Scientists discussed air pollution & other issues at mountains in the changing world conference

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Kathmandu Institute of Applied Sciences (KIAS) hosted and organized second international conference on mountains in the changing world (MoChWo) from 27-28 October, this year. Considering the seriousness of air pollution issues in Kathmandu and other cities around the globe, major theme of MoChWo 2017 was chosen as air pollution: mechanisms and consequences. The second conference of its kind was held at Radisson Hotel, Kathmandu, Nepal.

More than 230 scientists, researchers, professors, students and policy makers attended the conference. Participants were Nepal, China, Germany, France, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Italy, Sweden, Malaysia, Netherlands, Afghanistan, Finland, and Iran. The opening ceremony of the conference, on the first day, included a welcome speech by the convener of the conference, Dr. Basant Giri, and two keynote talks. Professor Shu Tao from Peiking University, Beijing, China delivered the first keynote talk. In his presentation, Dr. Tao highlighted health and climate impacts of rural residential energy transition in China. Dr. Andreas Markowitz from GNS, New Zealand presented second keynote talk on his research on black carbon-smoke in countries across Asia and megacities and determining its effects on climate change using nuclear analytical technologies. Another 90 minute session was also dedicated to air pollution in which Dr. Muhayatum Santoso from Indonesia and Dr. Anobha Gurung from University of Texas at Austin gave invited talks.

The inauguration session was followed by four symposia, nine technical parallel sessions and a poster session later on. The four symposia were – a) smart carbon farming potential, b) citizen science, c) sustainable waste management in developing countries, and d) himalayan cryosphere : understanding of water resources and glacial hazards. Paper presenters and participants exchanged their research experience and findings.

Cross cutting issues regarding mountains such as air pollution, disaster risk reduction, climate change, biodiversity conservation, solid waste, forest management, agro-economy, sustainable development, citizen science were discussed with oral and poster presentations throughout the sessions.

The MoChWo conference was concluded with award distribution and appreciation to various individuals and organizations involved in making the event successful. Best student oral presentations were awarded to Enna Mool (graduate) and Arusha Pandeya (undergraduate), whereas best student poster presentations were awarded to Regan Sapkota (graduate) and Muna Fuyal (undergraduate).

Following organizations were involved in this conference:  

Co-organizers: Faculty of Health Sciences, Pokhara University, Kaski, Nepal and Kathmandu Center for Research and Education – a Chinese Academy of Science and Tribhuvan University center, Kathmandu, Nepal.

Partners: Central Department of Environmental Science, Tribhuvan University, Central Department of Hydrology and Meteorology, Tribhuvan University, , California State University, Fresno, USA.

Sponsors: American Society of Mines and Reclamation, USA and Wyoming Reclamation and Restoration Center, USA.

Kathmandu Institute of Applied Sciences has announced the 3rd MoChWo conference in October, 2018.

Below are some media coverage of the MoChWo conference.

This BBC Nepali service news talks about one of the symposia under MoChWo

  1. http://www.bbc.com/nepali/news-41812790
  2. In Nepali language online portal – link below

जलवायुका परिवर्तनको असर कृषि, वन, हुँदै मानव स्वास्थ्यमा देखियो