Himalayan Week, 8-10 Sep 2014

Welcome to the Himalayan Week events in Helsinki on 8-10 September 2014 !

”Water conflicts in the Himalayas” on Mon 8 Sep at 10-12 am in Parliament's Visitor Centre (“Kansalaisinfo”)

Rivers originating from the Himalayas are crucial not only to local ecosystems, but as a backbone of whole civilizations. Water is essential for all life processes, but also crucial industrial and agricultural resource, among other things.

The Siemenpuu Foundation SADED working group is organising a public discussion, together with the Minister for International Development, Mr Pekka Haavisto. This event is dealing with the characteristics of water conflicts around Himalayas. The topics discussed are the availability of clean water and its life supporting functions, competition over water, and political challenges – and opportunities – created by the situation, where the interests of a number of nations are at stake. Also, through the guidance of the Minister Haavisto, the role of water in Finnish development policy will be discussed.

The main speakers of this event will be Prof. Jayanta Bandyopadhyay (India) and Minister for International Development, Mr Pekka Haavisto. Other speaker are Mr Olli-Pekka Haavisto and Mr Thomas Wallgren.

The event is held in English.

Programme, 8 Sep 2014:

10:00 Thomas Wallgren: Opening remarks
10:05 Olli-Pekka Haavisto: Global freshwater crisis; an overview
10:25 Minister Pekka Haavisto
10:50 Questions to Minister Haavisto
11:00 Prof. Jayanta Bandyopadhyay "The Himalaya: Water Relations and Ecology"
11:30 Questions to Prof. Bandyopadhyay
11:40 Discussion, moderated by Thomas Wallgren                                                 
12:00 Closing

The event can be found also on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/686570168088167/

More information: kari.bottas (at) siemenpuu.org (tel. 050 5691 478)


Himalayan Day: The Futures of the Himalayas on Tue 9 Sep at 12-4 pm in Cultural Centre Caisa

Siemenpuu Foundation’s SADED cooperation programme and the University Turku Department of Geography and Geology are bringing the annual Himalayan Day to Finland in order to stir up conversation on the essential significance of the Himalayas in the political, economic and socio-cultural development of Southern Asia, and on the challenges that the communities of the Himalayas face as climate change proceeds.

Why are the Himalayas so essential? How are climate change and it’s international market-based mitigation mechanisms affecting the livelihoods of Himalayan communities? How have the political and economic interests towards Himalayas and it’s natural resources lead into formation of local peoples’ movements?

The international guest speakers of the day are coming from Calcutta, Delhi and Uttarakhand of India: Already retired Dr Jayanta Bandyopadhyay has studied a lot of the regional water politics and followed the formation and activities of the Himalayan Chipko forest movement. Dr Suraj Mal from the University of Delhi Department of Geography has written widely on the climatic development in the Himalayan Region. Mr Bhuwan Pathak is a farmer and an activist, who is working also internationally i.e. through the World’s Social Forum process. Mr Pawan Gupta has worked long with educational issues and sustainable rural living in Uttarakhand in the Himalayas.

Welcome to listen and discuss the international significance and future challenges of the Himalayas! The event is held in English.

For the serving of coffee/tea and pie (vegetarian), please sign up by Friday September 5th at 17.00 at kari.bottas (at) siemenpuu.org

You can find the event also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/489712247799213/

The Himalayan Day programme, 9 Sep 2014:

12.00-12.05 Kukka Harvilahti & Lydia Laine: Miss Himalaya

12.05-12.20 Opening remarks by Marko Ulvila (Siemenpuu SADED Group) and Reija Hietala (University of Turku)

12.20-13.05 Dr Jayanta Bandyopadhyay: “The Himalayan Future: Transition, Equity and Ecological Stability

13.05-13.35 Dr Suraj Mal, University of Delhi: "Glaciers responses to changing climatic conditions in Nanda Devi region, central Himalaya, India"

13.35-13.55 Coffee break

13.55-14.20 Tikli Loivaranta, University of Turku: “Participation in a CDM Afforestation/Reforestation Project in Himachal Pradesh: Success Stories and Shortcomings

14.20-14.45 Johanna Hänninen, University of Turku: “Between aspirations and socio-economic realities: Livelihood strategies of Gaddi community in Himachal Pradesh, India

14.45-15.05 Commentary from Mr Bhuwan Pathak and Mr Pawan Gupta

15.05-15.55 Panel discussion: The Futures of the Himalayas: How do the futures of the local communities and their livelihoods look like as the climate change proceeds? Discussion between Jayanta Bandyopadhyay, Suraj Mal, Bhuwan Pathak and Pawan Gupta; moderated by Marko Ulvila

15.55-16.00 Closing remarks by Marko Ulvila


Siemenpuu Foundation’s SADED cooperation programme: South Asian Dialogues on Ecological Democracy (SADED) promotes the access of marginalised groups to decision making on natural resources. Through locally-established action groups, SADED focuses particularly in questions concerning food security and the climate and in building up the autonomy of communities. The purpose of the network is to bring new perspectives into social dialogue and to encourage people to critical thinking and observation. (For more information, see: http://siemenpuu.org/en/programme/saded)

University of Turku’s joint project with Indian universities, including University of Delhi Department of Geography, scrutinizes livelihood issues in the rapidly changing environments in the southwestern Himalayas, in the state of Himachal Pradesh, India. The project is funded by Academy of Finland. (More information on the primary project results, see http://link.springer.com/book/10.1007%2F978-4-431-54868-3)


"Trade and Environment - Conflict or Dialogue?" on Wed 10.9. at 3-6 pm at the Finnish Food Workers' Union (SEL)

*** Unfortunately the event has been cancelled due to sickness! ***

Welcome to a discussion event by Siemenpuu SADED Group and TTIP Network: Trade and environment - conflict or dialogue?

Mankind is using renewable natural resources more and more rapidly, which makes it more difficult for the Earth to renew them. Trade and environment issues are negotiated in different arenas but they are fundamentally linked to each other. International trade and trade negotiations mix with environmental issues through, for example, energy production and use, transport, water, traveling and tourism, construction, waste management and sanitation. Measures to protect environment however can be seen as barriers to trade.

Trade negotiations are taking place on several fronts all the time, but public debate on them is very limited few. Siemenpuu Foundation SADED working group and the TTIP-network invite all interested parties to an open discussion on the relationship of trade and environment issues. There will be a presentation about the current Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and it’s possible environmental impacts by Henri Purje from the TTIP-network, followed by senior scientist Dr Leena Gupta (India) looking into how trade and environment agreements/trade liberalisation and environmental protection measures conflict, using Indian Clean Development Mechanism projects as an example. Other Indian partners of Siemenpuu will also join the discussion.

Join us to listen, question and comment! The event will be in English.

The event can also be found in facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/362445600581044/