Jack D. Ives

Honorary Adjunct Research Professor of Geography and Environmental Studies, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Title of the lecture: From the Mountain Agenda to the International Year of Sustainable Mountain Development 2022: Progress, Problems, and Future Directions (Tentative)
Jack D. Ives is a Canadian mountain geographer, an Honorary Adjunct Research Professor of Geography and Environmental Studies at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, an author, and a prominent advocate of mountain issues at the global level. He was formerly director of the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research at the University of Colorado, Boulder, founding editor of two peer-reviewed journals, chair of the Commission on High Altitude Geoecology under the auspices of the International Geographical Union, and a senior advisor on mountain ecology and sustainable development for United Nations University. Perhaps no other person in the past century has had as much impact in bringing mountains to the attention of the global development, scientific, and educational communities.

Pitamber Sharma

Title of the lecture: Mobility and Mountain Development: the case of Nepal.
Former Professor of Geography, Tribhuvan University, and former Vice-Chair of the National Planning Commission of Nepal. He is currently associated with Resources Himalaya Foundation, a not-for-profit organization working on environment and livelihood issues in the Himalayas. He has worked widely on issues of urbanization, environment, tourism and regional development. His publications include Urbanization in Nepal (1989), Market Towns in the Hindu-Kush Himalayas (2000), Tourism as Development (2001), Unravelling the Mozaic (2008), Some Aspects of Nepal’s Social Demography (2014), and the recently published Nepal-India Border Disputes (2022). He holds a PhD in Urban and Regional Planning from Cornell University, USA.

Edwin Bernbaum

Title of the lecture: The Heights of Inspiration: The Role of Sacred Mountains in Promoting Environmental and Cultural Conservation
Edwin Bernbaum, Ph,D, is Co-Chair of the IUCN Specialist Group on the Cultural and Spiritual Values of Protected Areas (CSVPA), Senior Fellow at the Instituto de Montaña, and a leading authority on sacred mountains. The first edition of his book Sacred Mountains of the World received the Commonwealth Club of California’s gold medal for nonfiction. Cambridge University Press has recently published an updated second edition. As Director of the Sacred Mountains Program at The Mountain Institute, he initiated and directed projects developing interpretive materials with US National Parks based on the cultural and spiritual significance of features of nature in cultures around the world. He worked with ICIMOD on a proposed nomination of Mount Kailash and the pilgrimage routes leading to it from India and Nepal as a UNESCO trans-boundary World Heritage site.

Frederic Kauffman

CEO and Founder of The NeverRest Project
Title of the lecture: The NeverRest Project: How Nepal’s going to lead the sustainability agenda.
The NeverRest Project is an environmental and technological engineering company that works to implement a system of sustainable actions and a self-sufficient circular economy aimed at environmental protection and management, to achieve a balance between tourism and ecosystem.
Frédéric Kauffmann has dedicated most of his career to Communication, winning awards and recognitions for environmental communication, such as the 2019 Impact Award (Barcelona) or the Act.Responsible -affiliated with the United Nations Department of Global Communication and Global Impact for the ‘Plastic Fish’ campaign to raise awareness about sea and oceans pollution.

Ghana Shyam Gurung

Country Representative of WWF Nepal

Title of the lecture: Conservation Development in Nepal

Dr. Ghana Shyam Gurung is the Country Representative of WWF Nepal, and Snow Leopard Champion of the WWF network. Dr. Gurung previously worked as Senior Conservation Program Director at WWF Nepal and has over 30 years of experience in participatory biodiversity conservation. His multifaceted conservation journey – working his way up from humble beginnings in setting up protected areas, to managing multi-disciplinary projects in the Conservation Areas, and later supporting the establishment of trans-boundary conservation landscapes – has established him as a known and respected figure in the local and international conservation fraternity.
Under his leadership in WWF Nepal’s conservation programs, Nepal has witnessed significant growth in key wildlife species, 365 days of zero poaching of the rhino on six occasions, understanding of snow leopards and the Tx2 – almost tripling of wild tigers. All of this, while instigating community-based institutions as local stewards of nature.
He has received “Sewa Padak” on the Silver Jubilee of Panchayat System from then Royal Government of Nepal and “Bidhya Bhushan Ka” award from the first president of Nepal – Mr. Ram Baran Yadav. Furthermore, he has conferred with the conservationist medal in 2021 by the present President of Nepal – Honorable Bidya Devi Bhandari. Also, received Conservation Partnership medal in 2022 from Nepal Chief of Army.
Believing strongly in the role of the next generation to carry forward Nepal’s conservation legacy, Dr. Gurung is a motivational speaker and a mentor to many. He has helped establish over 35 scholarships in the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area for disadvantaged girls managed by local women groups, as well as played critical role in establishing five annual Memorial Scholarships through WWF Nepal to pursue higher education in conservation in memory of the conservation heroes that lost their lives in the tragic 2006 helicopter crash.
Leveraging over three decades of experience in conservation, he speaks regularly at events, forums, and conferences – local and global. He has been involved in an advisory capacity at various institutions, chaired national working groups on human-tiger conflict, and more. He holds a PhD in Natural Science from the University of Zurich, Switzerland.

Alton C. Byers

Title of the lecture: Notes from the Field: Contemporary Social and Physical Changes in Nepal’s high Mountains

Alton C. Byers, Ph.D. is a mountain geographer, conservationist, and mountaineer specializing in applied research, high altitude ecosystems, climate change, glacier hazards, and integrated conservation and development programs. He and his botanist wife, Elizabeth, recently completed a 6-month research project in the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area, east Nepal, studying contemporary impacts on alpine ecosystems as part of their Fulbright Research Scholar Award.