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An enabling environment for green, resilient, inclusive and circular enterprises in the Hindu Kush Himalaya




Kathmandu, Nepal

Date & Time

19 July 2023 to 20 July 2023

Ghulam Ali

About the workshop

ICIMOD is conducting a scoping study on an ‘enabling environment’ for Green, Resilient, Inclusive and Circular (GRIC) transitions/ economies. This enabling environment involves creating the right conditions to successfully implement initiatives to encourage GRIC transitions, implementing supportive policies, allocating resources/budgets, encouraging community participation in decision-making processes, and organising capacity-building training. We have conducted a round of consultations seeking experts’ inputs on the methodology and partners’ engagement. Based on these contributions, we would like to further convene a co-creation workshop to strengthen our partners’ engagement and expertise in creating rich content and understanding of the factors, challenges, and opportunities of fostering an enabling environment for GRIC transitions in the HKH. The content will be used by ICIMOD and our partners to pursue strategies and actions to achieve the following vision of ICIMOD’s strategy 2023–2030:

This workshop is expected to bridge gaps in resource, partnership, and knowledge to mutually address the challenges of creating an enabling environment for GRIC transitions in the HKH.

This workshop is organised by Action Area C: Adapting and transforming livelihoods and economies, Intervention 2: Green, resilient, inclusive, and circular mountain economies; Component 2: Green and inclusive enterprises for high value mountain products and services, under Strategic Group 2: Shaping green and resilient mountain economies.



  • Bring together multi-stakeholders (policymakers, practitioners, academia, private sector, and investors) and facilitate collaborative exercise to develop mutual understanding and content on enabling environment factors, challenges, and opportunities among the regional member countries and prioritise factors crucial for the successful promotion of green, resilient, inclusive, and circular transitions in various sectors
  • Identify leveraging opportunities and partnerships to fill the gaps in enabling environment to promote GRIC approaches along with entrepreneurship, investments, and innovations
  • Develop an enabling environment outlook, a common document to take actions while promoting sustainable economic growth addressing environmental, social, and economic sustainability challenges in context of climate change as outlined in ICIMOD Medium-Term Action Plan V result framework


Expected outputs

  • Refined understanding, content, and strategies on enabling environment
  • Well-defined roles, responsibilities, and contributions on follow up documentation and actions in promoting green, resilient, inclusive, and circular transitions, investments, and entrepreneurship in HKH


Climate change is posing several socio-economic and ecological threats. For the mountain region, any temperature above 2°C becomes unbearable, especially for the HKH region. According to the HI-WISE report, changes to the glaciers, snow, and permafrost of the HKH region are ‘unprecedented and largely irreversible driven by global warming’. On current emissions trajectories, glaciers could lose up to 80% of their current volume by the end of the century, drastically reducing freshwater for major rivers in HKH. If no mitigating action is taken, global temperatures could rise by more than 3°C and the world economy could shrink by 18% in the next 30 years. Hence, the public and private sectors play a crucial role in accelerating the transition to net zero.

The HKH is a resource-rich region for tourism, agriculture, energy, and non-timber forest products. These sectors offer unique niche products and services with the potential to generate significant economic benefits, including income, employment, and livelihoods opportunities. Although mountain societies contribute less to greenhouse gas emissions, they are among the first to be affected severely by climate extremes. Climate change challenges coupled with agrobiodiversity loss, the deterioration of production systems, gender and social inequalities, limited access to markets and finances, and inadequate infrastructure and limited capacities are chronic challenges to sustain and amplify livelihoods and socio-economic growth.

While implementing the GRIC approach to entrepreneurship, it will be necessary for all stakeholders to collaborate, comprehend the complexity, and transform solutions from poor infrastructure, limited access to markets and finances, and regulatory obstacles, innovation, entrepreneurial culture, and infrastructural obstacles into a supportive environment for businesses, entrepreneurial activities, and investments. Sustainable economic growth can flourish only when an enabling environment is conducive to entrepreneurship and investments with compatible policies, easy access to finance, and favourable conditions of doing business. This enabling environment would then enable public and private sectors to flow and evolve solutions, investments, and strategies towards achieving net zero transitions.



Time (NPT) Programme
09:15–09:30 Registration – Mamata Shrestha, Senior Programme Associate, ICIMOD





Opening session

Moderator: Barsha Rani Gurung, Communications Officer, ICIMOD

Welcome remarks – Izabella Koziell, Deputy Director General, ICIMOD

Keynote speech (online): Characteristics, challenges, and opportunities of enabling environment for green transitions in HKH – Ved Arya, Founder, Buddha Institute

Transforming mountain economies in HKH – Abid Hussain, Coordinator, Action Area C: Adapting and transforming livelihoods and economies, ICIMOD

Workshop context and objectives –Ghulam Ali, Innovative Livelihoods Specialist, ICIMOD

Group photo – Jitendra Bajracharya, Photographer, ICIMOD

11:00–11:15 Tea break
11:15–13:00 Panel discussion: Planning and managing green, resilient, inclusive, and circular (GRIC) transitions in the HKH

Facilitator: Nand Kishor Agrawal, Strategic Group Lead, Shaping green and resilient mountain economies


  • Shiba Satyal Banskota, GESI Lead, ICIMOD
  • Bhubesh Kumar, Chief Risk Officer, Parasad Seed, India
  • Pukar Malla, Co-founder and Chairperson, Governance Lab, Daayitwa Abhiyaan, Nepal
  • Sangay Choezang, Employment Officer, Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Employment, Bhutan
  • Ambareen Baig, Regional Insights & MERL Manager, Accelerate Prosperity, Pakistan
13:00–14:00 Lunch break


Group work: Harnessing understanding on enabling environment factors to promote mountains enterprises and high-value mountain products through the GRIC lens

Groups divided into four: Policy, finance, innovation and mindset, and infrastructure and market support


Ghulam Ali, ICIMOD

Mewang Gyeltshen, Senior Specialist Renewable Energy, ICIMOD

Anu Joshi Shrestha, Rural Enterprise and Value Chain Specialist, ICIMOD

Avishek Malla, Energy Specialist, ICIMOD

15:30–15:45 Tea break
15:45–17:00 Group work presentations and closing of Day 1

Time (NPT) Programme
Moderator: Simran Silpakar, Gender Research Associate, ICIMOD
09:30–09:45 Recap of Day 1 – Anu Joshi Shrestha, ICIMOD
09:45–11:00 Experiences and learnings from countries and the HKH region on enabling environment (10 mins each)

Moderator: Anu Joshi Shrestha, ICIMOD

Entrepreneurship scope of high- and low-value non-timber forest product (NTFP) for the HKH – Pankaj Prasad Raturi, Head of Department, Bioresource Development Dabur Research & Development Center, India

Fostering inclusive enterprises and investment in mountains: Learnings from South and Central Asia – Amabreen Baig, Accelerate Prosperity, Pakistan

The challenge of attracting foreign investment and fostering local innovations and partnership – Izhar Abbas, Chief Investment Officer, Apex& Co, Pakistan

Learning from Nepal for GRIC transitions – Ashutosh Tiwari, CEO, SAFAL partners, Nepal

Emerging enterprises and GRIC possibilities in Bhutan – Sonam Chophel, CEO, Association of Bhutan Cottage, and Small Industries, Bhutan

Moderated discussions (Q&As)

11:00–11:15 Tea break
11:15–13:00 Group work: Country-specific SWOC Analysis for Bhutan, India, Nepal, and Pakistan

Task: Country priorities with SWOC analysis to promote mountains enterprises and GRIC approach


Mewang Gyeltshen, ICIMOD

Anu Joshi Shrestha, ICIMOD

Avishek Malla, Energy Specialist

Ghulam Ali, ICIMOD

13:00–14:00 Lunch break
14:00–14:40 Country group work presentations

Facilitator: Mewang Gyeltshen, ICIMOD

14:40–16:30 Plenary discussion on way forward:

  • Key takes aways and joint actions
  • Expectation from ICIMOD
  • Documentation and follow ups
  • Partnerships and roles
  • Online survey


Ghulam Ali, ICIMOD

Sugat Bajracharya, Economic and Data Analyst, ICIMOD

16:30–17:00 Closing – Anu Joshi Shrestha, ICIMOD

Remarks from participants

Way forward – Izabella Koziell, ICIMOD

Vote of thanks – Abid Hussain, ICIMOD

18:00–20:00 Reception dinner at Dhokaima Cafe