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Regional cooperation on adaptation to cascading climate risks in the Hindu Kush Himalaya





Date & Time

10 October 2023 to 11 October 2023

Concept note


The impacts and implications of climate change are not confined by national borders. The Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) and its countries are vulnerable to the cascading impacts of climate change which transmits across national and regional borders and pose grave threats to people and the environment. A regional cooperation mechanism is crucial for the HKH countries to collectively and effectively respond to climate risks and pursue region-wide resilience. The consequences of climate change and the measures governments take to respond to them, may be viewed as sub-national and national policy issues, but they also transcend national boundaries and require collaborative remedial action.

This science-policy dialogue aims to identify what a cooperation mechanism on adaptation could look like, the main areas of work it could advance, and the tangible outcomes it could and should deliver. It will engage stakeholders from key constituencies from the eight regional member countries (RMCs), including policymakers, adaptation experts, UNFCCC national focal points, climate scientists and academics, civil society organisations, Indigenous people, economists and practitioners, as well as experts from international organisations.



  • Discuss cascading climate risks of importance to the HKH and the need for regional cooperation on adaptation to these types of risks, and build a collective HKH voice at the global level
  • Explore the barriers and enablers of building a regional cooperation mechanism on adaptation in the HKH
  • Create a shared vision of what a cooperation mechanism on adaptation in the HKH region should look like
  • Explore key areas of work and define what the HKH cooperation mechanism could deliver to RMCs and beyond, practically and politically



Time Session focus
09:00 – 09:30 Registration

Tea and coffee

09:30 – 10:00 Welcome remarks

Inaugural address – Izabella Koziell, ICIMOD

Welcome remarks – Katy Harris, SEI

Welcome remarks – Pem Kandel, ICIMOD

Facilitator: Pradyumna JB Rana, ICIMOD

Rapporteur: Avash Pandey, ICIMOD, Mona Sharma, ICIMOD

10:00 – 10:15 Introduction to the Science-policy dialogue, setting goals and expectations, and outlining the agenda

  • Deepshikha Sharma, ICIMOD
10:15 – 10:45 Group photo

Tea and coffee break

10:45 – 11:30 Session 1: Setting the scene and taking stock

Introducing the sessionPradyumna Rana, ICIMOD

Presentations on cascading climate risks

  • Katy Harris, SEI
  • Neera Shrestha Pradhan, ICIMOD
  • Pradyumna Rana, ICIMOD (Moderating Q&A)

Presentation to take stock of ongoing regional collaboration and processes that address (or hold the potential to address) cascading climate risks and the state of play of adaptation in the region – gaps, barriers and opportunities

  • Babar Khan, ICIMOD

Rapporteur: Cynthia Nitsch, SEI

11:30 – 13:00 Session 2: Breakout Groups to discuss the impacts of cascading climate risks on different sectors

Introduction to the session: Katy Harris, SEI

Energy security

  • Avishek Malla, ICIMOD
  • Deepshikha Sharma, ICIMOD

Rapporteur: Bhawana Syangden, ICIMOD

Food security, trade, finance and infrastructure

  • Katy Harris, SEI
  • Sara Talebian, SEI

Rapporteur: Avash Pandey, ICIMOD

Human wellbeing (water security, health and other dimensions)

  • Nisha Wagle, ICIMOD
  • Cynthia Nitsch, SEI

Rapporteur: Mona Sharma, ICIMOD

 Biodiversity and ecosystem services

  • Nakul Chettri, ICIMOD
  • Sonam Chuki, ICIMOD

Rapporteurs: Udayan Mishra, ICIMOD

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch
14:00 – 14:30 Regional cooperation mechanism in the HKHBabar Khan, ICIMOD
14:30 – 15:45 Session 3: Research, information-sharing and knowledge-based dialogue

Presentation introducing the first pillar: research, information-sharing and knowledge-based dialogue – Katy Harris, SEI

60-minute discussion in breakout groups to identify actions and measures

15:45 – 16:15 Tea break
16:15 – 17:30 Session 4: Policy and governance instruments

Presentation introducing the second pillar: policy and governance instruments – Pem Kandel, ICIMOD

60-minute discussion in breakout groups to identify actions and measures

Networking dinner

Time Session focus
09:00 – 09:15 Recap of Day 1 and outlining the agenda for Day 2

Mona Sharma, ICIMOD

09:15 – 10:30 Session 5: Climate diplomacy, negotiations and coalition building

Presentation introducing the third pillar: climate diplomacy, negotiations and coalition building – Pradyumna Rana, ICIMOD

60-minute discussion in breakout groups to identify actions and measures

10:30 – 11:00 Tea break
11:00 – 12:30 Session 6: Capacity building, implementation and finance

Presentation introducing the third pillar – Katy Harris, SEI

75-minute discussion in breakout groups to identify actions and measures

12:30 – 13:30 Lunch
13:30 – 15:00 Session 7: A roadmap to a regional cooperation

60-review of actions and measures gathered across the four pillars with group reflection and feedback

30-minute stress-testing of recommendations in the future – what would challenge their feasibility and how would we overcome this? What does ‘success’ look like in 5 years?

  • Sara Talebian, SEI
  • Babar Khan, ICIMOD

Rapporteur: Cynthia Nitsch, SEI, Pradyumna Rana, ICIMOD

15:00 – 15:30 Tea break
15:30 – 16:30 Session 8: A unified voice at COP28

20-minute presentation and discussion of opportunities at COP28

Deepshikha Sharma, ICIMOD and Katy Harris, SEI

40-minute breakout groups for each process, brainstorming/drafting text for what a common vision and unified message could look like on this topic that negotiators could take to COP28

16:30 – 17:00 Way forward and closing remarks

  • Katy Harris, SEI
  • Deepshikha Sharma, ICIMOD
  • Country representatives

Closing remarks  Pema Gyamstho, ICIMOD

Rapporteur: Pradyumna JB Rana and Mona Sharma, ICIMOD