Yale Himalaya Initiative

environment | livelihood | culture


Narayan Gyawali on flood resilience in development practice with LWR and YHI

Representing the Lutheran World Relief (LWR), Narayan Gyawali has worked with communities in India and Nepal to develop resilience to flooding-related disasters. Although the communities remain vulnerable and marginalized in political systems of the two nations, projects such as the Trans-boundary Resilience Project (TBR) are contributing to increased resilience and livelihoods of the local areas. Along with Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies graduate students Zach Garcia and Camilo Huneeus-Guzman, Narayan presented his development work for the YHI Spring 2018 series.

YHI joins Himalayan Universities Consortium

By: Amanda Mei

The Yale Himalaya Initiative is now an associate member of the Himalayan Universities Consortium (HUC) under the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). At the annual meeting of HUC on November 1, the consortium enabled YHI to join its research network. Induction of YHI in HUC has charted a path for similar university initiatives around the world to join the consortium.

Graduate student panel: Illegal timber extraction, creation of national forest inventory, bird conservation, and public health in Bhutan and India

Representing four different approaches to understanding the coupled human-environment systems of the Himalayas, graduate students Anwesha Dutta, Younten Phuntsho, Indra Acharja, and Catherine Schuetze joined the Yale Himalaya Initiative for a panel discussion on November 14. Anwesha Dutta spoke about the political economy of illegal timber extraction in Assam, India. Youngten Phuntsho discussed his work on the national forest inventory of Bhutan. Indra Acharja addressed bird conservation by the Royal Society for the Protection of Nature in Bhutan. Lastly, Catherine Schuetze overviewed the One Health policy for human, animal, and environmental health in Bhutan.

Dekila Chungyalpa on cultivating conservation and community through religion in the Himalayas

Conservationist Dekila Chungyalpa mobilizes communities to work on environmental projects in the Himalayas—with the help of religious leaders. Since Dekila began working towards inter-linking conservation and religion, she has become a proponent of cross-boundary partnerships between conservationists and religious institutions. On November 7, as part of the Yale Himalaya Initiative’s Fall 2017 seminar series, Dekila gave a lecture entitled “Cultivating Conservation and Community: Eco-Monastic Leadership in the Himalayas.”

Lhakpa Sherpa: story of the first and most successful woman climber of Mount Everest

Hosted by the Himalayan Students Association at Yale and supported by the Yale Himalaya Initiative, mountain climber Lhakpa Sherpa joined us for a reception and discussion of her life achievements. Lhakpa is the first Nepalese woman to successfully summit Mount Everest in the year 2000. She has since summited the 8,848-meter-high mountain eight times, more than any other woman in the world. Lhakpa along with her two daughters and son visited Yale for the first time on October 25. 

Pasang Sherpa on climate change in Humla, Nepal

By: Amanda Mei

Pasang Yangjee Sherpa, an anthropologist from Nepal, joined the Yale Himalaya Initiative Tuesday evening for a discussion about climate change in her country. Interested in locals’ knowledge of and responses to the changing climate, Sherpa spoke about her research in the Humla district, as well as her previous work in the Everest district of Solukhumbu. She maintains a personal and professional interest in the region where “climate change in its multiple forms is still an everyday lived reality.”

638 years of summer temperature variability over the Bhutanese Himalaya

By:Peter Jang - On Tuesday evening, Edward R. Cook, Director of the Tree-Ring Lab at Columbia University, presented his recent study on climate change in Bhutan and the greater Himalayas. With the help of Paul Krusic (Stockholm University) and local Bhutanese researchers, Professor Cook established a dendrochronological network comprised of twelve locations throughout Bhutan dating back to 2002.

Khenpo Karma Tenkyong on Happiness, Love & Compassion

“Khenpo Karma Tenkyong is a Resident Teacher at ‘Karma Triyana Dharmachakra’ the North American Seat of His Holiness the Gyalwang Karmapa. On February 10th, 2015 he addressed the topic of “Meaning of Interdependence: Compassion to Earth” at his talk organized by Yale Himalayan Initiative. In his talk he urged the listeners to think about what happiness, love and compassion means to them. He then discussed how does happiness relates to interdependence and compassion to Earth.

Brief on Bhutan Foundation's Visit

The Program Director of Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environment (UWICE), Dr. Ngawang Norbu presented about the institute and its involvement in protecting and conserving the environment and biodiversity of Bhutan. The event was title “The Last Himalayan Refugia: Insights into Bhutan from a Conservation Standpoint.” He elucidated on the intricate relationship of interdependence through his example of a bird species found in Bhutan that migrates to Congo. He shared issues and challenges faced by Bhutan in the face of rapidly changing world and the threat of climate change.


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