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28 April 2021
Mewang Gyeltshen & Ujala Rajbhandari
Access to renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions and technologies are key to building climate-resilient livelihood solutions in the mountain areas of the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH). Despite its vast hydropower and renewable energy potential, the region remains energy poor and vulnerable. Energy poverty remains a central challenge to sustainable development efforts in the region and has been a focus of international-level efforts since 2015. A range of barriers – including policy and regulatory obstacles, outdated technology, and a lack of capacity and of finance – have prevented the region from utilizing existing and potential renewable energy sources to offer decentralized sustainable energy solutions in off-grid mountain areas.
To address these issues, ICIMOD’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Capability for the Hindu Kush Himalaya (REEECH) was launched in November 2018 as a new initiative under the Regional Programme on Adaptation and Resilience Building (ARB). REEECH’s long term goal is to support improved access to appropriate, modern, affordable, and reliable energy services to meet the energy security needs of mountain populations in the HKH, as well as safeguard essential mountain ecosystem services. To contribute to this outcome, the initiative will support policy implementation, capacity development, knowledge management and awareness, and investment, entrepreneurship, and innovation to improve the demand for, and supply of renewable energy and energy efficiency services in the HKH region. REEECH’s intermediate outcome for the first operational phase (2018-2022) is to be highly effective in delivering relevant, responsive, and innovative mountain-specific sustainable energy solutions in the context of climate change mitigation and adaptation.
REEECH responds to the urgent need for South-South cooperation and regional capacities to promote inclusive and sustainable energy investments, markets, and industries in ICIMOD’s regional member countries. In particular, REEECH focuses on the specific energy challenges of the HKH region and promotes regional activities to establish an enabling environment for sustainable energy access, productive applications of renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions, markets, and industries. REEECH is part of the Global Network of Regional Sustainable Energy Centers (GN-SEC), coordinated by the United Nation Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) in partnership with various regional organizations. The network provides a unique platform for South-South and triangular cooperation on mountain energy and climate issues.
The Programme Steering Committee (PSC) is the highest governing body of REEECH with members representing each of the HKH member countries along with the Director General of ICIMOD. Other relevant stakeholders are also invited as observers. The PSC will meet annually to assess the progress made, approve the annual operational plan, and provide guidance to further regional cooperation. For well-functioning integrative processes and good governance of the programme, this regional-level PSC will ensure that an enabling environment to achieve the key programme objectives is facilitated and sustained.
The first PSC meeting will be held on 28 April 2021 virtually using the MS Teams platform. The major item on the agenda is a discussion on REEECH’s achievements and action plan for 2021.
The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) is a regional intergovernmental learning and knowledge-sharing centre serving the eight regional member countries of the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan. It seeks to enable sustainable and resilient mountain development for improved and equitable livelihoods through knowledge generation and regional cooperation. Working in partnership with regional and international organizations, ICIMOD aims to influence policy and practices to meet environmental and livelihood challenges emerging in the HKH. ICIMOD provides a platform for researchers, practitioners, and policy makers from the region and around the globe to generate and share knowledge, support evidence-based decision making, and encourage regional cooperation.
Wednesday, 28 April 2021, 10:00-13:30 (Nepal Standard Time)
Overall achievement and lessons – Mewang Gyeltshen, ICIMOD
Presentation by Mewang Gyeltshen, ICIMOD
3 minutes per country