Kathmandu, Nepal – At the vanguard of climate and health discourse, Partnership for Sustainable Development Nepal (PSD-Nepal) has left an indelible mark on COP28 through a trilogy of distinguished engagements. Delegates from PSD-Nepal not only orchestrated an impactful event at the Nepal Pavilion but also emerged as key panelists at the Monash University Pavilion and the Entertainment + Culture Pavilion. These engagements collectively propelled discussions on public health resilience, digital health innovations, and transdisciplinary approaches to climate action.
Preserving Health in the Himalayas: Nepal’s Climate Odyssey On December 3, 2023, the Nepal Pavilion shone under the PSD-Nepal banner with the side event “Preserving Health and Resilience in the Himalayas: Nepal’s Climate Odyssey at COP28.” This critical session underscored Nepal’s vulnerability to climate change, highlighting the intersection of health and climate against the Himalayan backdrop. Through documentary screenings, presentations, and a panel discussion featuring experts like Prof. Dr. Jonathan Patz, Bishnu Hari Bhatta, Dr. Caitlin Rublee, Dr. Bimal Raj Regmi, Dr. Suman Pant and Dr. Suresh Tiwari, the event focused on enhancing understanding and spurring action to protect the fragile Himalayan ecosystem and its people. Nepal, grappling with the impacts of climate change, showcased its vulnerabilities and the robust strides taken to safeguard its ecosystems and public health. This event underscored the intersection of health and climate against the backdrop of the Himalayas’ fragility. Attended by international delegates, government officials, health professionals, and community representatives, the dialogue fostered a collaborative spirit essential for addressing the climate crisis. The take-home messages resonated with urgency and hope. Attendees were called to embrace local innovations, recognize the interdependence of climate change on various sectors, and support international efforts tailored to the unique challenges of regions like Nepal.
Innovating with Digital Health Solutions In tandem, PSD-Nepal’s delegates brought their expertise to the Monash University Pavilion in a session titled ‘Digital Health Solutions for Climate Change Resilience: Adapting and Mitigating the Impact.’ The event sparked a lively discussion on the union of digital health and climate change resilience. The discussion was rich with innovative insights, addressing the complexities of integrating digital health strategies in the fight against climate change’s harsh realities. The panel aimed to illuminate the untapped potential of digital health solutions in bolstering climate resilience, especially in vulnerable regions like Nepal. PSD-Nepal panellists contributed to raising awareness about the digital health intersection, discussed the challenges and opportunities therein, and encouraged innovative actions within the field, specifically in the lower and middle income countries. The event facilitated robust networking and collaboration among experts and participants, fostering a community of thought leaders in climate resilience.
Climate Medicine Day: A Transdisciplinary Approach Furthering their impact, on December 5, 2023, PSD-Nepal participated as panelists in the E + C Pavilion’s Climate Medicine Day. Esteemed panelists, including Dr. Suman Pant, Mr. Bishnu Bhatta, Dr. Caitlin Rublee, Dr. Suresh Tiwari, and Prof. Jonathan Patz, led by moderator Dr. Nikhil Ranadive, examined the pivotal role of organizations in fostering community health preparedness. They emphasized the importance of cross-cutting, transdisciplinary research and collaboration, particularly in adapting and building climate resilience in vulnerable regions like South Asia and Africa. The panelists provided insight into organizational and institutional frameworks that bolster evidence-based climate policies anchored in health and equity. They shared experiences and examples of how data and science are being leveraged to formulate innovative solutions, catering to those most at risk from climate-related disasters, such as women, children, and the elderly with pre-existing health conditions.
Comprehensive Engagement at COP28 In concert with the Nepal Pavilion’s focus on “Preserving Health and Resilience in the Himalayas” and the dialogue on “Digital Health Solutions for Climate Change Resilience” at the Monash University Pavilion, PSD-Nepal’s participation in the Climate Medicine Day event enriched the conversation at COP28. These combined efforts highlighted the urgency of integrating health resilience into climate policy, the innovation in digital health, and the need for science-informed action.
PSD-Nepal’s diverse contributions to COP28 underline their relentless pursuit of a healthier, more resilient future for the Himalayas and beyond. Their initiatives offer invaluable lessons in combating climate change’s impacts through health-centered, equity-driven, and scientifically robust policies.
Contact: Mr. Bishnu Hari Bhatta, Director,
PSD-Nepal is a non-partisan, not-for-profit, and non-governmental social development organization dedicated to forging partnerships and linking communities with resources and opportunities to resource, upskill, and improve the lives of community members. PSD-Nepal is committed to advancing health and well-being through cutting-edge research and active community engagement. It bridges the gap between scientific innovation and the real-world needs of communities, fostering collaborative solutions for healthier lives. The institute facilitates social transformation, development, and community empowerment and also provides consultancy for the execution, monitoring, and evaluation of project activities pertinent to health research and development. Functioning as an intermediary organization between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, PSD-Nepal serves to link Nepal with international (and global) grants, donors, and fundraising projects.