MoU signed to set up early warning systems

Kathmandu, November 15

United Nations Development Programme Nepal and Himalayan Consensus Institute have entered a partnership to collaborate in the areas of crisis prevention and conflict mitigation.

In an event organised at Patan Museum yesterday, UNDP Nepal Country Director Renaud Meyer and HCI Founder Laurence Brahm signed a memorandum of understanding to mark the establishment of a joint initiative for crisis and conflict mitigation in the Himalayan region. The partnership will focus, among other things, on developing systematic early warning systems ahead of environmental catastrophe to aid governments and communities in their response.

The pilot programme in Nepal is expected to serve as a model for conflict prevention and mitigation in countries affected by climate change and underdevelopment, stated a press release issued by the UNDP. Nepal is one of the 20 countries that are most vulnerable to climate change and other kind of hazards.

“This initiative has the potential for far-reaching impact beyond the borders of Nepal. It is envisioned that similar programmes could be adopted across the developing world in an effort to address conflict at its root cause rather than its effect,” said Brahm, founder of HCI.

This joint initiative will also focus on training local mediators on the principle that community knows best; and conduct second track dialogues through workshops.

Highlighting the importance of the UN’s Agenda 2030, Meyer, country director of UNDP Nepal,  said, “Mitigating crisis and conflict requires a multi-disciplinary approach that is both holistic, community-based and sustainable in order to sustain long-term peace in our region. The new facility that we plan to put in place will help the government and people of Nepal take informed decisions, better prepare for climate-induced disasters.”

The next Himalayan Consensus Summit slated for March 23 to 25 in 2018 will offer another milestone for this partnership. The 2018 HCS focuses on concrete outcomes to prevent conflict through economic development, cultural conservation and adoption of renewable energy and water conservation technologies, stated the release.

HCS 2017, specifically, determined the need for the Himalayan Consensus process to establish a crisis prevention and conflict mediation facility as a core objective for the coming year.