Keynote Speaker: Eklabya Sharma
Title: Biodiversity Conservation and Ecosystem Services for Sustainable Development in the Hindu Kush Himalaya
Eklabya Sharma, Deputy Director General at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), is an ecologist with over 35 years of experience in developing, managing, and implementing programmes mainly on sustainable mountain development in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region. He has 30 years of senior management and executive experience. In ICIMOD he oversees operations and complex projects across 8 countries with 300+ staff and 200+ partner-institutions. He steered the 5-yr Hindu-Kush-Himalaya Assessment engaging 350+ scientists globally and published by Springer Nature in 2019.
Sharma specialized in mountain ecology. His contributions are in the diverse fields of ecology such as mountain ecosystem studies and ecosystem management; participatory mountain development focusing on natural resource management and protected areas; appropriate technology development, demonstration and capacity building of mountain communities on-farm productivity and sustainable natural resource management; biodiversity conservation; transboundary biodiversity landscape development; biodiversity and ecotourism in mountain areas; mountain farming systems specializing on linkages such as agroforestry, forests and agriculture; biogeochemical cycling in ecosystems with a special thrust on nitrogen fixation, phosphorus solubilisation and biological maintenance of soil fertility; watershed management including land-use/cover change, hydro-ecological linkages and carbon dynamics; and climate change impact assessments, adaptation and resilience.
In the arrangement of inter-governmental setting of ICIMOD,he eveloped regional cooperation among the eight countries of the HKH with particular focus on science-policy-practice, transboundary landscape management, upstream-downstream relationship, and innovations on resilience building. He contributed to global mountain agenda through IPBES, CBD and UNFCCC processes.
He has received many national and international awards including the Young Scientist Award of the Indian National Science Academy in 1988; Eminent Scientist Award from the Government of India; and Honorable Mention Paper Award from the Soil and Water Conservation Society, USA. He was elected Fellow of the National Institute of Ecology, India; Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, India; and Fellow of the Indian National Science Academy, India. He has more than 200 publications, with the majority published in international journals. He was the Chief Editor of the Journal of Hill Research, the Regional Editor for Asia of Mountain Research and Development journal, and now serves on the international editorial board and one of the directors of this journal. He has supervised seven PhD theses on ecology, primarily dealing with natural resource management of the eastern Himalayas.