UNIL-IUCN-UNEP workshop in Nepal concludes minutes before earthquake struck

A joint IUCN – UNEP – University of Lausanne workshop in Kathmandu and Pokhara, Nepal on the topic of Ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction was held April 21-25, 2015. The main objective on the workshop was to engage with policy makers about the importance of disaster prevention with a focus on “Eco-safe roads” in Nepal. Policy makers were invited to visit the three EPIC roadside bio-engineering sites in the Pokhara / Panchase area district. The last site visit in Bhat Khola village, Syangja District concluded five minutes before the 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck. Fortunately none of the residents of Bhat Khola were injured nor were any of the workshop participants. Many others were less fortunate and our thoughts are with the victims and affected people of Nepal. We can only hope that this tragedy leads to lessons learned and concrete actions for improved post-disaster management and a more prevention-oriented disaster management approach in Nepal.