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Green, resilient, and inclusive development in the Hindu Kush Himalaya: Challenges and opportunities

ICIMOD at the Asia Pacific Climate Week 2021


COP26 & HKH2Glasgow



Date & Time

08 July 2021


Nanki Kaur & Udayan Mishra

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The Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region, which spreads across Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, China, Bhutan, Myanmar, and Bangladesh, is the pulse of the planet. The region has the largest reserves of ice outside the Polar Regions. It is home to four global biodiversity hotspots and contains the headwaters of ten major Asian river systems. What happens in this region affects the livelihoods of 240 million people living in the mountains, and 1.65 billion people living downstream. Together, the HKH provides essential resources, especially water and ecosystem services, to close to 2 billion people – one-fourth of humanity.

The HKH region is also a climate hotspot. Even if we succeed in limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees, it is projected that the HKH will lose one-third of its glacier volume by 2100. This will exacerbate climate induced disasters and have negative impacts on lives and livelihoods in the region and beyond.

The race to resilience and the race to zero can deliver ambitious climate action in this region. Aligning COVID-19 recovery efforts with climate action will provide opportunities for green, resilient, and inclusive development in the region.

ICIMOD is organizing this side event under the thematic track on National actions and economy wide approaches, to steer discussion on the ambitious action in key sectors, and how these actions can be integrated in national planning and economic packages to enable COVID-19 recovery as well as support the Paris Agreement.

This event is one of the many regional and international dialogues being organized by ICIMOD under the #HKH2Glasgow campaign in the run up to COP26.


This session will provide a platform for stakeholders from the HKH region to:

  • Take stock of climate action and COVID-19 recovery plans in the region
  • Identify opportunities to align COVID-19 recovery with green, resilient, and inclusive development in the region



8 July 2021 | 17:00-18:00 Tokyo Time (GMT+9), 13:45 – 14:45 (Nepal Standard Time)

Time (NPT) Programme
13:30–13:45 Check-in on MS Teams

Moderator: Nanki Kaur, Regional Programme Manager, Adaptation and Resilience Building, ICIMOD

13:45–13:50 Welcome and introduction – Nanki Kaur, ICIMOD
13:50–14:00  Presentation on climate action and green recovery in the HKH
Pradyumna JB Rana, Climate Change Adaptation and Governance Analyst, ICIMOD
Deepshikha Sharma, Climate and Environment Specialist, ICIMOD
14:00–14:25 Panel discussion: Challenges and opportunities for green, resilient and inclusive development in the HKH

  • Nature-based solutions
    Arun Shrestha, Regional Programme Manager, River Basins and Cryosphere, ICIMOD
    Sunita Chaudhary, Ecosystem Services Specialist, ICIMOD
  • Resilient infrastructure
    Bidya Banmali Pradhan, Programme Coordinator, Air Pollution Solutions, ICIMOD
    Asad Mahmood, Manager Technical/Company Secretary – Energy Conservation Fund, National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (NEECA), Pakistan
  • Innovative finance to align financial flows with green, resilient & inclusive development in the HKH
    Prem Moktan, Director, Credit and Trade Finance, Bank of Bhutan Limited
14:25–14:38  Q&A
14:38–14:45  Closing remarks and way forward
Izabella Koziell, Deputy Director General, ICIMOD