Binod Dawadi is Associate Professor at the Central Department of Hydrology and Meteorology, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal. He has been visiting professor at the CIRM for one month, in May 2022, with support of the Herbette Foundation.
Interview of 20th June 2022
Emmanuel Reynard (ER): Can you present briefly yourself?
Binod Dawadi (BD): I am Binod Dawadi, Associate Professor at Central Department of Hydrology and Meteorology, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal and also working as a Deputy Director at Kathmandu Center for Research and Education (KCRE), Chinese Academy of Sciences - Tribhuvan University. KCRE is a joint research center of Chinese Academy of Sciences and Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu Nepal. Climate change and its impact is my area of interest.
ER: You have been for one month at CIRM with the objective to improve international relations of your department? Why did you choose the CIRM for your stay?
BD: Nepal is a unique country with the highest elevation gradient from 60 m to 8,848 m, the highest mountain in the world, within a short distance of less than 200 km, and it is home of 8/10 of the world's highest peaks. Nepal’s low-level development, complex topography, and variability in climate and micro-climate within short distance makes it vulnerable to climate change (4th vulnerable country to climate change in the world). In addition, the country is rich in climatic diversity, biodiversity and cultural and ethnic diversity.
As a developing country, despite the above-mentioned opportunities offered by nature, Nepal has other priorities than the scientific issues. I’m convinced that joint collaborative projects, academic mobility, scientific meetings/workshop/training are the only way to enhance the scientific capacity and transfer the technological knowledge in the relevant field from the developed to the developing world. In addition, we are lacking interdisciplinary research. In this context, I found the Interdisciplinary Centre for Mountain Research (CIRM) established at the University of Lausanne with the aims to strengthen knowledge on mountains specific issues such as climate change, land planning or economic vulnerability in a changing context with interdisciplinary approach. This fact encouraged me to choose CIRM.
ER: What was the program of your stay?
BD: I was involved in different activities during my stay in Lausanne: networking within UNIL and at national level of Switzerland; field expeditions and visits to interdisciplinary projects, interaction with international students at Lausanne University and teaching activities, conferences, and seminars.
I got the opportunity to discuss with professors of UNIL in the areas of mutual interest. I am highly encouraged by the research interests shown by the professors at UNIL to work together in the Nepalese Himalayas. I had also the opportunity to visit the International Relations Office where I presented my university and our interest to work together with UNIL. I am quite impressed by the collaborative work of University of Lausanne. At the end of the month, I exchanged with Prof. Niklas Linde, Dean of the Faculty of Geosciences and the Environment (FGSE), and we discussed about the possibility of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Tribhuvan University and the University of Lausanne.
Making my visit fruitful, CIRM prepared different programs of meetings and exchanges at the national level too, during which I could discuss with Forum Landscape, Alps, Parks (FoLAP) of the Swiss Academy of Sciences, Mountain Research Initiative (MRI), and the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) of the University of Bern.
I was also involved in different field expeditions in Chamonix, Val d’Hérens, Geneva, Natural Park Gruyère-Pays-d’Enhaut, Vallon de Nant and I gained hands-on knowledge in natural resource management, hydro-meteorological observation and other interdisciplinary areas of the science. I got also the chance to interact with international Ph.D. students and post-doctoral fellows at Lausanne University who are working in the Himalayas and provide feedback, comments, and suggestions in their research.
During the visit, I gave three conferences with different level audiences which provided an excellent platform to exchange ideas and knowledge.
ER: How do you perceive the scientific activity of CIRM?
BD: During the one-month stay period at CIRM, I found the major strength of CIRM is the capacity to bring diverse scientific knowledges together to solve mountains issues such as climate change, land planning or economic vulnerability in a changing context. I am highly impressed by their creative ideas, programs, activities, their collaborative nature (current and future) and the ways they perform.
ER: What will be the next step following your stay at UNIL?
BD: During the visit, I got the opportunity to upgrade my knowledge in climate change, natural resource management, and interdisciplinary approach. In addition, this visit provided an excellent forum for international networking and finding the potential areas/researchers interested in working together in the Himalayas of Nepal. Furthermore, we are planning to have Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two institutions and to move forward to work together in the areas of mutual interest and connect M2M (Himalayan Mountains to Swiss Alps Mountains)
ER: And a last, more personal comment on your stay at UNIL?
BD: During my stay period at UNIL, I have been quite impressed by the academic, scientific and collaborative nature of the faculties and University as well. I hope to work together for the mountain climate, mountain people and learn and compare the mountain environment of the two different parts of the globe and connect M2M in ideas, resources and knowledge.