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Building a resilient Bam-e-Dunya: Untold stories, lessons, and opportunities


Microsoft Teams

Date & Time

28 July 2020



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The Hindu Kush Karakoram Pamir Landscape (HKPL) represents “Bam-e-Dunya” (“roof of the world” in Persian), a home to diverse ecosystems, indigenous ethnic groups, and rich cultural traditions. Today, it faces unique threats to its environment, livelihoods, and way of life, but it also serves as a veritable treasure trove of transformative stories of resilience and progress. ICIMOD’s HKPL Initiative addresses cross-border challenges and opportunities in development and conservation across four countries in this landscape: Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, and Tajikistan.

The COVID-19 pandemic has drawn attention to the heightened vulnerabilities of mountain communities already dealing with the impacts of climate and other change and underlined the need to build resilience and find appropriate policy directions, solutions, and cooperation mechanisms. The HKPL Initiative’s work to bolster long-term conservation and development efforts in the landscape presents vast learning opportunities.

About the webinar

This webinar presents a unique opportunity to hear from distinguished scholars and development professionals about the rapid changes and impact narratives for a resilient Bam-e-Dunya. This is the first in the “Bam-e-Dunya webinar series: Unleashing the potential of transboundary cooperation for a healthy and resilient roof of the world”.

  • Reflect on the broader change narrative and post-COVID scenarios and implications
  • Explore transformative stories bridging the future
  • Foster discussion on transboundary cooperation and landscape opportunities, combining conservation with development
Time (NST) Programme
15:30–15:45 Participants check-in on MS Teams
15:45–16:00 Opening

Introduction – Ghulam Ali, Programme Coordinator, HKPL, ICIMOD

Welcome remarks – David Molden, Director General, ICIMOD

SESSION I Presentations

Moderator: Ghulam Ali

16:00–16:10 Building resilience in the Hindu Kush Himalaya

– David Molden, Director General, ICIMOD

16:10–16:30 Gender and resilience in the HKPL

– Shandana Khan, Chief Executive Officer, Rural Support Programmes Network, Pakistan

16:30–16:50 Potential and resilience of rural communities through participatory development

– Shoaib Sultan Khan, Chairman, Rural Support Programmes Network, Pakistan

16:50–17:10 Bam-e-Dunya: Transformation and future prospects

– Hermann Kreutzmann, Freie Universität Berlin

SESSION II Discussion
17:10–17:30 Interactive session with moderator and speakers
17:30–17:50 Q&A
17:50–18:00 Summary and closing remarks

– Eklabya Sharma, Deputy Director General, ICIMOD

18:00 Vote of thanks

– Ghulam Ali


Meet the speakers

David James Molden

David Molden

Director General

David Molden is the Director General of the ICIMOD. He comes from a background specializing in water resource management and sustainable mountain development with an interest in integrating social, technical, and environmental aspects of natural resources management. Molden has experience in leading and implementing development and research work across Asia and Africa. He has contributed to the publication of over 200 works in books, refereed journals, research reports, and educational materials. He has received many awards, including the Outstanding Scientist Award of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) in 2009.

Shoaib Sultan Khan

Shoaib Sultan Khan

Rural Support Programmes Network, Pakistan

Shoaib Sultan Khan is one of the pioneers of the Rural Support Programmes Network in Pakistan. In 1982, Shoaib Sultan Khan initiated the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP) in the Northern Areas and Chitral (NAC) district of Pakistan. Between 1979 and 1982, he also served as a social development consultant for UNICEF in Sri Lanka. He was appointed as a senior adviser for South Asia Poverty Alleviation Programme of UNDP from 1994 to 1982. He also worked at the Geneva-based Aga Khan Foundation for 12 years. In recognition of his work at AKRSP, he has received many awards including the United Nations Environment Programme Global 500 Award in 1989 and the WWF Duke of Edinburgh Conservation Award in 1994. Khan was also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009. In 2019, the President of Pakistan conferred on him Nishan-e-Imtiaz, the highest civilian award in Pakistan.

Shandana Khan

Shandana Khan

Chief Executive Officer
Rural Support Programmes Network, Pakistan

Shandana Khan has 28 years of extensive grassroots and policy-level experience in rural development from South Asia. She has an undergraduate degree in Political Science from Delhi University, India, and a Tripos in Social and Political Sciences from the University of Cambridge. She obtained her postgraduate degree in International Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University, USA. Khan has undertaken consulting work for the replication of the Rural Support Programmes approach in South Asia under UNDP’s South Asia Poverty Alleviation Programme in Maldives and Nepal. She has also worked as the Director of Rural Development at the Aga Khan Foundation from 2014 to 2016. She is now serving as the Chief Executive Officer at the Rural Support Programmes Network, Pakistan.

Hermann Kreutzmann

Hermann Kreutzmann

Professor Emeritus
Freie Universität Berlin

Hermann Kreutzmann held the Chair of Human Geography at Freie Universitaet Berlin until March 2020. He had been serving as the Director of the Centre for and Development Studies at Freie Universitaet Berlin from 2005. He was awarded his PhD degree by Freie Universitaet Berlin, and his postdoctoral degree by Bonn University. In 1996, he was the Chair for cultural geography at Erlangen-Nuernberg University. His main research interest is regionally located in Central and South Asia with Pakistan as the prime focus; the topics range from development studies, high mountain research, mobility, and migration to political geography and minority issues. He has published more than 200 research papers, including 20 books.


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