Information exchange and endorsement of best energy technologies for development projects, designing strategies for a joint climate change adaptation policy – such are the objectives of the seminar to be put on for stakeholders in cold regions of Asia, to be held in Leh (Ladakh, Himalaya), from 21 to 24 April 2009.
Representatives and experts from ten countries (Nepal, Bhutan, India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan) will spend four days conferring around the table in order to set in motion a long-term collaboration process. They will share their successes and good practices regarding social, economic, and environmental impacts in development projects highlighting energy efficiency and adaptation to climate change in Asia’s cold regions.
Put on under the auspices of GERES (Groupe Énergies Renouvelables, Environnement et Solidarités), this gathering addresses two major sets of issues:
Development issues: In this zone where energy needs are greater (in particular for home heating) and where resources are increasingly scarce, it is urgent to manage energy and promote renewable energies. Besides, given the limited land availability, it is also necessary to give added value to local products by facilitating access to modern energy sources.
Environmental issues : Deforestation, local and global pollution, climatic warming and their impacts on the region (dwindling resources, changes in monsoon patterns) all call for action to help human communities to adapt themselves.
Therefore, the seminar puts forward a purposeful international approach to promote information exchange and to design a series of practical recommendations to be used in methodologies and policies adapted to the local contexts of these regions.
The agenda includes expert speeches and workshops on the following themes :
- Impact of energy efficiency projects on development.
- Strategies to assist local communities in adapting to climate change.
- Funding alternatives (role of institutions, carbon finance).
The impetus and influence provided by GERES in the zone have been demonstrated over and over by its presence now spanning over 20 years and the completion of many projects that
have improved living conditions for local communities. Among the most remarkable, we should mention the micro economic activity development projects with a strong renewable energy component accessible to the people, along with the dissemination of bioclimatic architecture in dwellings and service buildings (hospitals and schools) to improve living conditions in the
Himalayas of Nepal, Afghanistan and China. (A video presentation of these activities is available on DVD).
The “Energy and Climate Change in Cold Regions” Seminar will begin with contributions from key players in mountainous region development, under the patronage of Olivier Föllmi, a
photographer of international renown for his many pictures and books on the Himalayas as he lived there for over 20 years.
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