Lumbini Center For Sustainability
In 2014, a group of national and international scholars came together to establisimg_0950h the Lumbini Center for Sustainability (LCS) as a knowledge platform to promote informed policy debate and provide pragmatic policy advice for enhancing human well-being of the central Himalayan community. Keeping sustainable development and human welfare at its core, LCS proposes to combine the methods of natural science, social science, and humanities disciplines as integrative threads to propose solutions that are effective, sustainable, and transferable.  (To read more about its activities, click here: Research, Community Engagement, and Global)
Our holistic approach explores various key elements of sustainable development such as the food-energy-water nexus, natural disaster response, environmental rehabilitation, bio-diversity conservation, ecosystem services, community health, resiliency and adaptation, capacity building, indigenous knowledge, culture, and values. For example, the remarkable variability in connected human-ecological systems (CHES) along the river corridors of Nepal’s Himalayan range, which links the Tibetan plateau in the north and the Indian plain in the south, provides ideal conditions to investigate causes and consequences of climatic and social changes in one of most vulnerable regions in the world.

Vision

To raise and deliberate new, bold and creative ideas that combine methods of natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities disctiplines as an integrative dynamic social-ecological system.

Mission

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.

Strategic Goal

To promote an informed policy debate and provide pragmatic policy prescriptions for enhancing the well-being and climate resiliency of the Himalayan community.

Strategic Thrust

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)

LCS_VisitingTeamGandakiThe 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.

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