Steve Scott-Fawcett began by giving us some basic facts about Nepal, e.g. it is about half the size of the UK, with a population also about half the size of ours. Geographically there are three main areas: the high Himalayas close to the northern border, then the central ‘hilly’ area (to us still mountainous!), and the fertile plains in the south. 123 languages are spoken and about half of the population speak official Nepali. 80% of the population is Hindu. Until about 1860 Nepal was a collection of many small kingdoms, which thereafter gradually merged and in 1923 Nepal became a single independent nation. Politically it has had its problems, for instance the civil war in the late 1990s and early 2000s and also there is the need for more widely-available educational and employment opportunities. The population is patriarchal in many ways, although in the home it is the women who have the say! Transportation is a problem, which is not surprising given the mountainous terrain. Natural disasters are also a threat; Nepal is prone to earthquakes (the last was in 2015) and also to mudslides during the monsoon season. Global warming has led to increased snow melt in the mountains, with a build-up of water behind dams, so if any of these should break, the consequences would be disastrous. So Nepal faces a number of very significant challenges. After some questions from members, the chairman thanked Simon for his very interesting talk.