To raise and deliberate new, bold and creative ideas that combine methods of natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities disciplines as an integrative dynamic social-ecological system.
To create an interdisciplinary platform that brings regional and global collaborators together to advance the understanding of the linkages and feedback mechanisms between biophysical, social, and economic factors.
To promote an informed policy debate and provide pragmatic policy prescriptions for enhancing the well-being and climate resiliency of the Himalayan community.
To examine macro and the micro level issues using tools of natural sciences and social sciences, At the macro level, the center will promote debates.
National Science Foundation funded Research Planning Trip (December 2014/January 2015)
The basic theme of the LCS came from a NSF funded research planning trip undertaken in Dec 2014 by an interdisciplinary team of UNM faculty (Dr. Alok K. Bohara, Dr. Mark Stone, and Dr. Joe Galewsky — economist, engineer, and climate scientist from UNM) and three graduate students. The UNM team joined forces with the collaborators from Nepal, India and China including Dr. Madhav Karki (formally with ICIMOD), Dr. Siddhartha Bajracharya of National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC), Dr. Rijan Kayastha of Kathmandu University (KU); Dr. Jonathan Wright (Tsinghua University, China), Dr. Hari Shrestha and Dr. Deepak Bhattarai of Nepal Engineering College (NEC), Dr. Yubaraj Bhusal (Government Staff College, former Finance Secretary), Dr. Biswo Poudel of KUSOM (KU) and many others from PNMF.
Joined by Dr. Siddhartha Bajracharya, the UNM team engaged in a wide range of discussions with various stakeholders in Kathmandu and across the Gandaki River Corridor. The team traveled to Jomsom, Kagbeni, Muktinath, Pokhara, Palpa, Bhairahawa, and Chitwan and landed in Kathmandu for a final reflection meeting.
This trip became the first step in the team’s long-term research goal to advance understanding of the linkages and feedback mechanisms between biophysical and broadly defined social factors that influence vulnerability and resilience to climate change across interacting spatial, temporal, and organizational scales.
Workshop to Establish the Lumbini Center for Sustainability
During the final leg of the trip to Lumbini, the UNM team and its Nepali collaborators participated in an interactive, deliberative, and participatory workshop sponsored by the PNMF and the Polytechnic Institute (PNMHI). Attendees included two university vice chancellors, policymakers, journalists and civic leaders representing numerous local, national and international institutions (Nepal, USA, and China). Scholars from Kathmandu University, Nepal Engineering College, University of New Mexico, Tsinghua University, and several local academic institutions including the Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science, Lumbini Engineering College, Bhairahawa Multiple Campus, also attended. The workshop was a huge success and resulted in several valuable comments and feedback. At the workshop, PNMF committed itself to help establish an international research hub –the Lumbini Center for Sustainability (LCS).
The central idea of LCS is to decentralize knowledge concentration away from Kathmandu. Local academic and governmental and civil society leaders have welcomed this idea wholeheartedly. PNMF will build an international guest house on its new campus premise.