Basanta Gautam

“Many opportunities to learn about European countries and their forest management practices”

Basanta Gautam, Nepal

I started my forestry career by working at one of the most remote national parks in Nepal called Makalu Barun. I had to walk full three days to reach to my duty station! Working in the region where natural resources management and human use move hand in hand, I had a rare opportunity to understand how theory and practice should be in balance in a country like Nepal.

During my study at UEF, I had many opportunities to learn about European countries and their forest management practices. We visited many countries during the course (e.g. Finland, Sweden, Germany, Spain, France). I completed my master thesis on the topic “Land use change and its impact on soil and water in rural villages in Dadeldhura district, Nepal”.

An opportunity to work in Finnish Forestry Company

As soon as I completed my master thesis in 2008, I got an opportunity to work in Finnish Forestry Company called Arbonaut. Arbonaut is specialized in RS and GIS based forest mapping particularly using LiDAR technology. I started my career at Arbonaut by working in power line safety assessment project. Since 2010, I have been working as the Manager at REDD+ and Sustainable Forestry Unit at Arbonaut. I have been managing forestry and REDD+ related project in developing countries (e.g. Nepal, Uganda, Cambodia, Pakistan). Currently my position at Arbonaut Ltd. involves REDD+ project design, project management, forest inventory methodology development, conducting field inventories and QA/QC of our projects.

I also represent Arbonaut in many international conferences and meetings such as UNFCCC, UN, EU, FAO, WB, CIFOR, GFOI, etc. I have regularly participated at United Nations Framework Conference on Climate Change conferences (COP) since COP15 in 2009. The UNFCCC organises COP each year to discuss issues related to climate change. The COP adopts decisions and resolutions and publishes reports. The COP decisions become a set of rules to be implemented by the parties. The main objective of the conventions is to make decisions to minimize greenhouse gas concen­trations below a level that will prevent human interference with the global climate system. I was very lucky to participate the conference in Paris, France last year where it adopted “Paris Climate Accord” with an ambitious goal to limit the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels. I will be participating the COP22 this year in Marrakech, Morocco from 7-18 November 2016. I also participated United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2012.

I really encourage new students, especially from developing countries, to apply for the upcoming MSc EF courses. This will provide opportunities to adopt practices of blend of knowledge developed in versatile institutions working in Erasmus Mundus Mobility Programme. Please feel free to contact me (basanta.gautam(at)arbonaut.com) for any assistance and advice.

Mr Basanta Gautam is currently working as a Manager at REDD+ and Sustainable Forestry Unit at Arbonaut, Finland.