital into inclusive wealth accounting
  • Foundations for provision of global public goods
  • Market creation for biodiversity and PES schemes
  • Policy evaluation of biodiversity related policies.
The conference will take place over two days, with sessions consisting of papers on all of the above themes. In addition, there will be policy forums chaired by the Institutional Partners of BIOECON on mainstreaming ecosystem services into development policies, on the trade-offs between food security and ecosystem service provision, the development of beneficiary pays markets (such as habitat banking), on poverty alleviation and biodiversity conservation and on developments in biodiversity policy impact assessment.
Keynote speakers for the 14th BIOECON Conference are:

Professor Jean-Marie Baland
Centre of Research in the Economics of Development (CRED), University of Namur, Belgium
Professor Stefanie Engel
Institute for Environmental Decisions, Department of Environmental Sciences, ETH Z├╝rich, Switzerland  
Papers may be submitted for presentation within the conference and will be considered by the scientific programme committee. Electronic copies of completed papers should be sent to Dr. Andreas Kontoleon (  no later than 14th May 2012. Please include abstract and keywords with your submission. Acceptance of papers will be notified by email by 1st June 2012
It is also possible to submit 3-4 papers together as a suggested “session” under one of the themes indicated above.  The Scientific Partners reserve the right to accept papers on an individual basis, so it is possible that even when a session is not accepted, individual papers within the session might be so.
The conference will open with a reception at Kings College on early evening of 18th of September.  Conference sessions will commence on the morning of the 19th of September and conclude on the afternoon of the 20th of September. The conference banquet will take place at the main Dining Hall of Kings College on the evening of the 19th of September.
There is a 100 Euro registration fee for all invited paper presenters that will cover the costs of 2 nights single accommodation, reception, lunches, and conference if banquet.  There is a 200 Euro registration fee for all other participants that will include the banquet, lunches and refreshments, but not accommodation.  There is a 100 Euro registration fee for day-participants (that includes lunches and refreshments but not lodging and the conference banquet).
The Partners of BIOECON are attempting to raise funds to subsidise the travel of participants from developing countries.  Persons from developing countries should feel free to send papers in response to the Call.  If accepted, please respond immediately to the Secretariat indicating that participation in the conference would be conditional on receipt of funds to cover travel and local expenses.  If funds are available, they will be rationed between developing country participants in accordance with the rating of the accepted paper.
Registration will open on 1st May 2012. Registrations for conference presenters are due by 20th June 2012. Registration for all other participants closes on the 20th August 2012. Further registration details and all other conference information will be provided on the BIOECON web-site at

Download the BIOECON call for papers

Monday, March 19, 2012

Side Event on Food, Water and Energy Nexus: Why Mountains Matter? (26 March 2012 in New York)

Rio+ 20 conference is an important opportunity to look at the issues of sustainable development in a holistic and integrated manner. The theme of promoting green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty alleviation is closely related with the sustainable mountain development and the livelihood of the people who are dependent on them.  As we are faced with the challenges relating to the poverty alleviation of such a large number of people in the world on the one hand, and unsustainable patterns of consumption and production on the other, we see a growing trend of increasing stress on natural resources. We should look at how the specific geographical and other features of the planet and the people who are dependent upon and integrated with them can cope with these changes and pressures on a sustainable basis.  In that sense, mountains have special features, which need to be evaluated and supported in a comprehensive manner to promote a sustainable future for all.

Climate change, increasing natural disasters, food and energy crises, population growth, water scarcity and desertification, loss of biodiversity, degradation of ecosystems, migration, and rapid urbanization – the planet is currently facing a multitude of challenges. Mountain regions and their inhabitants are facing multiple challenges due to climate and socio-economic changes.

Mountains also offer significant opportunities and can provide local to global solutions. By providing key environmental goods and services such as freshwater supply, biodiversity wealth, clean energy and tourism destinations and cultural diversity, mountain ecosystems play a critical role in sustainable development of all. Mountain systems are essential building blocks for long-term sustainable development, poverty alleviation and the transition to a green economy. In a world heading towards water, food and energy crises, sustainable mountain development agenda is a global priority. Mountains as the water towers and natural and artificial storage of water and source of food production, energy, drinking water and sanitation in both upstream and downstream areas have assumed a global value. Almost 12 per cent of the global population lives on mountains and more than half of humanity rely on freshwater supplied by mountains. Critical ecosystems and biological diversity depend on critical environmental flow. The role of mountain ecosystems in promoting green economy in the context of reducing poverty needs to be recognized and given proper place in the global sustainable development agenda in the context of Rio+20.

Objective of the side event:
·         To share the perspectives of challenges and opportunities from the leaders, policy makers and experts from the mountainous countries and regions as well as the global institutions in the global platform and debate their relevance in the Rio+20 outcome,
·         To develop common understanding and views among the key stakeholders of the sustainable mountain development leading to more effective advocacy for mountains in Rio+20 Conference;
·         To contribute in defining a new Mountain Agenda embracing the global and regional changes and challenges looking ahead towards the next twenty years while reflecting on the outputs of the Kathmandu Conference on SMD and Green Economy (2011)  Lucerne World Mountain Conference (2011), and 1st Mountain Day (2011).

Programme Structure:

Opening Remarks by:  
H.E. Mr. Gyan Chandra Acharya, Ambassador PR of Nepal
Dr. David Molden, Director General of ICIMOD

Special Remarks by:    
H.E. Mr. Paul Seger, Ambassador PR of Switzerland
H.E. Mr. Cesare Maria Ragaglini, Ambassador PR of Italy
H.E. Mr. Tekeda Alemu, Ambassador PR of Ethiopia
H.E. Mr. Enrique Roman Morey, Ambassador PR of  Peru
H.E. Mr. Brice Lalonde, Executive Coordinator of Rio+ 20, UN 

Discussions and Interactions 

Closing Remarks by:    
Mr. Olman Serrano, Coordinator, Mountain Partnership Secretariat

United Nations NLB Building, New York
Monday, 26 March 2012, From 1315 to 1445 Hrs

Jointly organised by
Government of Nepal, ICIMOD, Mountain Partnership Secretariat (MPS)

·         H.E. Ambassador Gyan Chandra Acharya, Permanent Representative of Nepal to the United Nations
·         Dr. Madhav Karki, DDG, ICIMOD
·         Mr. Olman Serrano, Coordinator Mountain Partnership
(please kindly write to for further details)

Youth Perspectives on Promoting Green Economy in South And Central Asia: Options and Opportunities, 27 March at EXCEL London (12:30 PM onwards)

The world community confronted with the challenge of climate change is trying to shift towards the Low Carbon or Green Economy and South and Central Asian countries especially the mountainous regions have good prospects for rapid transformation due to its largely agrarian and natural resources-based economy. The vital ecosystem services of the mountain regions are having serious impacts of Climate Change and there is a huge gap in scientific understanding. The region suffers not only from lack of data, information, and knowledge but also sound policies. Researchers, especially the younger generation lack capacity, knowledge and networking skills to contribute. As well, poverty remains a key driver that is posing serious challenge to the successful utilization of the opportunities provided by green economy. Young scientists, practitioners and teachers have power to change societal behaviours. But they need right kind of education, motivation, exposure and skills.

In this context the session on ‘Youth Perspectives on Promoting Green Economy in South And Central Asia: Options and Opportunities’ at the Planet Under Pressure Conference, focusing on HKH-Pamir mountain regions will provide a learning platform to share and discuss latest information and perspectives from the ground among youth researchers from these regions and develop recommendations for policy makers and scientists. Starting with, an overview presentation of the regional contexts, information will be shared on potentials, constraints and opportunities of Green Economy based on the results of the a) International Conference organized by ICIMOD; b) Regional Rio+20 assessment reports, and c) the ICIMOD-Small Earth Nepal organized Virtual Consultation on Youth Perspective in Rio+20 in HKH and Central Asian mountains. This will be followed by country presentations from Nepal, India and Uzbekistan and interaction session. At the end of the session key messages will be relayed and recommendations will be formulated for wider sharing.

·         Youth Perspectives on Promoting Green Economy in Asia Pacific Mountains: Options and Opportunities - Tek Jung Mahat
·         Preparing for Implementation of Green Economy as a Driver by Youth at National Level: A Case from Nepal - Jeeban Panthi
·         GO GREEN: Lessons for Sustainable Development in South Asia - Abhijit Shukla
·         Cooperation of cotton-growing farmers in Uzbekistan towards improved resilience against growing water scarcity in Central Asia - Nodir Djanibekov
·         Floor discussion 5-10 interventions
·         Way forward and wrap up - Tek Jung Mahat

Friday, March 9, 2012

INVITATION: 'Youth and Adaptation' panel at the 2nd Adaptation Forum in Bangkok (13 March 2012)

The Asia Pacific Mountain Network (APMN) of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) together with Adaptation Forum 2012 organisers – the Regional Climate Change Adaptation Knowledge Platform for Asia (Adaptation Knowledge Platform) and the Asia Pacific Adaptation Network (Adaptation Network), will be organising a youth session as part of the Second Asia Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum, 12-13 March 2012. Other contributing partners include the Asia-Pacific Media Alliance for Social Awareness (The The Media Alliance), the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEMAO), the Climate Action Network South Asia (CANSA), the Boishakhi Television and the World Bank (WB).

This special panel aims to bring together Asia Pacific youth and other interested stakeholders attending the Forum to understand the situation, identify gaps and challenges, explore opportunities and develop way forward for engaging youth on climate change adaptation in the context of Rio+20 priority. The event is follow up of the Asia Pacific Youth Forum 2011 organised by ICIMOD/APMN together with more than a dozen partners including AKP and APAN.


Asia Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum 2012
Bangkok, Thailand
12-13 March 2012

Panel 24: Youth and adaptation, 13 March 2012, Tuesday, 13:30-15:00

Climate change has wide range of effects on environmental and socioeconomic sectors. From water to agriculture to food and human health to biodiversity almost every sector has witnessed negative consequences due to this process largely through the uncertainty it has created and increased climate extreme events. Changes in rainfall pattern has resulted to severe water shortage and flooding. Melting of glaciers has damaged and thus induced flooding has washed away many villages, large constructions, productive top soil and so on. While mitigation is expected to solve the problem in the long run adaptation seems urgent as we cannot run away from climate change affects that have already starting showing strong presence in our daily life.

Human beings have been adapting to the variable climate around them for centuries. Worldwide local climate variability can influence peoples’ decisions with consequences for their social, economic, political and personal conditions, and effects on their lives and livelihoods. The effects of climate change imply that the local climate variability that people have previously experienced and have adapted to is changing and changing at relatively great speed[1]. Need of present day is to develop case specific adaptation measures with a strong involvement of communities (CBA) and considering local environment (EBA). Effective adaptation measures will need easy interfacing between people and resources and established linkages among different stakeholders, environmental realities, social processes, development activities enabling timely response mechanism.

Youth, the most vibrant group in any community, share almost 30% of the world's population. The involvement of today's youth in adaptation decision-making and implementation practice is critical to future sustainability of the planet. The parallel session on ‘Youth and Adaptation’ is developed on this foundation as a follow-up activity of the Asia Pacific Youth Forum on Mountain Issues and Climate Actions in Kathmandu, in August 2011. This activity is financed by the organisers of the Adaptation Forum 2012 and coordinated by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Kathmandu, Nepal.

To understand the situation, identify gaps and challenges, explore opportunities and develop way forward for engaging youth on climate change adaptation.

  1. Craig Hobbs, CEO, Asia-Pacific Media Alliance for Social Awareness, Singapore
  2. Kevin Charles Kettle, Project Development Officer, SEAMEO SPAFA, Thailand
  3. Lucia Grenna, The World Bank
  4. Sanjay Vashist, Director, Climate Action Network South Asia (CANSA), South Asia
  5. Tanzima Shahreen, Communication and Outreach Expert/Junior Research Assistant, Boishakhi Television, Unnayan Onneshan, Bangladesh (Asia Pacific Youth Forum Alumni)
  6. Tek Jung Mahat, APMN Node Manager, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Nepal

Guiding questions
Q1. What is the level of understanding among youth regarding climate change adaptation? What is the situation among rural and mountain youth?
Q2. How have youth-led, -driven or –oriented activities contributed to adaptation actions? What are the gaps and challenges faced?
Q3. What are the opportunities for and benefits with youth engagement in adaptation? What is the level of youth engagement in global/regional/national processes? UNFCCC COP to national policies and initiatives leve
Q4. How can the education system better serve youth’s needs for climate change adaptation knowledge?
Q5. How media in general and young media reporters in particular can help improve this situation?
Q6. How development organizations and donor agencies see this growth? What can make it more effective?

Based on responses to above questions the panel will distil some recommendations and develop way forward.

Panelist (s)
Activity (including discussion)
13:30 - 13:35
Mr. Tek Jung Mahat
Introductory presentation
13:35 – 13:45
Ms. Tanzima Shahreen
Youth and adaptation – Reflection from Bangladesh with focus on rural and mountain communities (presentation of a case study including status, challenges and opportunities)
13:45 – 13:55
Mr. Kevin Charles Kettle
Youth capacity building on climate change adaptation
13:55 – 14:05
Mr. Sanjay Vashist
Youth engagements, from national to global level
14:05 – 14:15
Mr. Craig Hobbs
Media perspectives
14:15- 14:25
Ms. Lucia Grenna
Positions of the youth activity promoters
14:25 – 14:55

Floor discussion
14:55 – 15:00
Mr. Tek Jung Mahat
Key conclusions and way forward

Event coordinator
Tek Jung Mahat, ICIMOD, Nepal, tmahat (at)

[1] UNFCCC (2007) Climate Change:  Impacts, Vulnerabilities and Adaptation in Developing Countries. Available at (accessed on 18 September 2011)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Event Summary: The Earth Debate in the Hindu Kush Himalayas – “Can we put a price on nature?”

The Earth Debate in the Hindu Kush Himalayas – “Can we put a price on nature?”

Date: 24 February, 2012
Time: 1:30-4:00 PM
Central Venue: ICIMOD Headquarters, Kathmandu, Nepal

Moderators: Daan Boom, Programme Manager, Integrated Knowledge Management, ICIMOD; Mr Tek Jung Mahat, Node Manager, Asia Pacific Mountain Network – Mountain Partnership

Guest Speakers: Dr Robert Monro, Country Director, British Council, Nepal; Dr David Molden, Director General, ICIMOD

Panelists: Dr Madhav Karki, Deputy Director General, ICIMOD; Mr Raj Gyawali, CEO, Social Tours; Smrity Mallapaty, Correspondent, SciDev

Country groups present via Skype-web: Dhaka, Bangladesh; Beijing, China; Vishakhapatnam and Kochi, India; Kathmandu, Nepal

Mr Tek Jung Mahat welcomed the guest speakers, panelists and the country groups to the Internet debate on the topic of ‘can we put a price on nature?’ and thanked the Natural History Museum, Stakeholder Forum, and British Council for bringing the same to the Hindu Kush Himalayan region.  Dr Robert Monro reminded the audience that climate change is real and that the clock is ticking. He noted that although we’ve come some way since the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, CoP-15 in Copenhagen was a failure. He underscored that the focus of the debate on the ‘economics of climate change’ was very apt, as it is the vested interests backed by ‘big money’ that are holding back progress on the climate change mitigation front. Dr David Molden agreed that the topic is relevant to ICIMOD in the run up to Rio+20. He acknowledged that climate change in the mountains is an issue of global concern and that solutions to problems such as glacier/snow melting, green house gas  emissions, and changes in the monsoon pattern need to be sought at all levels. He noted that mountain people who are care-takers of mountain systems that provide ecosystem goods and services are not compensated for their essential role, and called on the audience to join hands to put mountains on the global agenda of the UNFCCC process, including Rio+20.  

Next, the 17-minute video clip of the Earth Debates, titled "Ecosystem economics - Can we put a price on Nature?" was shown to the audience comprising mostly the country groups and the panelists to set the tone for the two-way Skype-enabled interactions to follow between them.

Dr Madhav Karki noted that valuation of ecosystem services is important since ‘that which is not valued is often not protected.’ He admitted that cultural values and provisioning roles of ecosystems are not easy to monetize, while likening the over extraction of natural resources in the Hindu Kush Himalayas, which are increasingly being recognized as a global common, to the ‘tragedy of the commons’. Misusing this common, he said, will have implications for intergenerational equity, so called on all to flag this issue at Rio+20. Ms Smriti Mallapaty noted that while monetization is important, it is only a numbers game or tool to advocate for solutions to some of today’s protracted environmental problems.  She said internalizing negative externalities often comes at the expense of economic growth, and asked, “Who will pay for the global ecosystem services that are valued at 33 trillion dollars?”  She noted that there is a need to create incentive structures that go beyond prices to benefit Nature ultimately.  Mr Raj Gyawali reminded everyone that in Nepal’s tourism sector, there is already price on nature in the form of royalties and permits that visitors must pay to climb mountains and visit protected or restricted areas. “But the big question,” he said, “is how much of that money actually goes back to the community, since putting money in their hands is the best way to ensure protection of the environment and ecosystem services?”  Rather than rely on the licensing system to arbitrarily put price on nature, he opined that is is much better to ensure that a ‘greater share of the tourism revenues’ are captured by the local community and that they are provided with tools to do conservation with, not to mention legislation to influence behaviors and attitudes all around.

The Indian Group
§  Flagged that in most countries, Environment Impact Assessments (EIAs) are highly politicised to serve the narrow interests of a certain group of people, so the very purpose of the EIA has been lost in the wind. However, in India now that natural resource accounting is going into National Account, it is an encouraging sign of the time.
§  Noted that the climate science as reported by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was erroneous. It retracted the statement it had made about the Himalayan glaciers and the snow cap on Mt. Kilimanjaro. The panel responded that although some of the findings of IPCC were questionable, their overall conclusion was sound: that climate change is real and happening.
§  Reminded that indigenous peoples (IPs) are being displaced from their homeland in the name of development, with scant regard for their rights, especially their right to the water, to the land and to life itself, and asked what can be done to ensure that they benefit from eco-tourism. The panel responded that the IPs are not on the same level playing field as other groups and the government could consider awarding be them land titles to their ancestral domains, so they don’t lose out. It also said that IPs should come to the forefront of ecotourism and must be encouraged to do so. However, as they already coexist with other groups, it would not be advisable to single them out for a preferential treatment.
§  Posed a question: how underdeveloped countries with high unemployment and poverty will cope, if nature, which is a public good, is subjected to pricing/valuation. The panel responded that a good majority of the poor in underdeveloped countries are dependent on nature and natural resources for their livelihoods and subsistence. It would help to involve them in joint forest management and community forestry through the provision of tenure rights, and enabling policies. It noted that is actually in the absence of such rights that deforestation is done by external agents. The poor whose livelihoods are based on natural resources –e.g., in medicinal and aromatic plants, horticulture, farming, small scale resource based income generation activities –will likely benefit more from the pricing of nature, although the same may not hold true of the urban poor. In an ideal world, everybody should be expected to pay a fair price for nature, irrespective of the level of employment and poverty prevailing in the country. However, exceptions can be made for the absolute poor in underdeveloped countries.
§  Posed a query: As far as low carbon economy goes, what will be the role of energy in terms of improving quality of life? The panel responded that Green Economy actually means following low-carbon pathways to sustainable development as well as growth.                               As such the world is already moving into renewable energy slowly but surely although not everybody is happy with the pace. As the price of fossil fuel rises, development of alternative energy becomes more feasible. Lots of innovations are happening in the area of solar technologies and prices are also coming down – and this will continue. Indeed the future looks bright.
§  Proposed that green accounting should start at micro level, say beginning from a unit of 500 hectares of land. The panel responded that green accounting could start at micro watershed level, and cumulatively go up. However, the question must be asked: who is going to compensate the watershed managers –for examples, mountain farmers and community forestry user groups – for maintaining watershed services? Unless green accounting is linked to compensation or payments for ecosystem services, the exercise will be useless.
§  Posed a query: Is it feasible for companies and organizations to go for green auditing? The panel responded that because of the economies of scale, it is not economically feasible for small companies to go for green auditing. However, big companies, especially industry leaders, should go for green auditing to set an example for other s to follow. Green auditing is an idea whose time has come.

The Nepali Group
§  Noted that nature is priceless, and wanted to know how Nepal can learn from Bhutan and put a premium on tourism and also promote culture and its appreciation at the state level. The panel responded that Nepal has not had a stable government for over a decade. Nepal is not Bhutan and cannot be like Bhutan.  Bhutan is a special case in that it has a small, manageable population, and constitutionally ensures that 70% of its territory is under forest cover at all times.  Nepal cannot do that. Instead it should focus on getting its house in order, and catalyze actions at local level by mobilizing its citizens– such as making the Everest and Annapurna regions plastic free.
§  Posed a question: what role can the youth and media play in advocating for a Green Economy at Rio+20. The panel responded that the biggest concern of the youth today is jobs, jobs, jobs, so they must advocate for ‘green jobs’ and join the green sector to bring about positive changes from the inside. At Rio+20, they should advocate for a sustainable world where the youth has a future. As the youth has a very high level of energy and awareness, they need to hold projects, institutions and the higher authority to account by playing the role of a watch dog as well as a pressure group. The media can help
§  Posed a question: what role can private sector play to bring about a Green Economy through corporate social responsibility (CSR). Probably the corporate social responsibility should be renamed as “corporate ecological responsibility”? The panel responded that the eco-tourism industry should add value to their green credentials and charge a premium for their services; use local guides and porters; promote local handicraft, products and produce; encourage the use of locally available materials in construction; thereby ensuring that a large share of the tourism revenues are captured by the local economy. This is the kind of work that private sector can do with a nod to CSR to help ‘green’ the local economy.
§  Posed a question: As there are many definitions of ‘ecosystem services’ and of ‘payment for ecosystem services’, what definitions will we take to Rio+20? The panel responded that it is not wise to get stuck on definitions, be they official definitions or provisional ones. It is better to make a case for the protection of mountain ecosystems at Rio+20 by contextualizing the examples of ecosystem services at all levels, and how they actually benefit humanity.

The Chinese Group
§  Noted that the policies made in 1950-1960 created serious environmental problems over the next several decades in China and wanted to know how to ensure that the government makes the right policy that puts the local community at the centre of conservation. The panel responded that policy is important, and that Rio+20 must aim to achieve actionable political commitments by avoiding the mistakes of the past, and. At the national and local levels, policy has to be informed and inspired by science and ground reality. This means the environment has to be monitored constantly. The ombudsperson and the right to information need to be institutionalized so as to hold the government to account. When nature is put in the market framework of prices, there has to be regulation in place, otherwise it will invariably lead to overexploitation. It is not advisable to push for economic growth without putting a regulatory system in place for the same reason. There is no win-win in this, as every policy choice involves a trade off. Penalizing ‘polluters’ is necessary but not sufficient.

The Bangladeshi Group
§  Noted that putting price on ecosystems will only widen the gap between the rich and the poor. The panel responded that although the market is not perfect, it has a role to play in pricing nature. However, the interests of the poorest of the poor have to be protected from the vagaries of market forces so that they do not get ‘priced out’ of nature, so to speak. It also said that attaching a premium to conservation is probably the way to go, as maximum people can potentially benefit. This entails ensuring that ‘polluters pay’ and ‘consumers pay’ their fair share.

Mr Daan Boom thanked the country groups from China, Bangladesh, India and Nepal as well as all the three panelists - Dr Madhav Karki, Mr Raj Gyawali, and Ms Smriti Mallapat - for enriching the debate. He thanked Ms Smrity Dewan, Programme Manager, British Council-Nepal for the support as well as Mr Tek Jung Mahat, Mr Basudev Upadhaya and Mr Utsav Maden for organizing the Earth Day Debate. He expressed deep satisfaction that the web-conference style debate left very little carbon footprint, if any, while contributing to the process leading up to Rio+20, to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from 20 to 22 June 2012.