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Walker Institute Advises Himalayan Working Group on Interdisciplinary Working.

Friday, July 20, 2018

The Walker Institute recently shared its expertise in Interdisciplinary working at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), working group on water in Kunming, China.

One third of the global human population depends on water resources from the Himalayan region therefore working groups like these are essential for future water security and we appreciate any opportunity to contribute to such processes. The Himalayan University Consortium, part of the ICIMOD, aims to help build knowledge partnerships amongst universities in order to increase the level of high-quality knowledge, capacity, and skills for sustainable mountain development in the region.

The Thematic Working Group on Water (TWGW) was established in November 2017 during the Himalayan University Consortium’s annual meeting to help contribute to the HUC’s goals, and is the only assembly of researchers and practitioners of its kind in South Asia.

The Walker Institute is an associate partner of the HUC, and recently participated in the 2018 annual meeting of the TWGW, in June in Kunming, China. The meeting brought together a collection of researchers, practitioners and academics from the ICIMOD region and its partners. Dr Grady Walker, a Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the Walker Institute, travelled to Kunming to participate in the TWGW and represent Walker. During this working group, Grady integrated key themes into the discussion such as highlighting the significance of language related to addressing challenges and livelihoods to the group, along with providing expertise on the importance of interdisciplinary work which was vital in helping to achieve consensus throughout the working group.

The outcomes from the working group meeting included establishing terms of reference for the working group and a strategy document which, once finalised, will inform and influence the direction of the whole working group going forward.

At the Walker Institute we recognise that we are all part of one global community facing a common future.  Participating in this meeting helps us to better understand and plan how we use water in a sustainable way within the Himalayan region. This is a vital natural resource with a huge number of people depending on it; the resource itself, and the people depending on it are at huge risk from climate shocks, which will only become more frequent as the climate changes. Climate-resilient development is highly complex, and solutions to the problems we are facing will require us to work together in an interdisciplinary way.