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Policy dialogue

Dialogue on policy opportunities, synergies,and alternatives in Gilgit-Baltistan




Karakorum International University (KIU), Gilgit

Date & Time

21 December 2021


Ghulam Ali

Organizers: ICIMOD, Soni Jawari Center of Public Policy, Gilgit, and WWF-Pakistan


About the dialogue

The Soni Jawari Center for Public Policy (SJCPP) is organizing a joint policy dialogue in collaboration with ICIMOD, WWF-Pakistan, Gilgit-Baltistan Rural Support Programme (GBRSP), Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF), Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and Karakoram International University (KIU). The workshop will deliberate on policy opportunities; harness synergies, shared priorities, and contributions of key institutions in the region; and provide inputs to SJCPP for setting the policy direction.

SJCPP aims to provide tailor-based solutions to local problems. This policy dialogue will share the vision of SJCPP and its policy programmes, set the direction in terms of policy opportunities and explore the levels of contributions from various development organizations in enhancing policies. This policy dialogue will also be a stepping stone towards strengthening the domain of evidence-based policy making in Gilgit-Baltistan.



  • Deliberate on policy opportunities, challenges, and alternatives
  • Harness synergies, common priorities, and contributions of key institutions (stakeholders) with SJCPP
  • Consolidate ideas and feedback to contribute to SJCPP policy direction


Expected participants

Expected participants include the advisor and team of SJCPP; members from the collaborating institutions (ICIMOD, KIU, PPAF, GBRSP, WWF-Pakistan, IUCN, and AKRSP); key cabinet members and ministers (planning, agriculture, tourism, district development authorities; Secretaries and representatives from the following departments – planning, tourism, agriculture, land use and entitlements, local government and rural development (LG&RD), Public Works Department (PWD); and members from other development organizations and the private sector.



Gilgit-Baltistan is known for its spectacular landscapes, including some of the highest mountains in the world, its rich culture, and its strategic importance as a gateway to the CPEC. The flow of ecosystem services from GB, particular water, enable millions of people to secure food and livelihoods in the river valleys downstream. However, the growth in population, abrupt change in land use, increase in tourists flow, rapid construction of settlements, and expansion of economic activities coupled with climate change have had adverse effects on the lives, livelihoods, ecosystem services, biodiversity and health of the people and environment. The pace of change and its already evident adverse impacts highlight the need for developing sustainable actions and policy measures to meet the demands of the future.

The Government of Gilgit-Baltistan is proactively working to steer policy direction in the region. Gilgit-Baltistan is now positioning itself to become more sustainable by having policy measures related to ecotourism, organic agriculture, sustainable land use, urban planning, and ecosystem protection. The government has established the Soni Jawari Center of Public Policy (SJCPP) with an aim to work towards developing innovative policy measures that link village-based governance with a balance of short-term benefits and sustainable, long-term social, economic, and environmental gains. Many institutions have contributed to SJCPP. ICIMOD, KIU, and WWF-Pakistan together have conducted a number of research studies contributing to the policy content on changing agriculture, tourism and land use change in Gilgit Baltistan.



Time (in PKT) Programme Speakers/Resource persons
Inaugural session
10:00–10:05 Arrival of guests WWF-Pakistan/SJCPP
10:05–10:10 Recitation of the Holy Quran
10:10–10:20 Welcome remarks Attaullah Shah, Vice Chancellor, KIU

Izhar Ali Hunzai, Policy Advisor, SJCPP, and Chief Minister’s Secretariat

Ghulam Ali, Programme Coordinator, HKPL, ICIMOD

10:20–10:50 Setting the context
10:50–11:10 Tea break and picture
Technical session: GB policy loud thinking – Ideas and contributions toward policy making

Chair: Khalil Ahmed, Acting Vice Chancellor, KIU

11:10–11:20 Sharing policy experiences from the HKH region Babar Khan, Senior Ecosystems Specialist, ICIMOD
11:20 –11:30 Presentation by Planning and Development Department, GB Sajjad Haider, Chief Economist, Planning and Development Department, GB
11:30–11:35 Representation from Gilgit-Baltistan Rural Support Organization (GBRSP) Abdul Latif, CEO, GBRSP
11:35–11:40 Representation from Aga Khan Rural Support Program (AKRSP) Aziz Ali Dad, AKRSP
11:40–11:45 Representation from Rupani Foundation Wasim Samad, CEO, Rupani Foundation
11:15–11:55 Representation from Tourism and Culture Department, GB Government Yasir Hussain, Director Tourism and Culture, Government of GB
11:55–12:05 Representation from Forest, Parks and Wildlife Department Zakir Hussain, Chief Conservator Forests, Parks and Wildlife
12:05-12:15 Representation from International Union for Conservation on Nature (IUCN) Asif Ali, Project Officer, IUCN
12:15-12:25 Representation from Social Welfare, Population Welfare, Women Development Youth Affairs and Human Rights, Muhammad Ali, Deputy Secretary, Social Welfare, Population Welfare, Women Development, Youth Affairs and Human Rights, Government of GB
12:25-12:35 Representation from WWF-Pakistan Rehmat Ali, Senior NRM Expert, WWF-Pakistan
12:35–12:50 Conclusion by the Chair Khalil Ahmed, Acting VC, KIU
12:50-–14:00 Lunch break
Case study presentations
14:00–14:45 Policy options:

  • Sustainable tourism
  • Sustainable agriculture and
  • Sustainable land use
  • Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR)
Presenter: Amjad Ali, Assistant Professor, KIU

Research Partners: ICIMOD, KIU, and


Panel discussion – Integration and way forward

Moderator: Farid Ahmad, ICIMOD

14:45–15:30 Panel discussion

  • What are the key opportunities and challenges for the formulation of integrated and inclusive policies?
  • What are the emerging policy trends and processes?
  • How various synergies and tradeoff can be well addressed?

Dilshad Bano, Parliamentary Secretary Tourism, GB Assembly

Izhar Hunzai, Head SJCPP/ Policy Advisor to CM (SJCPP)

Susan Aziz, Gender Specialist, ETI-IFAD

Muzaffar Uddin, Consultant, Social Protection Policy, SJCPP

Altaf Hussain, Consultant, Social Protection Policy, SJCPP

Khalil Ahmed, Acting VC, KIU

15:30–16:00 Synthesis and takeaways from the workshop, way forward, and vote of thanks Izhar Hunzai, Head SJCPP/Advisor to Chief Minister, Government of GB
16:30–17:00 Conclusion
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