January 26, 2011

Dear Friends,

We are pleased to share with you the press release 'Forest year 2011 kicks off with
regional workshop on forests and climate change'  issued today,  in relation to the
'Eastern Himalayas Regional Workshop on Forests and Climate Change' organised
jointly by the United States Forest Service (USFS) and ICIMOD in Kathmandu,
currently taking place since 24th January 2011. It is also available on our website
at  http://www.icimod.org/?page=1773

Feel free to disseminate it widely to your networks and others who may be interested
in the news.

Thank you for your support.
Best regards,
Nira

===

PRESS RELEASE                                                                       
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Forest year 2011 kicks off with regional workshop on forests and climate change

Kathmandu, Nepal, 26 January 2011

The 'Eastern Himalayas Regional Workshop on Forests and Climate Change' conducted
jointly by the United States Forest Service (USFS) and International Centre for
Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) in Kathmandu from January 24th to 28th, is
the first major contribution to the International Year of Forests (IYF) in the Hindu
Kush-Himalayan region. The decision of the United Nations Assembly to celebrate an
IYF reflects the urgency of increasing global awareness of the importance of forests
for sustainable development.  Forests are essential for providing livelihoods to
communities, as well as ecosystem services such as clean water and wildlife
habitats.  The workshop focuses particularly on the Eastern Himalayas (i.e. Bhutan,
India and Nepal) to address linkages between forests and climate change adaptation
and mitigation.

The goal of the workshop is to improve information use and decision-making tools at
the local, provincial, and national levels for forest resource assessments,
monitoring, and management.  Key topics under discussion are forest inventory and
monitoring approaches that assist reducing emissions from deforestation and
degradation (REDD+), sustainable forest management, and climate change adaptation,
including disaster preparedness.  Some of the U.S. Forest Service's leading
scientists are participating in this workshop, together with scientists and land
managers from Bhutan, India, Nepal, and international organisations.  This meeting
brings together expertise in forest inventory and analysis, remote sensing,
community forestry, forest carbon estimation and modelling.

The workshop was inaugurated by the U.S. Embassy Chargé d' Affaires Ms Patricia A
Mahoney, who emphasised the importance of regional cooperation to conserve and
manage Himalayan forests and biodiversity, which provide goods and services for the
livelihoods of millions. Dr Andreas Schild, Director General of ICIMOD, highlighted
the importance of robust baseline carbon estimates and development of sound
methodologies for monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) at the national
levels, as well as of regional technical cooperation. He also thanked the US Embassy
in Nepal, the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Department of State for supporting
the regional event, and expressed optimism for future cooperation in the forestry
sector.

[end]

For more information contact: Ms Nira Gurung, Communications Officer, ICIMOD

email: info@icimod.org, ngurung@icimod.org

Notes to Editor ICIMOD
www.icimod.org<http://www.icimod.org/>
The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, ICIMOD, is a regional
knowledge development and learning centre serving the eight regional member
countries of the Hindu Kush-Himalayas - Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China,
India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan - and based in Kathmandu, Nepal. Globalisation
and climate change have an increasing influence on the stability of fragile mountain
ecosystems and the livelihoods of mountain people. ICIMOD aims to assist mountain
people to understand these changes, adapt to them, and make the most of new
opportunities, while addressing upstream-downstream issues. We support regional
transboundary programmes through partnership with regional partner institutions,
facilitate the exchange of experience, and serve as a regional knowledge hub. We
strengthen networking among regional and global centres of excellence. Overall, we
are working to develop an economically and environmentally sound mountain ecosystem
to improve the living standards of mountain populations and to sustain vital
ecosystem services for the billions of people living downstream - now, and for the
future.

Nira Gurung (Ms), Communications Officer
International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development
GPO Box 3226, Khumaltar, Lalitpur, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Tel +977-1-5003222 Direct Line 5003310 Ext 115 Fax +977-1-5003277  Web
www.icimod.org<http://www.icimod.org/>

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