Representatives from China, India and Nepal have agreed on a common framework for developing a conservation strategy and environmental monitoring plan, as a first step towards developing a regional cooperation framework for the Kailash Sacred Landscape, the trans-boundary region linked to the sacred mountain, which is also known as Kang Rinpoche, Gangrenboqi Feng, and Kailasa Parvata.
According to the press statement, the representatives met in India at a workshop organised by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development and hosted by the GB Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development, supported by the United Nations Environment Programme.
The Kailash Sacred Landscape Conservation Initiative focuses on developing a trans-boundary regional cooperation framework for conservation and sustainable development.
The preparatory phase of 18 months started in August 2009 following consultations with the governments and partners in China, India and Nepal. This initiative is the first pilot for implementation of ICIMOD's 'Trans-Himalayan Transects Programme' which encompasses seven landscapes and four transects in the Hindu Kush-Himalayas, and aims to focus and increase the effectiveness of research and development activities.
The Landscape, which includes the southwestern portions of the Tibet Autonomous Region of China, and adjacent Himalayan regions in India and Nepal, is among the most culturally and ecologically diverse and fragile areas in the world, and has sacred significance for hundreds of millions of people in Asia, and around the globe.
Joint secretary in the ministry of environment and forests Hem Pande emphasised the participatory and people-centred approach that is being adopted in the preparation of the framework. Tim Kasten, deputy director of UNEP's division of environmental policy implementation, suggested that sustainability needs to given special consideration.
Dr Yang Yongping, deputy director of the Institute of the Tibetan Plateau and professor at Kunming Institute of Botany, advised that regional issues are highly relevant for cooperation, which needs to emerge from the workshops.
The director of GBPIHED, Dr LMS Palni, emphasised the importance of the Landscape and the Initiative in the context of the recent challenges arising from climate change.
Dr Eklabya Sharma of ICIMOD stressed the importance of adhering to conceptual clarity and the process whereby countries agree at every stage to the methodologies and documents prepared on the Landscape for the Cooperation Framework.
The Second Regional Workshop on the Kailash Sacred Landscape Conservation Initiative will be held early in September at Jiuzaigou in the eastern Tibetan Plateau of Sichuan Province of China.