Monday, October 20, 2014

A Short Visit To ICIMOD Knowledge Park In Godavari, Nepal

Do You Know What ICIMOD Is?

The mid-noon Sun just changed the course of its burning chariots towards the western sky. The road from Patlikhet to Godavari was undeniably bumpy and gave me a hard time for sleeping. I must admit it was a relieve to know that we reached our destination, to ICIMOD Knowledge Park.

Naturally grown garden
Now you can ask what ICIMOD stands for.

Well, it's the abbreviation of "International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development" in short ICIMOD. It's a regional intergovernmental learning and knowledge sharing centre serving the eight regional member countries of the Hindu Kush Himalayas which are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan.  But ICIMOD is basically based in Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal.

Now you might ask what the function of ICIMOD is or simply what does it do.
Well, by its name its not hard to guess that it must be something to do with mountain and development! haha !
However, the primary function of ICIMOD is pretty simple. You might have heard that the increasing impact of both globalization and climate change on the stability of fragile mountain ecosystem is hugely affecting the livelihoods of the people living in mountains. Here comes the role-play of ICIMOD which aims to aid the mountain people to understand these changes, adapt to them while addressing the most concerning issues regarding this agenda.

Now What Is ICIMOD Knowledge Park?

At ICIMOD Knowledge Park

Jess and I, still left some energy to take photos!

The ICIMOD Knowledge Park at Godavari  was established in March 1993 on the southern slopes of the Kathmandu Valley. The site was originally named the ‘Godavari Trial and Demonstration Site’, and was aimed for testing and demonstration of different systems and methodologies related to mountain development and sustainable farming practices on the sloping land of the mid-hills of the Hindu Kush-Himalayan region.

The activities of ICIMOD Knowledge Park are closely related to ICIMOD’s central motto which is to " promote the development of an economically and environmentally sound mountain ecosystem and to improve the living standards of mountain populations in the Hindu Kush-Himalayas.." (which includes all or part of the eight countries Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan).

This particular site of ICIMOD Knowledge Park is a place where various technologies, farming and other effective practice of sustainable development is granted to demonstrate. Here, the farmers and those who work with them are given training to improve their skill in different farming methodologies & related technologies.

To get a clearer idea stating from ICIMOD's official site : " can serve as a repository for plant germplasm resources and associated floral and faunal biodiversity. The activities help underpin ICIMOD’s focus on the two major issues challenging the region: the reduction of poverty and the conservation of the natural resource base.."

So Basically when we visited the site we were amazed to see how eco-friendly technologies can be used fruitfully to preserve water, grow plants, trees, crops, even mushrooms, how the solar system is used to dry up fruits and vegetable and lot more.

The Solar System

A system of preserving water by soaking the fog through the thick net and then by letting it pass into the bottle drop by drop

These are not mere logs; these are used to grow mushrooms

A grown mushroom 

Dried Vegetables

Solar system for cooking with natural sun-heat

Besides, in this park all plants are grown under organic conditions, that is without inputs of inorganic fertilizer or pesticides. So the poor farmers who get trained in organic plantation and are usually unable to buy commercial agricultural inputs they they can easily do farming in their remote areas without having worries about artificial support.

The Noticeable Works That Are Demonstrated Here : 

  • In the beginning of the establishment of this park, a large part of the site was hugely degraded and the initial activities were focused on the rehabilitation of degraded land systems. 
  • A considerable part of the degraded forest and shrubland has been gradually restored to semi-natural forest. 
  • Selected slopes have been converted to crop-bearing terrace land using contour hedgerows of nitrogen-fixing plants.
  • Orchards of different types of fruit trees have been planted; 
  • Demonstration of sites for various agricultural technologies, income generating activities, and water harvesting techniques- these have been set up. 
  • Various models of renewable energy technologies have been introduced in collaboration with local NGOs. 
  • A wetlands development site has been established. 
  • A training centre for farmers and who work for farming has been built. 
  • The number of approaches being tested and demonstrated has increased over time, with the aim of covering all the different aspects involved in a genuinely integrated approach to mountain development and agriculture. 

I liked this road very much

Solar systems

This visit to ICIMOD Knowledge park was very informative and also full of enjoyment with those crazy folks around me! For first time I held a "Peach Fruit" on my palm and nevertheless, tasted it!
Peach Fruit

They were so enthusiastic to take leaps :P

The Hands-On Photograph :D

Mostly this was the way out!

Not to mention all of us were too much exhausted and wanted to return Pasa Yard badly. So the trip was made quite short, but not short in the way what I learned from this visit.

So, what we needed right there, cold water to drink and shower, a bed to rest our over-burdened bodies, and ofcourse a platter full of dinner! So my next post would be about how Shakeel made us delicious Chicken Biriyani and Raita for dinner including all recipes and everything!
Meet Anima Choudhury, the author of this
"oh-God-so-boring-typo" blog!

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