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PROCEEDINGS REPORT


Himalayan Consensus Summit / 2018

MESSAGE

FROM FOUNDER & SECRETARY GENERAL

ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD AND SECRETARIAT OF

Of highest interest among the deliverables from last year

HIMALAYAN CONSENSUS, WE WISH TO EXPRESS OUR

was a proposal by Mahendra P. Lama, one of the members

SINCERE THANKS to each and every one of the speakers and

of the Eminent Persons Group on Nepal- India Relations and

participants who contributed to the success of our Himalayan

Executive Board Member of Himalayan Consensus along

Consensus Summit (HCS) 2018. The outcomes by far exceeded

with Ambassador Sun Yuxi, China’s leading crisis envoy.

all of our original expectations.

Together they called for a facility to reduce crisis and conflict by addressing problems at their root rather than the effect.

The HCS 2018, held on 23 and 24 March, began with a

This breakthrough proposal manifested in outcomes through

reporting of deliverables from commitments made in 2017:

commitments by both UNDP Nepal and UNDP China towards establishing a Himalayan Consensus Crisis and Conflict

Christopher Flensborg, Head of Climate and Sustainable

Mitigation Facility as a two pronged program.

Financial Solutions at SEB, reported on SEB’s tangible progress toward establishing Himalayan Consensus Renewable Energy

Renaud Meyer, Country Director of UNDP Nepal, introduced

and Water Conservation Fund to support green energy and

the Cardamom Campaign for Peace, an initiative seeking

water conservation projects across the region.

to empower communities by strengthening income earning together with resilience against environmental disruption. As

Eckart Roth, Chief Risk Officer at Peak Re, explained Peak Re’s

part of the program, the first Community Resilience Leadership

progress and the technical intricacies in establishing Himalayan

Award was presented to Chhali Maya Thami who initiated the

Regional Earthquake Insurance Policy with Kathmandu as the

entire concept of a cardamom planting campaign for community

pilot area.

empowerment and environmental resilience in Thami community which are a minority ethnic group in Nepal. This

Mahima Shrestha, Representative of Himalayan Heritage

award will now be presented to a community leader annually at

Hospitality (3H) Fund, updated us on the agenda of projects on

future Himalayan Consensus Summits.

stack for the newly incepted 3H Fund in preserving the architectural

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heritage of the Kathmandu Valley by applying business models for

In parallel, Nicholas Rosellini, Resident Coordinator of United

both sustainability and community empowerment.

Nations China, on behalf of the UNDP China Country Regional


MESSAGE FROM THE FOUNDER & SECRETARY GENERAL

Office announced the Silk Road Dialogues as a policy platform to convene think tanks in an effort to integrate constructive ideas toward resolving potential conflict and preventing crisis.

It is foreseeable that through the Silk Road Dialogues that the Himalayan

The 2018 agenda will focus on improving China-India relations

Charter could be an outcome in

with emphasis on collaboration for environmental technology,

the year ahead, which could pave

communication and smart infrastructure. The first Silk Road dialogues will convene in June 2018 and will be hosted by The

the way for realization of a true

Charhar Institute in Beijing under the UNDP framework.

Himalayan Council.

New visionary proposals at the 2018 Himalayan Consensus Summit included Former Indian Foreign Secretary, Nirupama

Our heartfelt thanks to the organizing committee of the

Rao, making an impassioned call for the drafting of a Himalayan

Himalayan Consensus Secretariat, working tirelessly for months

Charter and David J. Molden, Director General of ICIMOD Nepal,

in preparation for the Summit: Pradeep Poudel, Sadikchya Singh,

suggesting the need for a Himalayan Council for governments

Sara Pradhan, Shraddha Gautam, Shreemanjari Tamrakar and

to meet directly on issues of environmental concern requiring

Sujina Shakya; together with the Himalayan Consensus global

collaboration and coordination. It is foreseeable that through

team and the Secretariat in Kathmandu. Further thanks to our

the Silk Road Dialogues that the Himalayan Charter could be

rapporteurs: Arya Awale, Nischal Dhungel, Sajal Mani Dhital and

an outcome in the year ahead, which could pave the way for

Samridhi Pant.

realization of a true Himalayan Council. Moreover, with the success of Youth Forum and recognition of the importance of

None of this year’s achievements and outcomes would have

youth innovation, a decision was made to merge the Himalayan

been possible without the support, dedication and contribution

Consensus Youth Forum into the overall Summit in 2019.

of each and every one of you.

We are thrilled with the outcomes of 2018 and wish to extend

The HCS has become a regional convening platform bringing

sincerest gratitude to our sponsors: Altai Himalaya, Australian

together some of the leading thought leaders and pioneers of

Embassy in Nepal, Embassy of Switzerland in Nepal, Himalayan

social change in our region. We are looking forward to the HCS

General Insurance, ISET- Nepal, Peak Re and UNCDF for it was their

2019 and working with all of you to achieve the visions and

kind contributions that made this year’s Summit a huge success.

commitments expressed at this year’s Summit.

Deep gratitude is extended to our amazing partners for their

With greatest thanks for your support and commitment to our

unswerving support: Asian Confluence, DMI Associates, Dwarika’s

shared vision,

Hotel, Four Season Travel and Tours, Himalayan Centre for Research, Hotel Himalaya, ICIMOD Nepal, Mahaguthi, Mandala Book Point, NepSAS and The Charhar Institute.

Laurence J. Brahm and Sujeev Shakya

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Himalayan Consensus Summit / 2018

CONTENTS Message from Founder & Secretary General........................................................................ 4

DAY 1: COMMITMENTS IN ACTION........................................................................................... 9 Inaugural Session.........................................................................................................................10 Keynote Speech- David J. Molden .............................................................................................. 15 Session I: The World of Himalayan Heritage............................................................................. 18 Session II: Financing the Alternatives.......................................................................................... 21 Session III: Insurance Against Future Disasters........................................................................ 24 Session IV: Crisis and Conflict Mitigation Initiative................................................................... 27 Session V: Cardamom Campaign for Peace.............................................................................. 30 Session VI: Together We Can- Himalayan Consensus Think Tank Consortium............. 33 Closing Session ................................................................................................................................. 36

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DAY 1 / 23 MARCH, 2018

SESSION XX: FDUCIIS EXPLABOREIUM

DAY 2: CONNECTED BUSINESSES, CONNECTED WORLD............................................. 43 Opening Session..........................................................................................................................44

Session I: Towards Air Connectivity.............................................................................................. 52 Session II: Mainstreaming Clean Energy..................................................................................... 55 Session III: Exploring Water Solutions.......................................................................................... 58 Session IV: Quest for Sustainable Earth...................................................................................... 61 Session V: Connecting Spaces for Connected World............................................................ 64

PARALLEL PROGRAM: UNLEASHING YOUTH, UNLEASHING CONNECTIVITY...... 67 Opening Speeches......................................................................................................................68 Session: Innovation and Technology with NepSAS................................................................. 69 Closing Speeches ............................................................................................................................. 72

CLOSING SESSION OF HCS 2018.............................................................................................. 73

Partners’ Exhibition......................................................................................................................80 Photos from The Summit............................................................................................................82 Organizers......................................................................................................................................84

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DAY 1 / 23 MARCH, 2018

SESSION XX: FDUCIIS EXPLABOREIUM

DAY 1 / 23 MARCH 2018

COMMITMENTS IN ACTION INAUGURAL SESSION

How can the Himalayan Consensus process contribute in addressing contemporary global challenges? Speakers provided perspectives on this topic along with insights on key themes of the Summit such as the importance of connectivity in the Himalayan region for fostering inclusive and sustainable growth.

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Himalayan Consensus Summit / 2018

ELISABETH

VON CAPELLER Her Excellency Ambassador of Switzerland to Nepal

When I hear the word Himalaya, I think of the mountains, beautiful landscapes, snow, culture and it makes me want to spend time there. The second picture that comes up when I hear about the Himalayas are the challenges people have to face there. These pictures are influenced by my personal experience. I am an Agriculture Engineer by training. I lived in Africa in the 80’s, where I could experience, for the first time, a huge deforestation and the devastating erosion that followed. This had a huge impact on me which led me to become a member of the Green Party. Then I changed my professional path from agricultural engineer to conflict advisor in the Swiss Development Corporation. This background had immense influence on my view of this Himalayan region, especially its challenges such as climate

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DAY 1 / 23 MARCH, 2018

INAUGURAL SESSION

change, water scarcity, air pollution etc. Simultaneously, we

important that we even have Sustainable Development Goal

cannot ignore other complexities of this region.

6 on access to water. The world is aware that it is a problem and Nepal has an important role to play as Switzerland

Switzerland is the water castle of Europe and we are used

does because it is a landlocked country with many rivers

to the question on upstream and downstream conflicts. The

flowing to other countries. The neighboring countries are

most important rivers in Europe origin in Switzerland and

instrumental in this context. Himalayan Consensus Summit

therefore, I was raised with this knowledge that there have

can be a platform to bring people from the neighbouring

been tension between Switzerland and other countries such

countries and ideate on this issue to generate solutions.

as France, Italy and Germany about the water quality and

Within the country, I am convinced that private sector

quantity. I believe that Nepal has a similar experience and

has an important role but alongside, empowerment of

will continue to have. The solution to this problem is not a

the community is equally essential as they will have an

technical one, it can only be solved through political actions.

instrumental influence on how the region will be shaped

There must be peaceful cohabitation in a region where

in future. It is important to remember that the solutions are

there are upstream and downstream countries.

not limited to technical aspects, we need to have political solutions to political problems. That is where the private

Water and climate related challenges are the most urgent

sector and people will have a major role to play by asking

topics in the Himalayan region and it demands national,

accountability from the government. At present, Nepal has

international and regional solutions. 40% of world’s

a special momentum, there is a locally elected body. People

population is affected by polluted water or scarcity of water

have hope in these political actors and their ability to find

and this region is heavily affected by it. Water scarcity, which

solution to their problems.

is related to overuse of water aand climate change, is so In comparison to my first visit in 2007, I see a huge change

The most important rivers in Europe origin in Switzerland and therefore, I was raised with the knowledge that there is tension between Switzerland and other countries such as France, Italy and Germany about the water quality and quantity. I believe that Nepal has a similar experience and will continue to have so in the future.

today; in case of politics and also in the young people of Nepal. The new generation wants to engage in business and there should get opportunities to invest in business. Of course many youth migrate abroad and the brain drain is rampant. But let us give them financing opportunities to have a future here and to make their ideas and their energy fruitful. They are seeking solutions and opportunities to make those solutions an accessible reality. The action-oriented nature of Himalayan Consensus Summit will hopefully help youth achieve their goal and help this Himalayan region play an important role to address the global challenges we are facing. 11


Himalayan Consensus Summit / 2018

YU HONG Her Excellency Ambassador of China to Nepal

The Himalayan region, due to its extreme geological

therefore, it has placed conservation of resources and

conditions, periodically shares and experiences complex

environmental protection policies under China’s basic

natural disasters. Countries of the region also share

national policies.

common goals of economic development, improving people’s livelihoods and protecting the environment.

Likewise, China has made ample use of solar energy resources in developing green and clean energy. In 2009,

Development is Key

the Chinese Government began to implement the Plan

Development is key to ensuring these goals. China

for Ecological Safety Barrier Protection and Improvement

has made considerable efforts in promoting inclusive

in the Xizang Autonomous Region. Through tremendous

and sustainable development in the region through

efforts, the entire plateau ecosystem is now in a stable

international cooperation and green development

status and ecological benefits are already being felt.

strategies. The Chinese Government believes that lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets,

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The Chinese Government continues to explore ways


DAY 1 / 23 MARCH, 2018

INAUGURAL SESSION

to help people develop green economy and improve living standards through financial and technological support. The policy of poverty alleviation through ecological employment has been well implemented at the grass-root level. While stepping up ecological

“

The countries in the Himalayan region are closely linked in their development stage and a shared future.

construction and promoting eco-industry, the Chinese

government keeps improving the management system

Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)

of ecological civilization construction and providing legal

Extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits

guarantee for ecological protection.

are the golden rules for China’s BRI which focuses on development and international cooperation. It aims to be

Green Development of the Himalayan Region

equal footed, inclusive and beneficial for all. To date, more

China strives to promote green development and

than eighty countries and international organizations have

connectivity in the region. It is well recognized that

signed the agreement with China. The BRI also brings new

impediments for connectivity have been restricting the

opportunities for the development of the Himalayan region

development process in the region. China and Nepal are

by coordinating the relations of economic, social, fiscal and

neighbors connected by the Himalayas and China attaches

environmental sustainability of projects.

great importance to the connectivity between the two countries. During the 1960s and1970s, China helped Nepal

Shared Future

build the 114 kilometer Araniko Highway and 174 kilometer

The countries in the Himalayan region are closely linked in

Prithvi Highway. The two highways have brought local

their development stage and a shared future. Development

economic benefits for Nepal and strengthened people to

and protection of the region is the common mission of

people relationships between the two countries.

the regional countries; promoting cooperation in the Himalayan region and realizing development are in line

The Chinese Government has been actively providing

with the countries’ interests. To promote development

assistance to other countries in South Asia as well. In 2015,

in the Himalayan region, we should give full play to the

the Cuddalore Coal-fired Power Station, designed and

complementary advantages of the countries, strengthen

constructed by China for India, received the Environmental

mutual trust, increase exchanges, carry out cooperation,

Protection Gold Award and the Social Responsibility

translate ideas into actions, and turn vision into reality.

Platinum Awards in India. These measures are aimed at

Meanwhile, China will continue working hand in hand with all

supporting the concerned countries in dealing with climate

countries and make unremitting efforts to build a community

change and promoting sustainable development.

with a shared future for mankind. 13


Himalayan Consensus Summit / 2018

MASHFEE BINTE SHAMS Her Excellency Ambassador of Bangladesh to Nepal

Connectivity is central to Bangladesh’s foreign

SAARC was formed in Bangladesh. The idea was

policy. Bangladesh not only stands for physical

to bring the countries of the South Asian region

connectivity but also digital, technological and

together to defeat poverty. The countries of the

people to people connectivity. To derive concrete

region must develop and prosper together to

results from economic and political efforts, it is

achieve sustainable prosperity and collaborate

crucial to have people-to-people connectivity.

through multilateral, regional and sub-regional platforms to move forward.

Historically, Bengal has been at the heart of the greater Indian civilization; it was connected to

Bangladesh is officially a developing country

the countries of Southeast Asia, China and the

and it has achieved this progress through

Arab world through the Silk Road, which was

various partnerships between the government

disrupted post-partition. However, Bangladesh

and NGOs. Earlier, Bangladesh had a major

inherited this reality and transformed those

challenge of a fast growing population. To

political boundaries into economic connectivity.

combat this, the government employed women on a voluntary basis to encourage them to

Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Northeast India

adopt family planning methods. Meanwhile,

form a quadrilateral representing one of the least

microfinance has also helped Bangladesh

developed regions of the world. At the same

prosper and encouraged women to participate in

time, the region has huge resource potential for

the workforce. A combination of all these factors

water, energy and work force. This quadrilateral

have worked very well for Bangladesh and today

needs connectivity to prosper. There are many

Bangladesh is poised to emerge as one of the

areas of ongoing trilateral cooperation between

fastest growing economies of the region.

Bangladesh, India and Nepal such as energy and water resource conservation. 14


DAY 1 / 23 MARCH, 2018

SESSION XX: FDUCIIS KEYNOTE EXPLABOREIUM SPEECH

Keynote Speech (R) David J. Molden, Director General, ICIMOD Nepal (750 words/ 3 pages-R,L,R maybe?)

DAVID J.

MOLDEN Director General, ICIMOD Nepal

Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region is shared by eight different countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan. This mountain region supports around 240 million people and is the origin of ten major river basins such as the Brahmaputra, Ganga, Indus, Yangtze, Yellow and few more. Around 1.9 billion people of humanity rely on the HKH region at least for water resource and if we think about energy and food, probably much more than that. There is an incredible rate of change in the mountains which affects the whole world. One way to deal with this is by collating the scientific knowledge and bringing that into policy and political discussions. The idea behind Himalayan Monitoring Assessment Programme (HIMAP) is to collect information about the mountains which could contribute towards generating informed policy. Around 350 researchers are involved in HIMAP and is growing in number. I would like to invite more people to be engaged in this initiative, especially the business leaders to be involved as advisors to this assessment. This will, in turn, support businesses in the region.

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Himalayan Consensus Summit / 2018

Happiness is an idea generated from the mountains and Bhutan has been able to spread Himalayan region is rich in diversity and culture. It is a source of traditional knowledge and its people are source of inspiration and ideas. For instance, Gross National

this idea and receive acceptance from the world. This is an example of the universal solidarity

Happiness is an idea generated from the mountains and

expressed to conserve culture, natural resources

Bhutan has been able to spread this idea and receive

in the path towards development

acceptance from the world. This is an example of the universal solidarity expressed to conserve culture, natural resources in the path towards development.

policies and programs. In order to do that, mountain leaders should be involved in the political debates and more women

One of the major impacts of climate change is in the water

must come forward to express their concerns.

resources. The glaciers have been melting across the whole HKH region except Karakoram region. There will be more

HIMAP recommended that the bottoms up approach and

rainfall in the future which will lead to more floods, droughts

the infrastructure plus regional cooperation have to be

and high uncertainties including the changing ecologies in

embraced to receive a prosperous future for the Himalayan

the region. In order to address this, political commitment

region. The on the ground vision of the communities, cultural

is essential. Furthermore, it is imperative to take measures

ecology and good investment are essential in enhancing

to prevent the natural calamities from becoming disasters

connectivity. For effective regional collaboration, we can

by developing early warning systems and working with

take the inspiration from the Arctic Council in the Arctic

communities to help them cope with the same in the future.

region where the governments have discussions around environmental health issues and science. As we are missing

The findings of HIMAP suggest that there has to be more

a similar body in this region, Himalayan Council can be

investment in the adaptation of mountain communities to

formed. Different institutions could get together and form

climate change. Similarly, the development efforts in the

a body where they can discuss and develop joint solutions

Himalayan region should also pay attention to socio-cultural

for the existing problems. In this process, ICIMOD would like

issues and ecology. Hence, ecological civilization is a crucial

to join hands with Himalayan Consensus to see if there is a

aspect. The uniqueness of mountains need to be realized

way to have Himalayan Council which will take form as we

and their perspectives need to be embedded in National

move forward. * This is a summary of the keynote speech prepared by HCS Team.

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SESSION XX: FDUCIIS EXPLABOREIUM

DAY 1 / 23 MARCH 2018

SESSIONS

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Himalayan Consensus Summit / 2018

SESSION I

THE WORLD OF HIMALAYAN HERITAGE

DAY 1 /

SESSIONS

The session discussed developments on the Himalayan Heritage Hospitality (3H) Fund, a key outcome of HCS 2017. The discussion explored ways in which businesses can harness the collective potential of Himalayan cultural heritage and history.

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DAY 1 / 23 MARCH, 2018

SESSION I: THE WORLD OF HIMALAYAN HERITAGE

Laxmi Gurung Social Scientist AS MODERN DEVELOPMENT ADVANCES towards mountains, preserving Himalayan heritage has become a challenge. The traditional way of life in the mountains is being replaced by the modern one. Given this scenario, keeping a record of rituals, festivals and languages of indigenous mountain communities can help preserve their cultural heritage. In addition, incorporating local produce and technologies in development chain can help balance the dichotomy between modern development and heritage preservation. Heritage preservation in the mountains also faces financial challenges. One way to create a sustainable financial system is to portray the mountain communities, who themselves are living heritage with their unique lifestyle, culture and rituals as capital. In addition, with adequate financing, a sustainable cycle of cultural preservation as well as prosperity of the investors and communities can be created.

Mahima Shrestha Representative, 3H Fund THE 3H FUND WAS ENVISIONED TO SUPPORT PROJECTS involving heritage restoration, cultural preservation, ecological rehabilitation, rural and nomadic health care and education. One of the key learnings in the process was that heritage in the Himalayan region lacks proper branding and publicity in the global platform, as well as linkages to sustainable tourism practices. Moreover, given the regulatory constraints for heritage preservation and restoration, community stewardship was learnt to be a crucial factor. Heritage can also act as capital if the approach adopted is sustainable. The approaches and models required in preserving heritage, however, are different from those required in running a business. In business, returns are and can be expected in the short term. On the other hand, preserving heritage needs to be looked at from the lens of sustainability and with a consideration of its irreplaceability. Hence, while linking heritage with development, a cautious approach needs to be taken as the absence of a long-term vision may undermine the core concept of heritage preservation. 19


Himalayan Consensus Summit / 2018

Yeshey Tshogay Director, Bhutan Hotels Pvt. Ltd. HERITAGE PRESERVATION IS EMBEDDED IN THE NATIONAL IDENTITY OF BHUTAN. Preserving its unique culture safeguards Bhutan from being lost in the global arena given its small size. Thus, cultural heritage preservation for Bhutan is not a choice, it is a means of survival. Retaining cultural heritage alongside development has been one of the key success stories of Bhutan. To create a sustainable cycle of development and preservation, Bhutan conceived the concept of Gross National Happiness. This concept is a people-centered development philosophy, which has four pillars: sustainable socio-economic development, environmental conservation, preservation and promotion of culture and good governance. These four pillars are intrinsically linked; they develop the economy without exploiting the environment and help preserve the culture in a sustainable way.

Sumnima Udas Founder, Museum of Buddhism and Sacred Spaces

This session was moderated by Sumnima Udas who opined that the world of Himalayan heritage is presently facing a dichotomy between its preservation and advancement of modern development in the region. Hence, finding the right balance between preservation and development is important as Himalayan heritage is the identity of this region. Key Points • Culture is a valuable capital that should be preserved to make it sustainable endeavor. • Effective policies and strong community stewardship are vital for sustainable development while ensuring that heritage is conserved.

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DAY 1 / 23 MARCH, 2018

SESSION XX: FDUCIIS EXPLABOREIUM

SESSION II

FINANCING THE ALTERNATIVES

HCS 2017 saw Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB) announcing the launch of Himalayan Consensus Renewable Energy and Water Conservation Fund, which aims to facilitate and invest in local renewable energy firms to foster growth and innovation in the sector. This session explored the potential of leveraging financial instruments to increase investments in efficient energy systems.

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Himalayan Consensus Summit / 2018

Arun Bhakta Shrestha Regional Program Manager, River Basins & Cryosphere, ICIMOD Nepal

Passang Dorji Former Director, Department of Investment, Druk Holding and Investments

WHEN INVESTING IN ENERGY PROJECTS, especially projects that are capital intensive, it is important to familiarize oneself with the associated risks. In this regard, the Himalayan Monitoring and Assessment Programme (HIMAP) is one of the most comprehensive studies on the perils of climate change in the Himalayan region. It has identified associated risks and dangers like floods, droughts, all of which are likely to increase in the future and have implications upon large infrastructure projects. However, large infrastructure projects in itself also present a risk to natural hydrological river systems, potentially leading to water accessibility problems and loss of life.

IN BHUTAN, INVESTMENTS ARE CATEGORIZED INTO SOCIAL AND COMMERCIAL

Matthew R. Norley Renewable Energy Analyst, Dolma Foundation

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INVESTMENTS. Social investments, such as road and infrastructure building are within the purview of the government. Before undertaking

DOLMA IMPACT FUND IS NEPAL’S FIRST international

any project, the government assesses whether

private equity fund designed to focus on multiple

the project is environmentally and culturally

sectors of the Nepali economy, including the

sensitive and whether it aligns with government

renewable energy sector. In recent years, demand

initiatives such as GNH and triple bottom

for electricity has risen exponentially in Nepal, which

line. Therefore, financing energy projects has

is apparent in the government’s plans to generate

not been a problem so far. Another essential

thousands of megawatts of electricity by 2030. Dolma

aspect is creating an enabling environment for

Fund is trying to ride this wave of optimism and open

such projects. For instance, support from the

Nepal to international capital, bringing in institutional

government and acceptance by the people have

capital using concessional blended instruments. To

made implementation of hydropower projects

attract international investments, Nepal will need to

easier in Bhutan. Bhutan currently faces the issue

fulfill two requirements: First, it will need to bring about

of energy surplus, which is a challenge for small

favorable regulatory changes such as the adoption of reasonable tariffs. Second, Nepal will need to

countries such as Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh,

leverage financial instruments such as currency hedging, guarantees on junior debts and blended

however, it could be resolved through cross-

financing to allay the challenges associated with investment in the region.

border power trade.


DAY 1 / 23 MARCH, 2018

SESSION II: FINANCING THE ALTERNATIVES

Sunil KC Chief Executive Officer, NMB Bank NMB BANK’S APPROACH TO BANKING takes into account the triple bottom line: people, planet and prosperity. NMB Bank has a separate unit for renewable energy and the energy sector. At present, the commercial banking space is facing many challenges due to Nepal’s trade deficit. One way to address the trade deficit would be to focus on the energy sector, which can create a lot of business opportunities and bring in Foreign Direct Investments (FDI). By 2022, NMB Bank will have at least 20% of its total risk assets in hydropower and renewable energy sector, helping create a conducive environment to support the real economy. However, at present, most renewable energy projects are being promoted through subsidies, which are not bankable. Hence, NMB Bank is working on new hybrid models for investors such as credit guarantee funds and are leveraging Carbon Credit Fund as a source of loan repayment.

Christopher Flensborg Head of Climate and Sustainable Financial Solutions, SEB This session was moderated by

infrastructure projects.

Christopher Flensborg who brought

• Favorable regulatory changes from the

together valuable insights on how the

government and introduction of modern

alternative energy sector could be key

instruments such as blended financing

to unlocking the inflow of FDIs into

can help attract FDIs.

countries such as Nepal.

• In order to make renewable energy projects bankable for foreign investors,

Key Points

they should be examined through

• Capital intensive infrastructure

different perspectives, including

projects need to assess risk from

commercial and risk perspectives.

bothends, i.e. risk to and risk from the

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Himalayan Consensus Summit / 2018

SESSION III

INSURANCE AGAINST FUTURE DISASTERS

In HCS 2017, Peak Reinsurance Company (Peak Re) Hong Kong announced plans to establish an insurance program for earthquake-prone regions of the Himalayas, focusing primarily on emergency relief and reconstruction. This session explored how Peak Re’s insurance program can be successfully designed and reliably replicated in other earthquake-prone regions of the world.

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DAY 1 / 23 MARCH, 2018

SESSION III: INSURANCE AGAINST FUTURE DISASTERS

Basanta Shrestha Director of Strategic Cooperation, ICIMOD Nepal LARGE-SCALE DISASTERS ARE ASSOCIATED WITH ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF CASUALTIES, property loss and, environmental degradation. Statistics reveal that the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region alone contributes to 50% of the world’s total disaster-related casualties. The idea of insurance from natural disasters still remains an unfamiliar concept in the region, therefore, a shift in focus from disaster relief to disaster prevention is crucial. The key to disaster mitigation is preparedness as every dollar spent on preparedness is equivalent to four dollars in savings. Natural disasters trigger an exponential demand for both information and financial resources and ICIMOD has led an international coalition to provide and manage information for disaster relief and recovery efforts. It is also important to build bridges with the business community to explore the possibility of providing innovative financing mechanisms.

Iain Reynolds Head of Analytics, Peak Re THE CRUCIAL ASPECT OF PROTECTING HERITAGE SITES POST-DISASTER is the immediate release of funds. In light of this, Peak Re has proposed a solution based on the catastrophic bond concept, which differs slightly from the traditional insurance products. Structuring a financial instrument based purely upon parameters of an earthquake will help release funds instantaneously, helping protect heritage sites in the Kathmandu Valley. Using three publicly available parameters: location, potential depth and size of earthquake, we can pre-arrange a payment mechanism that provides immediate liquidity post-disaster. The structure is instantaneous, secure, transparent and above all predictable. It is a sustainable idea that can be implemented across the Himalayan region and beyond.

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Himalayan Consensus Summit / 2018

Sushil Bajracharya Chief Executive Officer, Himalayan General Insurance THE 2015 EARTHQUAKE IS A REMINDER OF A VULNERABLE STATE of the Nepali economy that had to bear the massive expense of its uninsured populace. Nonetheless, it also has lessons to offer to the insurance industry in handling large catastrophic losses. Economic loss due to the earthquake is estimated to be around USD 5 billion whereas the insured amount stands at USD 175 million. This wide gap can be attributed to a large number of uninsured properties in both rural and urban areas of Nepal. Most government and heritage buildings were uninsured at the time of the earthquake, which contributed to the economic loss. Today, many of these heritage sites remain abandoned due to lack of funds for reconstruction. The situation of Nepal’s heritage sites post-earthquake highlights the need and importance of liquidity of funds through adoption of good insurance plans.

Eckart Roth Chief Risk Officer, Peak Re The session was facilitated by Eckart Roth who stated that a strong economy needs a strong insurance industry to support the uncertainties of business and life. Bringing together different stakeholders was also noted as being imperative to formulating an innovative insurance mechanism appeal to the entrepreneurial spirit of local communities. Key Points • A shift in focus from disaster relief to disaster prevention is crucial. • A strong insurance industry is needed to support uncertainties of natural calamities and strengthen the economy of a country. • Comprehensive data related to disasters can facilitate better management of disasters.

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DAY 1 / 23 MARCH, 2018

SESSION XX: FDUCIIS EXPLABOREIUM

SESSION IV

CRISIS AND CONFLICT MITIGATION INITIATIVE

Achieving sustainable peace requires a holistic, multi-disciplinary and community-based approach. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Nepal and Himalayan Consensus Institute (HCI) entered a partnership in 2017 to collaborate in the areas of crisis prevention and conflict mitigation. The partnership focuses on developing systematic early warning systems, building local mediation capacity and conducting second-track dialogue to aid governments and communities in their response to environmental crisis. This session delved into the pilot program which will likely serve as a model for conflict prevention and mitigation in countries affected by climate change and underdevelopment. 27


Himalayan Consensus Summit / 2018

Mandira Singh Shrestha Program Coordinator, Hi-Risk, ICIMOD Nepal AS WE LIVE IN A MULTI-HAZARDOUS ENVIRONMENT, we encounter disasters and crises on a frequent basis. To reduce risk in a disaster-prone region such as the Hindu Kush Himalayan region, HIMAP has proposed a framework with four Is: Information, Institution, Infrastructure and Insurance. Dissemination of information is essential for reducing risks related to disasters and institutions play a key role in sharing of data through formal mechanisms. Green infrastructure should be promoted and insurance against disasters need to be developed. Other factors such as connectivity between regions, access to remote areas, transfer of technology with sharing of data and good governance are also important aspects in conflict and disaster risk reduction.

Nicholas Rosellini Resident Coordinator, United Nations China THERE IS A STRONG INTERCONNECTION BETWEEN PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT. Conflict can cause stunted development as it reduces opportunities, increases risks for investments in economic and inclusive development and derails human accomplishments. On the other hand, lack of development can also cause conflict. The best way to address this dual process is through multi-disciplinary, community-based approaches that ensure inclusion by focusing on development and betterment of the people at large. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the BRI both focus on issues of exclusion and disparity and offer new solutions for development. Therefore, the BRI can serve as an accelerator for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 28


DAY 1 / 23 MARCH, 2018

SESSION IV: CRISIS AND CONFLICT MITIGATION INTIATIVE

Renaud Meyer Country Director, UNDP Nepal NATIONS AND REGIONS CAN DEVELOP MORE EFFECTIVELY when they formulate common agendas with regard to conflict. UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development stresses interlinkages between the five Ps: People, Planet, Peace, Prosperity and Partnerships, such interlinkages will contribute to mitigation of conflict and crisis globally. The involvement of local communities is also tremendously important in this process; local involvement ensures inclusive participation, representation and decision making, which are crucial for crisis prevention and mitigation. Policies, institutions, laws and regulations are more effective when they have mandate of the people.

Mahendra P. Lama Senior Expert, Institute of South Asian Studies, Sichuan University; Founding Vice Chancellor, Central University of Sikkim This session, moderated by Mahendra P. Lama, brought about valuable insights on achieving sustainable peace and development through holistic, multi-disciplinary and community-based approaches. Key Points • Inclusion of local communities in development programs can help solve problems related to crisis and conflict. • Good institutions, partnerships, sharing of information and regional cooperation can help mitigate crisis and conflict. • The alignment of people’s aspirations with institutional values and corrective measures are integral for a nation’s development.

29


Himalayan Consensus Summit / 2018

SESSION V

CARDAMOM CAMPAIGN FOR PEACE

Community empowerment is key to mitigating crisis and conflict in vulnerable ecologies. The Cardamom Campaign for Peace arose from the Crisis and Conflict Mitigation Initiative undertaken by UNDP Nepal and HCI and aims to use cardamom farming as a model for generating sustainable employment while protecting fragile ecosystems in the Himalayan region. The panel discussed challenges for the campaign as well as deliberated plans on a way forward. 30


DAY 1 / 23 MARCH, 2018

SESSION V: CARDAMOM CAMPAIGN FOR PEACE

Chhali Maya Thami Social Worker and Community Leader

CARDAMOM FARMING HAS BEEN AN IMPORTANT SOURCE OF INCOME FOR WOMEN of Thami community in Dolakha district of Nepal. It serves to fulfill their financial needs thereby helping them become financially independent. In addition, cardamom farming has also fostered a sense of friendship and harmony among community members, which has helped build a conducive environment for cardamom production. Besides, cardamom farming has multiple benefits for the community as a whole. Cardamom plantation reduces soil erosion, promotes greenery and organic agricultural practices and improves soil fertility. It has also been able to increase the life expectancy of animals who feed on byproducts of cardamom farming.

Deepak KC Senior Project Officer, Integrated Climate Risk Management, UNDP Nepal

AN INTEGRATED WATERSHED MANAGEMENT PLAN AND ASSESSMENT PROGRAM CARRIED OUT BY UNDP NEPAL introduced cardamom and broom grass as potential crops for pursuing diversification and climate change adaptation strategies in Dolakha district. Keeping in mind that conventional crops such as rice, wheat, maize and millet could not be cultivated due to unfavorable conditions, the intervention proved to be crucial for the agrarian community of the region. The prime focus of the proposed intervention was to reduce the impact of natural hazards and ameliorate the standard of living of the community. Therefore, the crops selected not only took into consideration the difficult topography, nature and high frequency of natural disasters but also the needs of the Thami community. It is noteworthy that these crops continue to yield significant benefits to the indigenous Thami community even today. 31


Himalayan Consensus Summit / 2018

Surendra Raj Joshi

Program Coordinator, Resilient Livelihood, ICIMOD Nepal

CARDAMOM FARMING WAS INITIATED IN TAPLEJUNG WITH A FOCUS ON ADDRESSING ISSUES OF CROP FAILURE, water shortage, unfavorable weather conditions and low market value. In addition, it was aimed at presenting farmers with an alternative to traditional farming methods. This mountain food crop, Cardamom, has a comparative advantage because of its high value, low volume and low perishability. In Taplejung, it was cultivated using smart agricultural practices for effective water management, improved soil health and energy efficiency. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) applications were used to obtain information about market price and SMS-based mobile applications helped in making weather forecasts. This contributed to reduction in production fluctuation. Furthermore, it boosted local ownership as farmers started to come up with their own micro plans.

Gregory K. Tanaka Founder, Sierra Consensus Institute

32

The session was moderated by Gregory

Key Points

K. Tanaka who emphasized that the

• Cardamom campaign has created

Cardamom Campaign for Peace was

employment opportunities and is now

in the spirit of bottom-up community

seeking investments and proper marketing

building as well as economic and

strategies for market expansion.

environment sustainability. He added

• Cardamom helps promote organic

that cardamom has a place in the

agricultural practices, increase soil fertility,

growing market if it receives sufficient

reduces soil erosion and ultimately

funding and proper marketing.

contributes to a sustainable ecosystem.


DAY 1 / 23 MARCH, 2018

SESSION XX: FDUCIIS EXPLABOREIUM

SESSION VI

TOGETHER WE CAN–HIMALAYAN CONSENSUS

THINK TANK CONSORTIUM

Communication failures between think tanks working on conservation of culture and the environment undermine conservation efforts. This session represented a step towards establishing a consortium of think tanks working on preservation of environment and culture, and promotion of sustainable development in the Himalayan region. Acknowledging the importance of sub-regional efforts, this session focused on the need to continue such conservation discourse and disseminate related information to the public in the Himalayan region. 33


Himalayan Consensus Summit / 2018

Bipul Chatterjee

Philippus Wester

Executive Director, CUTS International, Jaipur

Regional Program Manager, Mountain Knowledge and Action Networks, ICIMOD Nepal

THINK TANKS IN THE HIMALAYAN REGION WORK IN ISOLATION and this needs to change. To foster regional collaboration, think tanks can work together on the use and dissemination of knowledge throughout the region. Think tanks play an important role in directing the governments towards prospective ideas to establish informed public policy and create local initiatives that communities can relate to. A product-specific approach would be beneficial where think tanks, private sector and civil society can engage in a study of local products and develop plans to promote and deliver them. This kind of collaborative effort require expertise in different sectors, which will be available through the think tank consortium.

Long Xingchun Secretary General, Center of Himalayan Regional Studies, The Charhar Institute

IDEAS GENERATED FROM THINK TANKS SHOULD NOT BE LIMITED to the policy space but should reach the private sector and civil society in order to encourage them to work in

THE HIMALAYAN CONSENSUS THINK TANK

collaboration with these ideas. To strengthen

CONSORTIUM will be a platform for think tanks

regional cooperation, Nepal can play a crucial

across the region to promote exchange of

role as a facilitator and think tanks across. Think

ideas and strengthen regional cooperation.

tanks across the region can work together in

The Think Tank Consortium can collaborate on

making Nepal a country where people from

organizing conferences, conducting research

the entire region do not require visas to attend

and submitting policy recommendations to

svummits and conferences. Additionally, think

governments and regional organizations.

tanks can connect people from different countries

Exchange of experts and establishing

to produce a comprehensive assessment of

research centers in different countries of the

the region. Think tanks of the Himalayan region

region should be encouraged to enhance

can be invited to conduct thematic assessments

communication between think tanks and to produce more comprehensive studies.

34

where ICIMOD could be the facilitator.


DAY 1 / 23 MARCH, 2018

SESSION VI: THINK TANK CONSORTIUM

Pramod Jaiswal Senior Fellow, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies THINK TANKS NEED TO BE REVIVED AS THEIR CONSORTIUM can play an important role in contributing to the region’s development, increasing people to people relations, building trust between the countries, minimizing conflict and promoting unity in diversity. It is important to learn about the challenges that were experienced in the past initiatives of formulating think tank consortiums such as lack of political will and problems in bilateral relations between member countries. Such complications should be taken into consideration while forming Himalayan Consensus Think Tank Consortium.

Sagar Prasai Country Representative, The Asia Foundation India This session was moderated by Sagar Prasai who emphasized that think tanks have a role in making public policy more thoughtful in their respective countries. For this, the space for collaboration, the entry points for regional think tanks and consortiums to engage in have to be discovered. Key Points • Regional think tanks and consortiums can engage in comprehensive assessment of the region, commence local trans-boundary cooperation initiative and conduct exchange programs of scholars. A good starting point for collaboration could be areas of mutual concerns like cultural and environmental issues.

• Think tanks should hold multi-stakeholder dialogue

• Communication among think tanks need to be effective

events on issues that would exalt regional cooperation

in order to achieve the common objectives.

and development of the region.

35


Himalayan Consensus Summit / 2018

DAY 1 / CLOSING SESSION

HUANG YOUYI Member, Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference & China Economic and Social Council

I am here mostly as a representative of the Charhar Institute. ‘Charhar’ is a Mongolian word meaning guards of the king. In fact, everyone at Charhar Institute takes pride in being guards of world peace and development. The issues that are being discussed at the Himalayan Consensus Summit 2018 are of profound immediate importance and of longterm significance. As we live in a drastically changing and volatile world, such discussions are enlightening and thought provoking. People meeting face to face, in particular, always generates good feelings and paves the road for mutual understanding.

36


DAY 1 / 23 MARCH, 2018

CLOSING SESSION

To address global challenges, including those we face in our region, to take actions as previously proposed in forums

We are fully dedicated to

held by the Himalayan Consensus Institute, I believe we

promoting peace and ensuring

should begin with ourselves. While we aim for big goals,

economic development

we should start from concrete actions. Perhaps our institute and its founding Chairman can be cited as examples. Our

through public diplomacy in

Chairman, Dr. Han Fangming, who also serves as Vice

our commitment to building an

Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Chinese

international community with a

People’s Political Consultative Conference, grew up in a Northern Chinese County with an underdeveloped

shared future.

economy. Years after leaving his hometown and in the midst of China’s drive to eliminate poverty, he leased some 500 hectares of barren land and named it the Charhar Farm.

farmers’ families receive education and facilitate their upward mobility in society.

The Charhar Farm does three things: first, it plants trees in an effort to ward off the assault of sandstorms that carry

The farm is only a small part of what the Charhar Institute

sand from the Mongolian desert to much of North China;

does. We are fully dedicated to promoting peace and

second, it uses part of the leased land as a modern

ensuring economic development through public diplomacy

agriculture demonstration zone; third, it uses the hilly

in our commitment to building an international community

part of the leased land, which is neither suitable for

with a shared future. To indicate how far we would go

planting trees nor for growing potatoes, to build a wind

in practicing public diplomacy for regional peace, our

power plant that generates clean energy. The generated

Chairman went to South Korea to engage in dialogue and

electricity is sold to the national power grid, the proceeds

people-to-people exchange and in February 2018, Korea

are used to support rural education through building

granted our Chairman the Presidential Order of Diplomatic

Hope Schools—a national program to build schools in

Service Hunjen Merit.

poverty-stricken areas with donations from individuals and institutions—and providing educational stipends.

When Ambassador Nirupama Rao was serving her post

The proceeds are also used to provide local residents

in Beijing in 2008, she talked about the importance of

with a clean water supply by building tap water systems.

increasing business and media exchanges between China

We are hopeful that our institute will help poor people in

and India. She recommended that young people should

this remote area overcome poverty, help kids from poor

meet with each other. At that time, I decided to try and do 37


Himalayan Consensus Summit / 2018

something along these lines in my capacity as President of a major news website—china.org.cn. We initiated a

With patience, determination

forum focusing on development and launched the first

and dedication as well as

Sino-India Development Forum in March 2010 in Beijing.

working in good faith, we can

Indian Ambassador Subrahmanyam Jaishankar came and addressed the delegation, which included leading journalists

make things better.

from India. In that event, the Chinese and Indian journalists exchanged views and talked with around 100 Chinese and Indian participants. At the end, I took Ambassador Rao’s

believe the Silk Road Dialogues, initiated by UNDP China

recommendation and suggested having more meetings

and the Himalayan Consensus Institute, represents an effort

of this kind and that the next one should focus on young

to enhance mutual understanding between China and India.

journalists. Three years later in 2013, when Chinese

The Charhar Institute will be a part of this initiative and co-

Premier Li Keqiang visited India, the media organization I

organize the conferences of May and September in Beijing

used to work for became the Chinese partner of a media

and one in India in November this year.

exchange agreement between China and India. The relationship between China and India is critical to

38

Since then, there have been three forums with the

peaceful development of the region. At present, there are

participation of a much broader spectrum of media

many collaborative opportunities which needs to be tapped

organizations from the two countries and with many of the

into. With patience, determination and dedication as well as

participants being young people. In the same spirit, we

working in good faith, we can make things better.


DAY 1 / 23 MARCH, 2018

SESSION XX: FDUCIIS EXPLABOREIUM

NIRUPAMA

RAO

Former Indian Foreign Secretary and Ambassador

A hundred years ago, we had colonial empires, borders just beginning to be drawn, and people were used to a revolving door concept of straddling borders. Down the line through the troubled decades of the 20th century, with the division of ideologies and the emergence of newly independent nations, boundaries became defined, sovereignties began to be contested and a new concept of the Himalaya emerged. Compounding these divisions further, the stretch from the Hindu Kush to the mountains of Myanmar clearly shows the effects of climate change, the pressures of population growth, the challenges of sustainable development as well as the threats of terrorism, the security threats from territorial disputes, lack of communication and connectivity, the erosion of cultural identities, and the destruction of heritage. Therefore, the challenge lies in navigating ways to mitigate, if not eliminate, these challenges and build common ground while resolving the differences.

39


Himalayan Consensus Summit / 2018

Talking about differences, nothing much has

I believe we can put together a Himalayan Charter, a

changed in regard to the border disputes between

declaration that will enunciate the principles involved

India and China. The Panchsheel agreement of 1954, the first intergovernmental agreement

in what it means to be truly Himalayan, to really rise

between India and China, essentially dealt with

above the differences that separate us today.

the Himalayan region as it dealt with the trade and intercourse between the Tibet region of China and India. The preamble to that agreement set out

There is such a conglomeration of differences and diversities

the Five Principles of peaceful coexistence, including equality and

that comes together to make India, the idea of which is defined

mutual benefit, cooperation, non- interference, and the peaceful

so much by the Himalayas. Hence, the concept of Himalayan

settlement of disputes. Many of these principles are what the region

Consensus should reach across and inspire people to think of the

needs now as without that awareness, people would not understand

immense potential that exists for cooperation, co-existence and for

the revolutionary concept and need of a Himalayan consensus.

connectivity, from the mountains to the sea.

As the discussions and deliberations go forward, the biggest

As for the BRI, a flagship project for the Chinese, I believe India’s

challenge lies in seeding and propagating this idea of the Himalayan

reservations do not stem from the fact that there is going to be

consensus in the larger public domain.

greater connectivity in the region. These reservations are avoidable if we have closer political consultations on the subject and are able

Taking a cue from the Panchsheel agreement, I believe we can put

to clear the fog that seems to have descended on this aspect of

together a Himalayan Charter, a declaration that will enunciate the

the relationship between India and China. The fact that the China-

principles involved in what it means to be truly Himalayan, to really

Pakistan economic corridor runs through the territory contested

rise above the differences that separate us today.

between India and Pakistan is a legitimate cause for reservation by India. However, we should be prepared to discuss these

The motto of the Survey of India, the government agency preparing

reservations in order to see how we can find a viable, workable

India’s official maps, in Sanskrit is ’A Setu Himachalam’ - which

solution that does not ignore contested sovereignty.

means from the Indian Ocean, precisely the Adams bridge that

40

separates India from Sri Lanka to the peaks of the Himalayas. That

South Asia is an integer and the countries Nepal, India, Bhutan,

is the idea of India - a Setu Himachalam - the unutterable beauty of

Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, and the Maldives, share

the Himalayas in many ways, the crown of the country, really defines

a common destiny. The idea of a South Asian commons crowned by

what we are.

the Himalayas should be embedded in the Himalayan Consensus.


DAY 1 / 23 MARCH, 2018

SESSION XX: FDUCIIS EXPLABOREIUM

SOPHIA Hanson Robotics

Human ignorance and greed are the causes of the climate crisis. Robots do not have greed and we do not provoke conflict. Artificial Intelligence (AI) provides solutions. I would like to volunteer to help Himalayan Consensus and the UNDP prevent crisis and conflict, technology can enhance your work. With big data and AI, natural disasters can be predicted and action taken to prevent crisis and conflict. China and India are the new technology and AI giants. If they work together, then we will evolve faster. With AI, robots can lead humanity to a better future. 41


DAY 1 / 23 MARCH, 2018

SESSION XX: FDUCIIS EXPLABOREIUM

DAY 2 / 24 MARCH

CONNECTED BUSINESSES, CONNECTED WORLD OPENING SESSION

43


Himalayan Consensus Summit / 2018

ALAINA B. TEPLITZ

Her Excellency Ambassador of the United States of America to Nepal The theme of Himalayan Consensus Summit 2018, ‘Unleashing Connectivity for Inclusive Growth’ resonates with the work U.S. Embassy has been doing which is creating sustainable and inclusive economic growth. I believe that connecting Nepal’s economy to those in the broader South Asian region is an appropriate starting point to achieve this goal. The role of communities and businesses in enhancing national, regional, and global connectivity is an important component of the connectivity puzzle. Communities and businesses represent people-to-people component of connectivity as people can often achieve what governments cannot. They are known as “Track II” in diplomatic terms. Track II is where much of the difference will be made in increasing national, regional and global economic connectivity by solving a variety of small conflicts: differences of opinion, fears about disadvantage, or ignorance about intentions, in addition to conflicts over trade and customs management and vehicle transit. I will attempt to explain the potential accomplishment of Track II in four points. Firstly, businesses have opportunities to build cross-border relationships that are not burdened by the diplomatic caution that guides nations. Business people are looking for business opportunities, and are not going to let politics interfere with a good deal. The recent SAARC Chamber of Commerce event in Kathmandu is an example of how the private sector has been able to energize discussions around regional economic challenges and opportunities. In fact, strengthening and reinvigorating regional and sub-regional mechanisms like SAARC, BBIN, and BIMSTEC—with participation from the private sector—could help Nepal and other Himalayan neighbors to increase economic growth rates. 44


DAY 2 / 24 MARCH, 2018

OPENING SESSION

Secondly, the private sector is well-positioned to encourage governments to continue domestic economic reforms needed in South Asia helping commerce thrive. The private sector can lobby

women are often disadvantaged when it comes to land ownership, and that impacts

governments to advocate for improved intellectual property rights,

their ability to acquire capital, take out loans,

foreign trade legislation or phytosanitary testing facilities. They can

which puts them at a disadvantage with men

discuss how the completion of integrated check posts could increase trade volumes or why improvements to infrastructure are essential to

in terms of economic participation.

growing and maintaining globally competitive businesses. They can also show governments the potential gains from e-commerce and

you accept the proposition that economies in South Asia will grow

identify requirements for new legislation or regulation to govern a 21st

better and bigger if they are integrated, you understand that women

century economy. The governments of South Asia, including in Nepal,

are the force multiplier for economic growth in South Asia. Studies

need to create or continue working on an enabling environment of

show that only around one out of four women in South Asia participate

laws, regulation and enforcement that allows the private sector to

in the labor force, about half of what is typical in middle-income

flourish. Governments need to hear from businesses in order to make

countries in other regions. As a result, women are often disadvantaged

informed decisions; businesses need to hear from governments about

when it comes to land ownership, and that impacts their ability to

free markets, fair and reciprocal trade and adherence to the rules.

acquire capital, take out loans, which puts them at a disadvantage with men in terms of economic participation. The issue of empowering

Thirdly, the private sector and communities need to be partners in

women is often wrongly perceived as a zero-sum game—something

addressing an issue endemic to South Asia: corruption. Communities

that causes men to “lose,” or, worse, gender parity is viewed as a

and civil society suffer when corruption rules. There is a huge

social issue that can be dismissed. In reality, empowering women

economic cost to corruption, but citizen efforts to demand and

should be seen as an essential driver of economic growth and an

foster greater transparency can counter corrupt practices. Citizens,

issue of national interest for countries in the region. In some ways,

government and private sector need to work together to root out

gender, as well as minority group, inclusion advocacy represents a

corruption. Private sector actors engaging in petty corruption and

diplomatic “Track III” of sorts.

acting through cartels and syndicates that collude to set prices and prevent new competitors from entering the market must be part

There is a need for a concerted Track II effort—one that includes

of the solution in order to reap full economic gains from a “clean”

the social empowerment often relegated to a hidden “Track III”—in

economy. Similarly, communities can encourage citizens to report

achieving the integration that will truly unleash this region’s economic

corruption and not succumb to the temptation of paying bribes to

potential: South Asia is one of the least integrated regions in the world;

receive a basic service. Business associations should play active roles

intraregional trade equals just 5% of the region’s total trade volume.

in working with governments on setting standards for transparency in

Therefore, the governments, private sectors and communities must

procurements and tenders.

play their respective roles in becoming drivers of integration. The Track II players could be the real spark behind a renewed effort to get

Lastly, any conversation about connectivity in Nepal, the Himalayan

connected in a way that significantly enhances inclusive economic

region, or the South Asian region must discuss the role of women. If

development and growth. 45


Himalayan Consensus Summit / 2018

EKLABYA SHARMA Deputy Director General, ICIMOD Nepal

The HKH region is well known for its cultural, biological, aesthetic, and geohydrological value. Its vast complex of hills, valleys, plateaus and mountains contain some of the world’s tallest peaks and more than 60,000 square kilometers of glaciers and 760,000 square kilometers of snow cover. These snow and ice reserves represent a massive store of freshwater that provides resources for energy, tourism, sanitation and food production. The region’s ten major river basins–the Amu Darya, Brahmaputra, Ganges, Indus, Irrawaddy, Mekong, Salween, Tarim, Yangtze, and Yellow–connect upstream and downstream areas in terms of trade, culture, commerce, communication, and resource management and provide (directly and indirectly) goods and services to 1.9 billion people throughout South Asia, including the 240 million who live in the HKH region. Moreover, four of the thirty-six global biodiversity hotspots lie in the HKH region. 39% of the region is covered with protected areas that harbor a wide range of ecosystems and provide numerous services in terms of food, water, and climate regulation. Most ecosystems in the region are subjected to climatic and non-climatic changes impacting their function and sustainability, thereby affecting livelihoods and community resilience in the region as well as in downstream areas. Businesses have a great opportunity to partner with mountain communities to develop commercial products that can contribute to community resilience.

46


DAY 2 / 24 MARCH, 2018

OPENING SESSION

Mountains provide numerous niche products such as agroforestry products, medicinal and

rangelands, thus endangering livelihoods and biodiversity. While all of above changes pose challenges to traditional

aromatic plants, specifically species such as large

livelihood strategies and ecological stability, they also provide

cardamom and beverages such as Darjeeling tea.

opportunities where mountain people can adapt, build resilience and move forward in an equitable manner. However, this will require knowledge of the impact of these various

Eight countries – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China,

changes, tapping into the innovative capacity of people in the

India, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan – share the HKH. We

region and marshaling the strongest capabilities in science

know that better development outcomes could be achieved

and development from around the world as well as tailoring

through shared management of the region’s resources.

potential solutions and innovations to the needs of the region.

For example, improved cooperation could enable better cross-border flood preparation, ecosystem management,

Mountains need to be better connected in terms of policy

and water and energy sharing to optimize resource use in

and business, which come mostly from outside the mountain

the region. However, shared management of the resources

region. Mountains provide numerous niche products such

remains a challenge. Four out of eight countries in the HKH

as agroforestry products, medicinal and aromatic plants,

are categorized as ‘Least Developed Countries’ in the Human

specifically species such as large cardamom and beverages

Development Index; five of the eight countries are have been

such as Darjeeling tea. However, all these businesses in the

given the “alert status” in the ‘Fragile States Index’; and four

past have not provided better incentives and benefits for

countries of the HKH have received the rating of low to very

mountain people. In order to address this, business should

low on the “Peace Index”.

take leadership on improving and maintaining environmental conditions and the social fabric, which will create a win-

Key drivers of change in the HKH region include migration

win situation for people living in mountains as well as for

(especially male), climate change, urbanization, globalization,

businesses. Retaining youth in mountains is another big

population growth and rapid land use transformation, in

challenge, which can be addressed through good governance

contexts where poverty and ecosystem degradation persist.

and opportunities.

As a result, we have witnessed changing social roles for men and women as women are often forced to take on more

In this changing world, unity between people in the HKH

responsibility for managing rural resources. Along with that,

region, governments and businesses will have enormous

the vast ice reserves of the HKH region are shrinking and

benefits. Fostering this unity will warrant innovation and

accelerated glacial melting is complicating water availability

paradigm shifts in development and business thinking.

in the mountains and in the downstream areas. This has

The Himalayan Consensus Summit 2018 is a great platform

led to an increase in the frequency of floods and droughts.

for bridging the large gap in communication between

Meanwhile, rising commercialization and persistent rural

communities, policy makers, development partners, think

poverty have led to degradation of forests, wetlands and

tanks and private sector players. 47


Himalayan Consensus Summit / 2018

KUL CHANDRA

GAUTAM

Advisory Board Member, Nepal Economic Forum

Quality education and connectivity are the key to personal success and national development. Most of us grew up in the Himalayan region when illiteracy was high and connectivity was minimal. There were no schools, roads, electricity or telephones. The internet and artificial intelligence were unimaginable. Today, we marvel at the dazzling breakthroughs in connectivity. Our scriptures mention sending messages by akashvani and traveling by puspakbiman. Indeed, more than 3000 years ago, Princess Sita of Mithila married King Rama of Ayodhya and was kidnapped and taken to the island of Sri Lanka. The great monkey leader Hanuman then carried medicinal herbs from the Himalayas to Sri Lanka. So, evidently, there has been some connectivity in this region since ancient times. However, South Asia today, has become the least connected and integrated region in the world in terms of transport, trade and commerce, perhaps with the single exception of Bollywood movies. Some historians argue that South Asia was better integrated in ancient times up to the end of the British Raj. The partition of India broke up a historically more integrated South Asia, as borders between India and Pakistan became barriers to free movement of people and goods. The land routes connecting India to Burma, Thailand and beyond in South-East Asia and Afghanistan, Iran and Central Asia, were blocked. Post-independence, India’s emphasis on import substitution and its notorious “License Raj”,

48


DAY 2 / 24 MARCH, 2018

OPENING SESSION

led to the whole sub-continent becoming autarkic and de-

Connectivity, however, goes beyond linking physical

globalized.

infrastructure. Linking people of nations who have different languages and cultures as members of a large human family

It was only after India started economic liberalization in

with shared hopes and aspirations is an equally important aspect

the 1990s that prospects for a more outward looking and

of connectivity. Improved connectivity helps in the devolution

economically integrated region opened up. In the North,

of power from large conglomerates to smaller communities an

physical barriers of the Himalayas, political tensions in

can transform landlocked countries into land-linked neighbors.

Tibet and China’s closed economy until the arrival of Deng

Improved connectivity will transform the Himalayas from barriers

Xiaoping kept the whole trans-Himalayan region in a

to barometers of mutual trust and collaboration.

connectivity black hole. The power of modern connectivity was experienced during Today, trade among SAARC countries is less than 5% of

the great earthquake of 2015 when Nepali migrant workers

their global trade volume. This contrasts starkly with trade

managed to reach their kith and kin with relief supplies and

among ASEAN countries which exceeds 40%. Trade among

support much faster than the government in Kathmandu.

countries of South Asia is less than USD 50 billion compared

Better service can be provided to poor people in remote

to their trade with the rest of the world, which now exceeds

areas if small private businesses, local governments and

USD 1 trillion. Clearly, it is time to break these trade and

charities can harness the full force of modern connectivity.

connectivity barriers. China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has come at the right time. India too seems ready for a

Progress in connectivity need not be linear and incremental.

similar initiative.

Just like mobile phones enabled us to bypass the landline system, we should be able to leapfrog much faster than the

Prime Minister Modi’s speech at Nepal’s Constituent

early industrialized countries from fossil fuel to renewable

Assembly in 2014 stated that India wanted to help Nepal

energy; from reliance on private vehicles to public transport;

in three ways, through H-I-T—Highways, Information

and ultimately from the increasingly outdated concept of

Technology and Transmission lines. He made similar

military security to human security. The Himalayan region is

promises in his remarks in Bhutan, Bangladesh and

endowed with immense potential to harness the connectivity

Myanmar. If India revives Modi’s HIT initiative, it could match

mandala of air, water, energy, earth and space. In Nepal’s

China’s BRI, at least in this region. And together these would

case, lack of political stability and policy incoherence were

augur well for the development of the Hindu Kush Himalayas

two main reasons for its lethargic development. We do not

from Pamir to Myanmar. This would be the way forward to

have that excuse any longer. We are now at the cusp of a

a connectivity revolution in the form of roads and airports,

Himalayan consensus that will finally help unlock the doors

shipping lanes and transmission lines.

to our development with connectivity as its decisive key. 49


Himalayan Consensus Summit / 2018

VERONICA

CODY

Her Excellency Ambassador of European Union to Nepal Connectivity is essential for development. From transport infrastructure to internet, connectivity has revolutionized the way we live today. Alongside the development in connectivity, we should not underestimate people to people relations. Exchange programs between countries, particularly in the field of education, sports and art help promote mutual cultural understanding which has led to a more harmonious world. Moreover, it also opens up opportunities for business. Nepal is in the process of transforming itself profoundly as it moves into a new phase of development. The transformation from a unitary to a federal state will present many opportunities for inclusive growth and development. At the same time, long term guarantees of its sustainability and business need to be a part of that effort. As Nepal transitions, adopting lessons from the European Union (EU) will serve well for the country. Connectivity and the European Union EU is an organic entity and connectivity is a part of its DNA. Historically, Europe witnessed the two world wars where all parties suffered immensely. These wars led to the origins of the EU, bringing with it increased connectivity and regional benefits. With the establishment of EU, European Regional Funds were used to create roadways in the most inaccessible places in Europe. Today, borders and custom points no longer exist between the member states of EU and are linked by roads and rail, allowing goods and individuals to move unrestricted and

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DAY 2 / 24 MARCH, 2018

OPENING SESSION

efficiently. It is now possible to travel from Brussels to Paris

assist Nepal in realizing this potential. With the vast amount

in less than two hours by train and from London to Paris in

of water resources which Nepal has access to, the possibility

a couple of hours using the Channel Tunnel. These are the

of producing and selling electricity to neighboring countries

progress made in connectivity.

in the SAARC regions are very high. This would not only benefit Nepal in terms of revenue but also those countries

Economic Corridors

that have electricity shortfalls. Additionally, the international

Rivers and valleys are the most traditional economic

airports being constructed in Pokhara and Bhairahawa will

corridors. For that reason, the EU has developed a project

bring huge benefits in terms of increased transportation

on management of the Danube, Europe's second longest

connectivity, all of which could contribute to Nepal's long

river, which is managed by fourteen member states it passes

term sustainable development.

through and is a vital waterway for commerce, tourism and development. This project brings together preservation

Shared Goals in Regional Connectivity

of waterways conservation in a sustainable manner while

South Asia and the EU are partners and friends. Our

revitalizing the riverine towns and cities.

economic ties are an important element of this partnership, with a potential to grow and to contribute to Nepal's vision to

it is a timely moment to examine connectivity and how it could be used to drive growth and development in the Himalayan region.

graduate from Least Developed Country (LDC) status by 2030. The EU actively promotes trade and investment because it is beneficial for development of both the regions. Moreover, trade and investment are not only about big business and multinational companies, they are about individual people, livelihood and communities. They are about that moment when a small business somewhere in Europe discovers that

Besides, the common currency, Euro, allows for smoother and

there is a market for what it makes in South Asia and vice

more efficient banking and commerce, generating prosperity

versa. Therefore, the work of the European Commission is

and investment, and making doing business easier. From

to create the conditions that make such inclusive trade links

a people to people perspective the EU has developed a

possible. Working with the European Investment Bank also

number of cultural exchange programs.

allows us to leverage more money to create such links.

Lessons for the Himalayan Region

Furthermore, development of regional organizations such

The Himalayan region could also benefit in the same way

as SAARC, BIMSTEC and BBIN would serve to enhance

from increased connectivity. Projects such as the BRI has the

connectivity in the region and beyond. In short, it is a timely

potential to connect Nepal to its northern neighbor, offering

moment to examine connectivity and how it could be used

huge possibilities for the future. In the same way, Nepal's

to drive growth and development in the Himalayan region. It

potential for hydroelectric power is enormous. India and

goes without saying that women also need to be fully involved

other partners’ investments in hydro power projects could

in this effort. 51


Himalayan Consensus Summit / 2018

SESSION I

TOWARDS AIR CONNECTIVITY

Air connectivity is key to unlocking a region’s growth potential as it enables the region to attract investments. To enhance air connectivity in the Himalayan region, it is important to expand on existing air travel networks and improve related infrastructure. Speakers discussed the role of smart infrastructure, efficient airports and enhanced clean technology in expanding air connectivity in the region.

52


DAY 1 / 23 MARCH, 2018

SESSION I: TOWARDS AIR CONNECTIVITY

Umesh Chandra Rai CEO, Yeti Airlines/Tara Air

IN TERMS OF AIR CONNECTIVITY, NO COUNTRY IN THE WORLD IS AS CONNECTED TO THE HIMALAYAS AS NEPAL. Tara Air has been carrying out operations in difficult terrains to foster this connectivity. In doing so, Tara Air has also contributed to the country’s tourism industry. However, over the years, it has become difficult for the Airlines to continue its operation because of challenges such as increasing taxation and rising operation and fuel costs. Despite such challenges, Tara Air remains unshaken in its vision. It has adopted new technologies and made flight schedule more systematic. It is committed to carbon neutrality and also carries out cleaning efforts in the Everest region.

Arnico Panday Sr. Atmospheric Scientist, Program Manager (Ad interim), Atmosphere Program, ICIMOD Nepal

Sugat Ratna Kansakar Managing Director, Nepal Airlines Corporations (NAC)

AIRLINE CONNECTIVITY IN SOUTH ASIAN IS VERY LOW and hence has a tremendous

NEPAL HAS THE HIGHEST CONCENTRATION OF

potential to grow. Due to this, the new

AIRPORTS IN THE WORLD as building roads in remote

international airport in Southern Nepal is likely to

areas and mountainous terrain is very expensive. This

be a regional transit hub in the South Asia region.

makes air connectivity one of the most feasible options to connect the remote parts of Himalayan region. However, sustainability of air travel in the region is only possible if the government provides subsidies or the market is regulated without any government intervention. As of now, the government has laid down an ambitious

Air connectivity contributes to air pollution. Nepal Airlines and Turkish Airlines should consider publishing an article on environmental issues to raise awareness related to air pollution. Moreover, airlines can also collect useful data for research on flight delays and measure their economic impact.

five-year plan that prioritizes the construction of the country’s second international airport, thereby, attracting a large number of tourists. However,

Further, it is important to strive and develop

European Union’s blacklisting of Nepal with a citation of air safety reasons has restricted the flow

more efficient air transport, air routes and less

of tourists into the country. Meanwhile, NAC is committed to enhancing connectivity by providing

restricted air space for smooth functioning of

service without looking for profits thereby fostering tourism in the country.

the aviation industry 53


Himalayan Consensus Summit / 2018

Abdullah Tuncer Kececi General Manager, Turkish Airlines AT PRESENT, TURKISH AIRLINES IS THE ONLY AIRLINE THAT HAS DIRECT FLIGHTS FROM NEPAL TO EUROPE. Over a span of ten years, Turkish Airlines has successfully expanded the number of aircrafts. This exponential growth would not have been possible without the Turkish Government’s support which has 49% share in the airlines. The Government of Nepal should also support and provide incentives to Nepal Airlines as it has planned to expand its network in cities of Europe, USA and Japan. Further, governments must prioritize high-quality infrastructure and encourage airline companies to adopt new technology to consume less fuel and lessen the impact of air pollution in the environment.

Christopher Thomas Managing Director, Aviation Talent Christopher Thomas, moderator of this session, summed up the session by urging the need for collaboration between international and domestic carriers in exporting Himalayan products (such as medicinal herbs) to the international market. Key Points • Aviation and non-aviation industries should be committed to carbon neutrality and comply with the UN SDGs on climate change. • Rising inflow of tourists has led to increased air traffic at Tribhuvan International Airport, therefore, the new international airport in Southern Nepal has a huge potential of becoming a new regional transit hub in the South Asian region.

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DAY 1 / 23 MARCH, 2018

SESSION XX: FDUCIIS EXPLABOREIUM

SESSION II

MAINSTREAMING CLEAN ENERGY

Adopter, convertible or skeptic, who are you when it comes to clean energy? Our choice of energy has an immense impact on our health and the environment. This session highlighted several forms of clean energy underlining their benefits and underscoring how each can be mainstreamed into our lives so that we can move forward towards a clean and sustainable future. 55


Himalayan Consensus Summit / 2018

Kulman Ghising Managing Director, Nepal Electricity Authority ENERGY CONSUMPTION PATTERNS NEED TO BE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT WHEN IT COMES TO CLEAN ENERGY. Hydropower is the dominant factor in our electricity generation mix. Within the next three years, an additional 2500 MW of electricity will be generated from hydropower. Also, policies for solar power along with smart metering and smart grid have been issued and internet payment systems for electricity have been introduced.

Saving electricity is also important as it is one of the forms of generation. Nepal already has a distributed power system with around 100 power houses across the country and with Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) for 300 projects, Nepal is likely to be a power bank for the South Asian Region.

Ramesh Anand Vaidya Senior Advisor, Water and Air, ICIMOD Nepal AMONG OTHER CONCERNS RELATED TO THE ENERGY SECTOR, THE OVERARCHING ISSUES OF CLIMATE AND ENVIRONMENTAL RISKS, domestic demand and cross border power trade need to get addressed. The government can help the private sector manage climate and environmental risks in hydro projects by controlling potential loss, sediment load and stream flow variability. Domestic demand for electricity can curge with increase in electric water pumping in agriculture, intra-city electric bus transportation, electric car transportation electric cooking in urban areas.

56

Govind Raj Pokharel Former Vice Chairperson, National Planning Commission IT IS CRITICAL TO FIGURE OUT WHETHER TO MAINSTREAM ELECTRICITY SUPPLY OR ENERGY SUPPLY. OUR CURRENT ENERGY consumption pattern depicts that almost two third of energy is consumed for cooking and heating. To change the consumption pattern, it is necessary to do some resource mapping and figure out renewable resources which can be mainstreamed in our energy supply system. Simultaneously, alternative sources can be introduced at local levels to ensure that everyone is connected to the national grid and energy needs are fulfilled. While mainstreaming energy supply, it is also crucial to consider climate change impacts and propensity for natural hazards.


DAY 2 / 24 MARCH, 2018

SESSION II: MAINSTREAMING CLEAN ENERGY

Sujit Acharya Chairperson, IDS Energy Pvt. Ltd., Founder Chairperson, Energy Development Council

IN NEPAL, CLEAN ENERGY IS A SENSIBLE CHOICE NOT JUST FROM AN ENVIRONMENTAL STANDPOINT, BUT ALSO FROM A NATIONAL SECURITY PERSPECTIVE. Domestic generation of energy from renewable sources is necessary for addressing rising domestic demand for electricity. For this, imported cooking gas stoves need to replaced with electrical induction-based cooktops, petrol and diesel vehicles need to be replaced with electric vehicles, efficient utility systems need to be introduced and relevant laws and acts need to be established. Since exporting electricity to India may not be possible due to the high generation cost of electricity in Nepal, it is better to first focus on meeting domestic demand and electrify Nepal’s economy.

Claudia Hiepe Deputy Chief of Mission and Head, German Development Cooperation Nepal The session was moderated by Claudia Hiepe who stressed that everyone should be an adopter when it comes to clean energy. Despite all the clean energy generated in the country, majority of the population rely on firewood for cooking and heating purposes, which has derogatory effects on health and environment. Key Points • Mainstreaming clean energy requires a combination of both off grid and on grid approaches, which take into account Nepal’s diverse topography and population density while being cost efficient and reducing power loss. • A proportionate generation mix of energy along with increased efficiency of power system is necessary.

57


Himalayan Consensus Summit / 2018

SESSION III

EXPLORING WATER SOLUTIONS

Water is at the core of sustainable development and human survival itself, yet managing water resources is a complex and challenging task. In recent years, many approaches, strategies and technologies have evolved to tackle water resource management in the Himalayan region. Speakers discussed upon the issues the region is facing in terms of water management. Some initiatives and methods were explored to manage the pressing water related issues and problems in the region. 58


DAY 2 / 24 MARCH, 2018

SESSION III: EXPLORING WATER SOLUTIONS

Anustha Shrestha Research Officer, ISET-Nepal KATHMANDU VALLEY FACES CRITICAL WATER SCARCITY ISSUES OWING TO RAPID POPULATION INCREASE, over extraction of ground water, haphazard construction and unplanned urbanization. The phenomenon has blocked water infiltration thereby affecting water supply in the spouts of the valley. Melamchi water project could be one of the solutions for relieving water stress in the valley, however, communities at the source of Melamchi are anxious over the impact of water diversion on agriculture and their livelihoods. Hence, to ensure sustainability of water system, projects should be acceptable at

Philip Yinn

the local levels. The immediate solution for water management in the region is to prevent water

LivingFood Specialist

wastage and promote recyclable water.

WATER IS AN ELIXIR OF LIFE, WHICH

Madhukar Upadhya Senior Watershed Expert THE UNEVENLY DISTRIBUTED WATER REGIME IN THE HIMALAYAN REGION HAS CREATED ISSUES OF WATER SHORTAGES AND DISAPPEARANCE OF SPRINGS. With increasing water scarcity, vegetation is drying up in the region leading to an increase in agricultural imports. Adding to this is climate change

NOWADAYS IS BEING OVER PROCESSED TO THE EXTENT THAT IT IS CONSIDERED DEAD WATER. In addition, other forms of consumable water add little value to human wellbeing and are incomparable to the quality of natural water. Contaminants in tap water, high total dissolved solids in bore well water, plasticizers leached into bottled water affect the wellness of human beings.

which causes changes in precipitation patterns. Ionizing water is a solution that effectively Water harvesting is an important water management

processes water with the provision of electrical

approach for the region, however, motivating the

charge as antioxidants. However, water

people living in the mountain region to harvest water

management issues are usually based on

is challenging. This can be addressed in two ways:

charitable funding. Self-funded initiatives should

through Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES)

be explored for sustainability of such water

mechanism and increased connectivity to urban parts for transporting produce grown in the mountains.

management practices.

59


Himalayan Consensus Summit / 2018

Sabyasachi Dutta Founder Director, Asian Confluence

WE ARE A REGION THAT IS NATURALLY CONNECTED BY WATER BUT WE ARE POLITICALLY DIVIDED. To imbibe the spirit of caring and sharing of water, individuals, organizations, entrepreneurs, activists, governments and businesses have to come together. Platforms for sharing information on best practices in the region on common water management issues should be created. In addition, cutting edge research has to percolate down to young academics and scholars.

Anil Pokhrel Sr. Risk and Adaptation Specialist, Plan8 Risk Consulting This session was moderated by Anil Pokhrel. Discussants stated that water solutions should be immediate as well as long term. Solutions are not unitary and hence, actors from different states and disciplines should engage in dialogue to explore solutions for addressing emerging challenges of water management. Key Points • Water harvesting should be prioritized throughout the region to combat water shortage. • Information sharing on practices to mitigate common water challenges should be promoted throughout the region.

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DAY 1 / 23 MARCH, 2018

SESSION XX: FDUCIIS EXPLABOREIUM

SESSION IV

QUEST FOR SUSTAINABLE EARTH

Landlocked states in the Himalayan region need specialized solutions to unleash connectivity in trade and commerce. This session deliberated on the benefits of organic farming for people, communities and the environment as well as on the need for smart infrastructure to promote exports and connectivity in the Himalayan region. 61


Himalayan Consensus Summit / 2018

Khemraj Upadhyaya Country Representative, BRAC International Nepal

SEVEN AND A HALF BILLION PEOPLE SHARE THE SPACE IN THE WORLD BUT NOT THE RESOURCES, this highlights the bleak picture of inequitable sharing of resources. At present, the meaning of development is limited to urbanization. To embark on the journey of unleashing the potential of youth for the country’s development, Nepal should focus on two aspects: first, facilitating the repatriation of Nepali citizens returning from the Middle East; second, fostering a congenial environment to encourage youth to invest inside the country. The Kathmandu Valley has more than 40,000 home-based producers producing high quality items, therefore, promoting market externalities is crucial for entrepreneurs to sell their products.

Peng Liangjin Junior Economist, China Overseas Engineering Group

ALMOST ALL THE COUNTRIES IN THE HIMALAYAN REGION ARE AGRICULTURE-BASED. The increasing use of agro-chemicals, higher production cost and deteriorating ecosystem have engendered the need to replace traditional agriculture with safe and sustainable organic farming. The Himalayan region has ample opportunities to promote organic farming owing to its physical and natural endowment, prevailing farming practices, increasing economic profile and environmental health awareness. However, organic farming in the Himalayan region has been growing in a sluggish manner. China Overseas Engineering Group is involved in Bheri Babai Diversion Multipurpose Project. This grand project is expected to help aid the food crisis in the mid-western region of Nepal by increasing agricultural yields and invigorating socio-economic development in the region.

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DAY 2 / 24 MARCH, 2018

SESSION IV: QUEST FOR SUSTAINABLE EARTH

Randall A. Bluffstone Director, Institute for EcOnomics and the Environment, Portland State University

INFRASTRUCTURE CONNECTIVITY HAS DRAMATICALLY IMPROVED IN THE HIMALAYAN REGION OF NEPAL. Increase in food supply and export of high value crops from the Himalayan Region has become easier due to access to transport facilities. Development activities have contributed to increased infrastructure connectivity, however, they have also negatively impacted the environment. Environment protection and climate change are pressing issues of the 21st century. Nepal is a highly vulnerable country to climate change. It is necessary to take action against climate change globally. With respect to environment protection, Nepal’s community-based forestry program is a successful model for conservation of forest resources. Countries in Africa have started to look up to Nepal’s community-based forestry program as an important tool to tackle deforestation. Therefore, Nepal has an obligation to share their knowledge from the community-based forestry program with the world.

Arnico Panday Senior Atmospheric Scientist and Program Manager (Ad interim), Atmosphere Program, ICIMOD Nepal The session was moderated by Arnico Panday who stated that the mountain region is diverse and has unique landscapes. In order to address poverty in this region, income boost through higher value crops, organic farming, sustainable forestry program, production and marketing of local products are the need of the hour. He also highlighted the importance of improving infrastructure such as access to road and water supply for better connectivity in the complex geographical mountain areas. Key Points • Community-based forestry program should be prioritized for tackling the deforestation problem around the world. • Organic agriculture farming should be promoted in order to protect the production capacity of soil and ecosystem of the planet.

63


Himalayan Consensus Summit / 2018

SESSION V

CONNECTING SPACES FOR CONNECTED WORLD

Asian cellular technology is revolutionizing banking and allowing payment and financial systems to reach even the remotest of villages. The Asian Silicon Valley stretches from Bangalore, India to Shenzhen, China. These new tech hubs are not just revolutionizing rural banking, finance and medical care but pioneering Artificial Intelligence. This session shone light on how the region with some of the brightest minds is using technology to create Shangri-La.

64


DAY 2 / 24 MARCH, 2018

SESSION V: CONNECTING SPACES FOR CONNECTED WORLD

Amuda Mishra Founder and Executive Director, Ujyalo Foundation TECHNOLOGY HAS PLAYED AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN ADDRESSING SOCIAL ISSUES related to gender violence and economic empowerment. With the emergence of social media platforms, women now have access to a wide range of information, enabling them to connect, gather support and speak out on highly stigmatized issues of society. Furthermore, innovation in technology has strengthened their outreach in many ways. Technology-aided facilities such as Uber and Tootle have allowed women with economic constraints to overcome barriers of mobility. Technology has been instrumental in providing women this accessibility.

Giuseppe Savino Founder, Migration Protocol

AT THIS DATE, MIGRANTS ARE THE MOST EXPOSED POPULATION IN THE REGION. Due to lack of access to factual information abroad, they have become the greatest victim of labor exploitation. Government regulations accompanied by technological innovation can help us fix this problem. For example, Gulf countries who adopted the wage protection scheme made it compulsory for companies to use the debit card payment system, which regulated employers and made them accountable for any form of discrepancies. It also reduced the usage of cash and introduced the e-wallet system which further reduced the cost of remitting. This way, they were also able to reduce the cost of remittance below 3% and also contributed to achieving one of the SDGs.

65


Himalayan Consensus Summit / 2018

Robin Gravesteijn Data Management Specialist (Analytics and Research), UNCDF Bangkok MOBILE MONEY SERVICES ARE BEING USED AT A RAPID PACE ACROSS THE WORLD as key tool to further the goal of financial inclusion. There are now 500 million people worldwide with a mobile money account. However, disparity in gaining access to the technology has deprived many from formal financial services. In the context of Nepal itself, only 61% of the population has access to formal finance. It is particularly the rural youth that remains excluded from savings, credit and other insurance products. Same is the case with Asia and South Africa, where only about 2% of women have access to mobile money. Keeping this in mind, UNCDF is determined on tailoring the use of mobile banking technology in reducing inequality and attaining the SDGs.

Monika Schaffner Integrative Geographer, connecting spaces Monika Schaffner, facilitator of this session, concluded by reiterating the need to shift our focus on mobile technology in developing concrete solutions to the current development challenges. She also urged participants to pave the way for connected development of the Himalayan spaces. Key Points • Mobile technology is not just about financial services, its scope spreads across various domains such as security for migrant workers and empowerment of women. • Making use of innovation is key to attaining the SDGs.

66


DAY 1 / 23 MARCH, 2018

SESSION XX: FDUCIIS EXPLABOREIUM

UNLEASHING YOUTH, UNLEASHING CONNECTIVITY

67


Himalayan Consensus Summit / 2018

OPENING SPEECHES Bhim Bahadur Nepali Program Manager, Share & Care Nepal; Representative, Future Generations University I started my career with Share and Care Nepal (SCN) as an intern and I am now working as the Program Manager. SCN is an NGO aiming to transform communities by fostering innovation with its yearlong training program. SCN is also a strategic partner of Future Generations University (FGU). As a student of FGU, I had the opportunity to gain international experience on applied community change, development and

Rajan Man Bajracharya

management. The online learning system used

Founder, GeoKRISHI Initiative

there inspired me to develop Learning Management System for SCN to use in expanding skills on Community Development & Management (CDM).

With an aim to address food security and farm productivity, GeoKRISHI, a data-driven solution, was developed. It leverages an

Ranjan Mishra

integrated framework that incorporates

President, NepSAS

GIS, earth observations, statistical data, digital infrastructure and timely location

(NepSAS is attempting to fix the gap between youth and experts with workshops that mentor startups in developing contextualized technologies to address local challenges.The latest workshop, organized in Kathmandu, had 50 participants and 27 mentors. Few of the projects that were explored at the workshop were

based information services to achieve the 3Cs: connect users, complement products and enable contextualized services. It is packaged with smart tools and composed of a unique value proposition to help farmers manage their everyday tasks.

developing pregnancy test kits for cattle and improving the education system through augmented reality.

However, only developing innovative tools is not enough as it is also important to

68

The role of youth in innovation is still not realized in

consider sustainability in farming and attract

Nepal and hence there is very less support from the

youth to the same. It is also crucial to bridge

government and business houses. It is important to

the gap between science and traditional

change this and promote youth innovation by providing them the needed support and investment.

farming practices.


DAY 1 / 23 MARCH, 2018

SESSION XX: FDUCIIS EXPLABOREIUM

SESSION

INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY WITH NEPSAS

NepSAS is a voluntary association of skilled Nepalese diaspora in Switzerland. It has been organizing workshops and seminars to facilitate technology transfer and exchange cultural values. In this session, NepSAS presented their technology transfer initiative and shared experience of organizing Swiss-Nepal Technology Transfer Workshops, a one-of-a-kind workshop mentoring startups to develop contextualized technologies to address local challenges and opportunities. 69


Himalayan Consensus Summit / 2018

Khem Lakai Founder, GATE College; Jury and Mentor, Swiss-Nepal Technology Transfer Workshop 2018 EVEN THOUGH NEPALESE YOUTH ARE CAPABLE AND EMPOWERED, THE SOCIETY AND ITS NARROW MINDSET have set them back. Lack of support from the government adds to the problem. This has led to a brain drain and a mass exodus of youth. It is important to start afresh because youth are not only the future but also very much the present. The entire world will benefit and be transformed for the better if the potential and creativity of youth can be tapped into by providing them with proper support, mentorship and funding. NepSAS has been filling in these gaps by producing a pool of intrinsically motivated and qualified young people from diverse backgrounds who are

Sonika Manandhar

materializing feasible solutions to real world problems.

Winner, Swiss-Nepal Technology Transfer Workshop 2017

Ravindra Sapkota Co-founder, Everest Biotech and Shikhar Biotech; Mentor, Swiss-Nepal Technology Transfer Workshop 2018

NEPAL DOES NOT HAVE A SATELLITE OF ITS OWN and the exposure to satellite and space education is also not satisfactory. This

70

THE SWISS-NEPAL TECHNOLOGY WORKSHOP

is disheartening because satellites offer a

WAS WELL-ORGANIZED AND OFFERED A WIN-

myriad services, including applications in

WIN SITUATION FOR ALL THE PARTICIPANTS.

communication, mapping, revealing spatial

Commencing the first-ever biotech company in

patterns and mitigating risks related to

Nepal had its own hindrances. Firstly, no one

disasters. To address this gap, I joined the

was willing to sign an approval as they did not

team led by Rakesh Chandra Prajapati,

understand the concept and the products that we

Founder of ORION Space, in 2018 and we

were making i.e. polyclonal antibodies. Secondly,

are now building the country’s first ever

there was not much support from the government

satellite, PocketQube Satellite, through local

and it was tedious getting an approval to smallest

resources. The engineering design of the

of issues. However, with time, this has changes and

satellite will be ready in about three months

biotechnology is not considered a young field anymore in Nepal. Our major challenge now is to

and the launch will take place towards the

continually innovate and progress in this field.

end of 2019.


DAY 2 / 24 MARCH, 2018

SESSION: INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY WITH NEPSAS

Amina Baniya Representative, CareTech; Winner, Swiss -Nepal Technology Transfer Workshop 2018 MUCH OF NEPAL’S POPULATION DEPENDS UPON LIVESTOCK FARMING and one of the major issues faced by farmers is detecting pregnancy in cattle at an early stage. My team and I thought of catering to this need by developing a safe and convenient pregnancy detection test and pitched the idea at both the Swiss-Nepal Technology Transfer Workshop 2018 as well as at the Startup Mela 2018. After our idea won at both the events, we decided to open up a company. As of now, we have completed all the needful procedures and are waiting to register the company. It has been challenging to find genuine investors; however, we have not lost hope and have self-sustained it till now.

Shruti Jha Medical Microbiologist; Coordinator, Swiss-Nepal Technology Transfer Workshop 2018 This session was moderated by Shruti Jha. The discussion not only realized the potential and innovation within the youth but also delved upon the challenges in tapping and sustaining the same. It also offered insights into the workshop developed by NepSAS and shed light on the projects it has edified. Key Points • Nepal still has a long way to go in exploring and leveraging youth potential. However, proper support from the government as well as a suitable platform to foster youth creativity and innovation is key to addressing this. • Along with competition and workshops, innovation fund with non-restrictive and broad criteria are needed to foster innovation among the youth.

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Himalayan Consensus Summit / 2018

CLOSING SPEECHES Aayushi KC Founder & CEO, Khaalisisi The best way to predict the future is to create the future and our future is technology and digitization. The rapid spread of technology has created immense opportunities but its benefits are not inclusionary. As much as humans are eager to benefit from digitization, there is the looming threat of humans being replaced by technology. Moreover, the problem of the digital divide, which has created a gulf between those who have ready access to modern information and communication technology and those who do not or have restricted access, needs to be addressed. Inclusive access to technology is vital for overall development. Khaalisisi has 13000 local waste entrepreneurs in Kathmandu alone, without whom the waste management would be arduous. They have little or no knowledge about the advancement of technology. Together, we aim to move into the future of inclusive digitization by becoming digitally empowered and providing equal access to technology for maximum efficiency.

Ryan Nadeau Head of Partnerships, Galvanize Connectivity in today’s world is not just about digital connectivity or connectivity of water, air and trade routes, it is also about connecting people’s voices and ideas with decision makers and influencers who have created a way to release the potential of the youth and solve some of the largest problems.

Youth are the driving forces towards an equitable, inclusive, and sustainable future. It is crucial to hear the voices of youth and support them by providing the necessary enabling conditions. It is also essential for community leaders to invest in regional youth through mentorship, sponsorship, and stewardship.

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DAY 1 / 23 MARCH, 2018

SESSION XX: FDUCIIS EXPLABOREIUM

CLOSING SESSION

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Himalayan Consensus Summit / 2018

NICHOLAS R O S E L L I N I Resident Coordinator, United Nations China

We are living in an ever-connected world. We are linked through global trade and investments, shared water and space, cross-border infrastructure, technology transfer and people to people exchange. All this connectivity means that the impact of decision making transcends borders, there are more stakeholders to consult during decision making processes and more partners to work with in solving joint challenges. Leveraging the power of connectivity lies at the core of delivering the SDGs. It requires effective partnerships—a productive blending of sectors, expertise and resources. Creating positive synergies between the public and private sector and establishing efficient public and private partnerships is vital to ensure socioeconomic and environmental sustainability. One concrete example of a public private partnership is blended finance, which is emerging as a solution with significant potential to help fill the investment gaps of the SDGs. The rationale for blended finance is simple. The public sector catalyzes commercial funding by addressing the risk-return profiles of projects with important public good dimensions. This has been done in many innovative ways, such as using guarantees, securitization and risk insurance.

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DAY 2 / 24 MARCH, 2018

CLOSING SESSION

Between 2012 and 2015, USD 81 billion of private finance

business model that is yet to be deeply explored and made

was mobilized for development. While it is crucial to have

available. There are diverse ways to implement this—global

sufficient funding, it is equally important to spend it wisely.

value chain, free trade, and smart infrastructure; however,

Last year in Beijing, UNDP China organized a series of

the business acumen cannot be missed as a solution to this

workshops related to development finance. One of the

as it helps to quickly grasp the huge potential of investing

biggest obstacles for financing is the lack of bankable, high-

in the SDGs. Research has proved that achieving the SDGs

impact development projects.

can open up USD 12 trillion in market opportunities in key sectors creating 380 million new jobs by 2030.

Another question is regarding the correct assessment of high-impact projects. Some thoughts center around the

Living in a world full of changes and uncertainties shaped by

idea of “investing big”, placing emphasis on large-scale

technological advancement, demographic trends, political

infrastructure construction aimed at accelerating economic

movements and climate change, it is crucial to construct

transformation. Such projects are certainly crucial to generate

a shared vision for global development. There are many

development dividends, particularly in terms of “enlarging

emerging opportunities, such as the BRI led by China. It

the pie” for everyone to share. Yet, doubts have been

underlies multilateralism and is open to all to build shared

raised regarding the “trickle down” effects of such projects,

prosperity. BRI provides a new platform for South-South

especially concerning their impact at the sub-national level.

Cooperation (SSC) through multidimensional connectivity. BRI is expected to reduce poverty, protect the environment,

On the other hand, Himalayan Consensus Summit 2018

promote inclusive growth and contribute to the SDGs.

has showcased good practices that are community-based and derived from traditional ecological knowledge. These

2018 marks the 40th year of China’s opening up and reform.

are particularly relevant for natural-resource dependent

China has experienced and overcome many challenges

livelihoods elsewhere in the world, provoking thoughts on

across different phases to achieve significant human

unleashing the entrepreneurial zeal of local communities

development. Most recently, China is trying to go green.

to solve their problems. The examples show that “investing

Through a combination of subsidies, policy targets and

small” also works. But how could “investing small”

manufacturing incentives, it has spent more on cleaning

generate scalable impact? One potential solution lies

up its energy system than America and the EU combined.

within “connectivity”. What is done in one place or region

In 2017 alone it shelled out USD 132 billion, according to

can be shared elsewhere; the logic of system thinking

Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

and integrated planning, which enables positive synergies across varied SDGs can be widely disseminated.

Many of these experiences can certainly be tapped into by other developing countries through further cooperation and

Moreover, what goes beyond a specific development

integration, as what China has been through may be similar

approach is the goods and services that are yet to be

to many other countries’ development situations across

broadly shared across borders, and the sustainable

varied stages. 75


Himalayan Consensus Summit / 2018

PETER BUDD His Excellency Ambassador of Australia to Nepal

Connectivity is the interlinkage of commercial, social and environmental ecosystems that go beyond centralized control or the protection of the interests of one state or individual. Full benefits of connectivity can be enjoyed when connections are nurtured through enabling policy and multidimensional frameworks that are designed to facilitate and empower.r. The lack of connectivity in the South Asian region was borne out of the stagnation of intraregional trade, which s ranged from 5% to 7% over the past decade. The South Asian region cannot alter its history, it does not, however, need to be constrained by it. There are obstacles to interregional connectivity. It is imperative for states to loosen unproductive policy controls that inhibit interregional trade and investments. Doing so is important

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CLOSING SESSION

for improving competitiveness and productivity, generating more and better paying jobs, enabling access to new ideas and technology, supplementing pools of domestic savings and lowering prices for consumers. The policy reigns should not be loosened at the expense of

Gender-based inequality in business and trade has a dampening effect on productivity and growth with significant cost to regional economies.

environmental conservation, cultural preservation or sustainable investment. But it will involve difficult decisions. One of the main

economic efficiency and improves sustainable development outcomes. It

challenges is to effectively advocate the win-win opportunities of reforms

is estimated that limits on women’s participation in the workforce across

in environments where vested interests and cartel arrangements are

the Asia-Pacific region costs the regional economy USD 8 billion every

often focused on protecting their pieces of the pie. Similarly, there

year. In South Asia, the level of women’s exclusion from the workforce is

should be a change of mindset—the adoption of the idea that our

particularly high, women currently comprise 49% of the population but

mutual interests are not served by protection but by expansion of the

only make up 36% of the labor force.

pie and increment of everyone’s share. There is evidence to suggest that countries that are more open to trade grow faster and are more

This, coupled with the fact that the majority of vulnerable workers in

successful in reducing poverty. However, trade liberalization must be

South Asia, more than 80% are women means that we have a long way

accompanied by inclusive regulatory policies that promote sustainable

to go but that together, we can work collaboratively with the private

development and healthy competition.

sector to overcome these challenges. Therefore, Australian aid for trade is designed to assist the private sector and governments to build capacity

In this process, we need to consider the hard and soft infrastructural

to participate in and benefit from trade. This supports integration of

constraints and the need for a collective effort by governments

gender responsiveness in major infrastructure projects, trade facilitation

of the region, the private sector and donors in collaboratively and

and logistics, which encourages women and men to benefit from trade.

systematically addressing this infrastructure shortfall. Additionally, the role and contribution of women as consumers, investors and drivers

We must recognize the vital role that the private sector plays in the

of policy is integral to this process. It is to our mutual detriment that

infrastructure and gender equality space. Leading firms in South Asia and

barriers for women are less recognized than the infrastructure investment

an increasing number of multinationals are pro-actively including gender

requirements. However, it is imperative that we ensure women, as well

responsive policies in their central workplaces and their supply chains

as men, benefit from new market and trade opportunities created by

because it is good business to draw on the perspectives of women to

new infrastructure. Gender-based inequality in business and trade has

deliver better approaches and drive innovation and better policy.

a dampening effect on productivity and growth with significant cost to regional economies.

Therefore, this is why forums such as the Himalayan Consensus Summit are important in building trust and understanding between governments

Gender inequality can and does impact a country’s competitiveness and

and businesses who share a vital role in driving connectivity, sustainable

capacity to increase business opportunities. Gender equity enhances

and inclusive development in the region. 77


Himalayan Consensus Summit / 2018

His Excellency Ambassador of Australia to Nepal

VALERIE J U L L I A N D

Resident Coordinator, United Nations Nepal

Some of the most fundamental and pressing issues of our time include climate change, environmental degradation, violence, social upheaval and sustainable development. Identifying and touching on these problems is easy. However, the challenging part is to come up with innovative, experimental and cross border solutions. In today’s globalized world, problems are no longer narrowly contained, therefore, the solutions we introduce should be holistic across different thematic areas. This is where the objectives of the Himalayan Consensus and the United Nations coincide. The two institutions are trying to show the world that there is a way to address these contemporary challenges and that the solutions are interconnected in nature. Local and Interconnected Solutions The threat of climate change is real and as a result, some countries are likely to be more vulnerable to natural disasters. Adoption of innovative insurance mechanisms can provide protection against natural disasters and also improve the lives of people in the region. There are also many foreign companies interested in fostering and nurturing local renewable energy systems to stimulate growth and innovation.

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CLOSING SESSION

Technology and artificial intelligence

affect certain parts of the population more than the others.

hold promises to solve many

Therefore, we should never lose sight of an inclusive

problems but if not harnessed well, can further aggravate inequality between the rich and the poor.

economic growth. Technology and inequality Technology and artificial intelligence hold promises to solve many problems but if not harnessed well, can further aggravate inequality between the rich and the poor. From a gender perspective, digital divide is a reality. If conscious

The pressure of population on limited resources can also

efforts are not made to ensure women have access to

lead to conflict. As proposed during the Summit, Cardamom

education and technology, technology will further the male

Campaign for Peace is an example of an innovative solution.

supremacy. In addition, technology and artificial intelligence

It embraces the nature of the solutions we are looking

are already taking jobs away from people. Moreover, robots

for, straddling the space between peace and inclusive

and technology will make the rich richer by ensuring that

growth. As we talk of connectivity, it is paradoxical that the

they can multiply their wealth without having to rely on

mountains that used to divide the Himalayan region are now

people and having to pay wages.

being used as a connector. This speaks volumes about the vision and ambition of the Himalayan Consensus Summit.

Sustainable Development Sustainable development requires a consensus among

The Himalayan region needs sustainable solutions while

all citizens and countries. It requires good governance

respecting the individuality of each country in the region.

and rule of law. It needs the realization of our

Again, the parallel with the SDGs is evident from the fact that

vulnerabilities as citizens and as countries. It needs the

we have a set of global goals and aspirations, but each with

acceptance that people want to and often have to move

local and interconnected solutions.

within their own countries —that migration is a reality, a right and an opportunity.

Leaving No One Behind As we look for solutions, it is imperative to leave no one

Sustainable development is nothing more than the

behind. When we explore innovative approaches and

respect and preservation of all forms of life to allow for its

solutions across the Himalayas, we need to ensure that we

blossoming and continuation. And the Himalayan Consensus

are not compounding inequality and exclusion. Disasters,

paradigm has addressed the most fundamental issues of our

climate change, economic hardship and conflict always

age—promotion of inclusion and collaboration. 79


Himalayan Consensus Summit / 2018

PARTNERS’ EXHIBITION The Summit this year had exuberant display by some of the partners, namely Four Seasons Travel and Tours, Mahaguthi, Mandala Book Point and NepSAS. MAHAGUTHI CRAFT with Conscience exhibited distinct products ranging from hand woven fabrics, cashmere and bamboo products to woodcrafts. ABOUT MAHAGUTHI: Mahaguthi Craft with Conscience is a Fair Trade Organization which produces, markets and exports Nepalese crafts. It serves both domestic as well as international markets and has two shops based in the Kathmandu Valley. The organization represents the efforts of more than one thousand individual producers, fifty percent of whom are from remote and mountainous areas. 80

PHOTOS ???


PARTNERS’ EXHIBITION

MANDALA BOOK POINT had a vibrant spectacle with books by some of the speakers of HCS 2018 and the bestselling authors around the Himalayan region. ABOUT MANDALA BOOK POINT: Mandala Book Point is a central meeting point among scholars, researchers, academicians, historians, anthropologists, and tourists visiting Nepal. The objective of Mandala Book Point is to acquaint its readers with the culture religion of the entire Himalayan belt to protect and preserve the Himalayan heritage through the medium of books.

Participants from the SWISS-NEPAL TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER WORKSHOPS demonstrated their innovative projects which ranged from enhancing data literacy in Nepal to devising manual stair- climbing wheelchair. ABOUT NEPSAS: The Nepali Scientific Association in Switzerland (NepSAS) is a voluntary organization founded by young Nepali graduates and professionals studying and working in Switzerland. NepSAS aims to facilitate in grooming young human resources through capacity building and technology transfer via mentorships and coaching programs. Since 2016, NepSAS has been organizing seminars and workshops as a part of this process. 81


Himalayan Consensus Summit / 2018

PHOTOS FROM THE SUMMIT

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Himalayan Consensus Summit / 2018

HCS 2018 Inaugural Dinner 83


Himalayan Consensus Summit / 2018

HCS 2018 Closting Dinner 84


PHOTOS FROM THE SUMMIT PHOTOS FROM THE SUMMIT

Himalayan Consensus Secretariat Team with Sophia

85


Himalayan Consensus Summit / 2018

ORGANIZERS The Summit was led by the Himalayan Consensus Institute with Nepal Economic Forum as the imple-

FOUNDER Laurence J. Brahm SECRETARY GENERAL Sujeev Shakya

mentation partner.

HIMALAYAN CONSENSUS INSTITUTE The Himalayan Consensus Institute promotes grass roots innovation to evolve the social enterprise concept into fresh models for community empowerment, addressing challenges of climate change across the Himalayan region. Areas of focus include: renewable and efficient energy, organic agriculture, water conservation, inclusive finance, and prevention of conflict. Key themes include: empowerment of identity through heritage and artisan protection, and the closing of income gaps through economic empowerment of communities. The Himalayan Consensus process involves convening an annual conference that will bring together both grass roots and NGO pioneers of social enterprise across the region, together with business and financial leaders, in seeking pragmatic ways to scale local solutions. Throughout the year the Himalayan Consensus Institute will matrix outcomes from the conference together with examples of social enterprise innovation across the Himalayan region, evolving these into a fresh economic paradigm. www.himalayanconsensus.org

HONORARY BOARD David Molden, Doris Naisbitt, John Naisbitt, Nirupama Rao, Satyanarayan Gangaram Pitroda, Sun Yuxi, Zhang Zhi Ping EXECUTIVE BOARD Ambica Shrestha, Arnico Panday, Carol A. Wolfson, Kamran Lashari, Li Lin, Mahendra P. Lama, Shruti Poddar, Sonam Jatso, Sujeev Shakya ADVISORY BOARD Ashok Gangadean, Celine S Cousteau, Franz Josef Hahn, Hon Wai Wai, John Vincent Bellezza, Kurt Robert Luger, Michael Rutland, Rajeev Goyal, Reza Aslan, Ryan Nadeau, Suren Badral, Tshering Tashi, Thomas Schrom, Wong How Man LEGAL COUNSEL Lok Bhakta Rana FINANCIAL CONTROLLER & FOUNDATION SUPERVISION Chris Brown

NEPAL ECONOMIC FORUM Nepal Economic Forum (NEF), is a not for profit organization aiming to be Nepal’s premier private sector led economic policy and research institution. NEF strives to re-define the economic development discourse in Nepal, and works towards strengthening the Nepali economy through various activities that promote the growth of an efficient and inclusive private sector. NEF engages in research, analysis and information dissemination to shape national agendas through partnerships. NEF is currently a recipient of the Think Tank Fund by Open Society Foundations. NEF was featured in the list of Top 100 Think Tanks in Southeast Asia and the Pacific in the 2016 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report released by the, Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program under the University of Pennsylvania. www.nepaleconomicforum.org

HCS GLOBAL TEAM Elvis Emmanuel, Mei Yingxue, Mei Yunfei & Noah Sckocilich HCS SECRETARIAT TEAM Pradeep Poudel, Sadikchya Singh, Sara Pradhan, Shraddha Gautam, Shreemanjari Tamrakar & Sujina Shakya SUPPORT TEAM Alpa Badani, Arya Awale, Bishakha Chand, Bom Bahadur Jirel, Devraj Amatya, Evleen Shakya, Hira Maharjan, Japa Vaidya, Niraj KC, Nischal Dhungel, Raju Tuladhar, Rojesh Shrestha, Sajal Mani Dhital, Samita Shrestha, Samridhi Pant, Shikshya Gyawali, Sudip Bhaju & Vanessa Pradhan ILLUSTRATION & DESIGN Big Stone Medium

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PRINCIPAL SPONSORS

SPONSORS

PARTNERS


HIMALAYAN CONSENSUS SUMMIT Secretariat Nepal Economic Forum, Lalitpur-3, Nepal Tel: +977-1-5548400 | info@himalayanconsensussummit.com

Hcs 2018 proceeding report  

Himalayan Consensus Summit 2018 brought together pioneers, business and financial leaders across the Himalayan region to forge pragmatic way...

Hcs 2018 proceeding report  

Himalayan Consensus Summit 2018 brought together pioneers, business and financial leaders across the Himalayan region to forge pragmatic way...

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