04 Nov 1999 - 06 Nov 1999 Godvari Village Resort, Kathmandu, Nepal
South Asian countries confront enormous challenges in managing economic growth and human development in light of changing environmental conditions. Economic growth and population pressures have, in turn, put tremendous stress on the region's environment and natural resources. With increasing pressure on land and water resources, South Asian countries need to develop novel strategies for agriculture, soil conservation, irrigation development and watershed management. There is also a need for innovative mechanisms, both market- based and regulatory, that can lead to local and global pollution abatement, increased energy- efficiency and improved air and water quality. The rural and urban poor, who are often the most affected by negative environmental change, need particular attention as they adjust to a globalizing world that offers both opportunities for and challenges to environmental management.
The South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics (SANDEE) is a new network that seeks to use economic tools and analyses to address some of South Asia's environmental challenges. SANDEE is based on the premise that the joint field of environment and development economics offers a useful framework for analyzing the growth-poverty-environmental change nexus. SANDEE's mission is to strengthen the research capacity of South Asian researchers and institutions and to disseminate practical information that can be applied to development-environment policies.
SANDEE was inaugurated in Kathmandu during November 4th to 6th 1999. Approximately 60 scholars from 10 countries including five of the seven SAARC countries (Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka attended the inaugural meeting. The main purpose of the meeting was to identify research and training gaps in environmental and natural resource economics in the region. This event was co-sponsored by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Sweden and IUCN - the World Conservation Union, Nepal.
At the inaugural session on November 4, 1999, Dr. Priya Shyamsundar, SANDEE's Program Director, welcomed guests and participants. Dr. Ambika Adhikari, Country Representative, IUCN Nepal chaired a panel discussion on "Environment and Natural Resource Economics in South Asia - Policy Research and Training Gaps." The panelists were Dr. Mohan Man Sainju, Executive Chairman, Institute of Integrated Development Studies, Nepal; Dr. I. G. Patel, former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India; and Prof. Karl-Goran Maler, Director of the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics. Prof. Partha Dasgupta, Professor, Faculty of Economics, Cambridge University presented the key note address on "Valuation and Evaluation."