1. Scaling Smallholder Tree-Based Systems for Resilience and carbon removals (official UNFCCC Side event).

Organisers: CIFOR-ICRAF and ATREE

Venue: SE Room 9

Date: 5 Dec 2023 

Time: 3:00-4:30 PM (GMT+4)

Speakers from ATREE: Abi Tamim Vanak and Anuja Malhotra

The panel brought together experience from multiple African and Indian countries on agroforestry and restoration and discussed potential ways to scale-up agroforestry systems for resilience and carbon removals.  Abi Vanak’s presentation focused on Scaling-Up Agroforestry by planting the Right Trees in the Right Place for the Right Reason. Anuja Malhotra’s presentation focused on Policy Barriers and Enablers to Enhance Agroforestry in India. Both presentations were well received with interest from potential collaborators to operationalise private finance for agroforestry and restoration in India. 

Recording available here-

  1. Mitigating Land Conflicts and Accelerating Renewable Energy

Organiser : TNC India 

 5th December 2023, 15:00-16:30



The Nature Conservancy India collaborated with the International Solar Alliance to host a side event during COP28’s Energy Day on Low-Impact Siting for Renewables: Sustainable Pathways for India, Latin America, and Sub-Saharan Africa. 

Abi Vanak was a panelist in the event. He spoke about the need for balancing requirements for space with that of biodiversity and livelihoods conservation. His main points of argument were that  renewable energy has the advantage of being decentralized, but the production model seems to be a centralized one. Therefore, if existing industrial areas and other grey infrastructure are prioritised for solar, especially in Western India, then it saves Open Natural Ecosystems such as savanna grasslands, deserts and other scrub-dominated pastoralist landscapes from being converted. In addition, marginal agricultural lands that are degraded and provide poor yields can be prioritised for agri-voltaics, so that they can have provide guaranteed income for small farmers, whilst also allowing them to produce water efficient crops. He suggested that the SiteRight tool should have more explicit land prioritisation algorithms embedded, so that these factors can be taken into account whilst suggesting areas for renewable energy expansion.  


  1. Indiaspora Climate Action Forum

Organisers: Indiaspora

Venue: Anantara Downtown Dubai Hotel, Business Bay, Dubai, UAE.

Date: 7 Dec 2023 

Details of participation:

Abi Vanak was a panelist in the discussion on Smart Planet, Smart Data: Transforming Climate Action with Information. He spoke about using interdisciplinary data for decision making, citing examples from ATREE’s work on OneHealth in Karnataka. This included highlighting approaches such as developing decision-support tools to inform policy and practice.

Link to video-

  1. Roundtable Discussion on ‘Climate-Proofing Health: Pathways for Strengthening Resilience’ co-hosted by ClimateRISE Alliance and SELCO Foundation

06th December

Venue: Energy for Health Pavilion

Participation: Abi Vanak was an invited panelist in the roundtable discussion. 

Key takeaways from the discussion here-

  1. Climate Resilient Multi-Functional Himalayan Landscapes Co-organised with ICIMOD. 

Organisers: ICIMOD and ATREE

Venue: Cryosphere Pavilion

Date: 10 Dec 2023

Time: 14:00-15:30 |  (GMT+4)

Speakers (from ATREE): Dr Eklabya Sharma

Anuja Malhotra moderated the panel discussion on restoring multi-functional landscapes and developing climate resilience for sustenance and prosperity in the HKH. The panel had representatives from Governments of Bhutan, Nepal, and Pakistan and discussed context-specific challenges, need for cooperation within the region, and good-practices that should be scaled-up for restoring the landscapes. 

Dr Eklabya Sharma made a theme presentation on”Climate Change Resilience Building by Restoring Multi-functional Landscapes in North-East India”. He highlighted the importance of the Indian Himalayan Region and its contribution globally, regionally and for India. He emphasized developing multi-functional landscapes entails values such as biological, ecological, socio-cultural and aesthetic. The restoration of multi-functional landscapes by ATREE in Kangchenjunga landscapes especially contributions in managing corridors, protected areas, community and government forests, wetlands, high altitude rangelands, rejuvenation of oak forests, agroforestry and climate smart agriculture, and human-wildlife conflicts were highlighted. Based on his and Dr Arun Shesthra’s theme presentation, panelists from Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan shared their views for developing climate resilient Hindu Kush Himalaya.  

  1. The call of the cryosphere: Disappearing snow and ice in the Hindu Kush Himalaya

10 Dec 2023 | 1130 – 1300|Building 71, Cryosphere Pavilion, Blue Zone | COP28, Dubai

Dr Eklabya Sharma from ATREE was on the panel. He presented the status of cryosphere research in the Indian Himalayan Region. He emphasized that there are different strategies for the arid western region and highly wet eastern region. Giving the examples of 2013 Kedarnath and 2023 Sikkim – Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs) he suggested better science for policy, effective early warning systems, preparedness and ensuring active participation of all stakeholders. He mentioned that the approach should be holistic and not the cryosphere alone for sustainable solutions but to include water, ice, society and ecosystems dealing in a holistic manner. Finally, he also called for looking into transboundary dimension, looking into region wise impact, upstream-downstream cascading impacts, and very importantly call for collaboration for monitoring cryosphere, data and information sharing, establishing real time GLOF information sharing systems, showing loss and damage estimations and building capacities of institutions and communities towards resilience building. 

  1. Panel Discussion on Policy Strategies for Adaptation and Mitigation to Achieve Nepal’s Global Commitments at Nepal Pavilion on 10 December 2023, from 5.30 – 6.30 PM (UAE Time).

Dr Eklabya Sharma from ATREE was on the panel. He appreciated the study report on “Nepal’s Renewable Energy Policy”. He emphasized that the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) shared by eight countries needs a renewable energy development strategy. Mountain specific strategies are required by countries like China, Bangladesh, India, Myanmar and Pakistan whose policies are mainly plain centric. He said, ICIMOD like cryosphere should highlight the renewable energy development in the region and should develop mechanisms on regional sharing and networking for mountain areas of the HKH.

  • Date : 5 December 2023 - 10 December 2023