[HimalAndes Focused Conversation] Felipe Custer: Week 1 Introduction

Dear KM4Dev Members, 

It is my distinct pleasure to moderate the first week of the 3 week focused conversation on "Knowledge sharing around water management innovations in the Andes and Himalayas". We have had the good fortune of receiving many excellent case studies from a wide variety of experts, with every day offering a new case study, so please consider offering prompt feedback. 
By way of introduction: 
Networks are an essential part of adapting and finding solutions to the many changes our world is currently undergoing. Each of the four case studies presented this week, during Week 1 of the “Knowledge Sharing around water management innovations in the Andes and Himalayas” electronic forum, describes the power of networks in addressing a variety of challenges around water management in the Andean and Himalayan mountain ranges. All of the authors are highly specialized and experienced in their disciplines.

The first and second case studies under discussion this week are provided by CONDESAN. CONDESAN was founded in 1993 and has since consolidated its position as an important platform for issues related to natural resource management and sustainable development in the Andean region, particularly in water and watershed management. CONDESAN generates and shares information and knowledge about natural resource management in Andean rural societies to promote policy dialogues with local actors, national governments and regional organisms. The organization seeks to strengthen Andean human and institutional capital in order to promote new leaders for sustainable development in the Andes.

Our third case study this week is written by Alton C. Byers, Ph.D., who is a mountain geographer, conservationist and mountaineer specializing in applied research, high altitude ecosystems, climate change, and integrated conservation and development programs. He joined The Mountain Institute (TMI) in 1990 as Environmental Advisor, and has since worked as Co-Manager of the Makalu-Barun National Park (Nepal Programs), founder and Director of Andean Programs, Director of Appalachian Programs, and, since 2004, as Director of Science and Exploration. Since March, 2012 he has worked as Co-Manager of the USAID-funded High Mountains Adaptation Partnership project (HiMAP) that is implementing climate change adaptation and glacial lake risk reduction projects in the Mt. Everest region of Nepal and Cordillera Blanca region of Peru.

This week’s fourth case study is provided by Jorge Recharte, Ph.D., Director of South America Programs, who is based in Huaraz and Lima, Peru. Jorge joined TMI in 1997 after spending three years in Ecuador (1994-1996) working for the Latin American Social Science Faculty (FLACSO), designing and heading the graduate education and research program in Mountain Societies and Sustainable Development. Between 1980-1981 and 1990-1993, Dr. Recharte was an associate researcher at the International Potato Center, where he worked developing participatory research methodologies in agriculture. He currently serves on the Board of The Common Good Institute and is a member of the Andes Chapter of the International Mountain Society (IMS).

With distinguished expertise, all of this week’s authors provide highly relevant and thought-provoking perspectives. They invite us to consider the strength in forming Communities of Practice, along with some of the challenges and special considerations inherent in doing so. They encourage us to ask: What are the most effective ways to promote stakeholder engagement in a sustainable way? What strategies should we replicate to help other communities confront similar challenges? How do we best communicate these new approaches? There are many more questions and surely more will surface through this week’s discussions. We hope for a lively discussion with lots of participation!

Sincerely yours,
Felipe Custer 

Think green P Consider the environment before printing this e-mail. Thank you!

Maneja menos - Aprovecha la luz- Usa menos agua - Evita las bolsas plásticas -  Imprime menos - Planta un árbol - Cambia tus ampolletas - Medita el  impacto de tus acciones - anda en bicicleta- piensa colectivo!

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