Back to events


Scoping assessment findings on sustainable mountain settlements in the HKH




ICIMOD, Kathmandu

Date & Time

03 June 2024 to 04 June 2024


About the workshop

ICIMOD, together with our partner organisations, the Indian Institute for Human Settlement (IIHS) and Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), conducted a scoping assessment on sustainable mountain settlements in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region to systematically understand the current trends of development, challenges, and future opportunities for sustainable and resilient development of mountain settlements in the region. We also deep dived into the case studies from four HKH countries: Laya and Barshong in Bhutan; Kalimpong and Nainital in India; Langtang in Nepal; and Muree in Pakistan to bring context-specific perspectives. Furthermore, we also conducted geospatial assessment to understand the temporal and spatial dynamics of the built-up environments in the region for an informed planning and decision making for sustainable development of the mountain settlements.

This regional workshop aims to disseminate and validate the findings of the scoping assessment by bringing together relevant stakeholders from the HKH countries such as government officials, researchers, scientists, urban planners, and policy think tanks. This shared platform will also provide opportunity to discuss on the countries’ priorities for developing a sustainable and resilient mountain settlement through synergies with crosscutting and interdisciplinary sectors.


  • Disseminate and validate the findings of the scoping assessments on sustainable mountain settlements in the HKH region
  • Explore possible solutions and collaboration opportunities to develop sustainable and resilient mountain settlements in the region
  • Identify priority areas and key government institutions in the countries to engage for sustainable settlement development


ICIMOD is a leading regional and intergovernmental knowledge and learning center, serving the eight HKH countries – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan for the benefit of the mountain communities and ecosystems. With four decades of experience in the region, the ICIMOD Strategy 2030: Moving Mountains raises the ambition and envisions a greener, inclusive, and climate resilient HKH.

As per ICIMOD’s structural portfolio, under Strategic Group 2 ‘Resilient Mountain Economies and Landscapes’ and Action Area C: Adapting and transforming livelihoods and economies, a dedicated intervention on ‘Sustainable Mountain Settlement’ places significant emphasis on human settlements in the HKH.  The mountain settlements in the region are particularly vulnerable to the compounding impacts of climate change, rapid urbanisation, and inadequately planned development. The accelerated pace of urbanisation across the HKH mountains with increasing number of reinforced concrete buildings, subpar infrastructure, and urban planning has given rise to haphazard development, loss of vernacular architecture, and overextraction of resources imposing substantial pressure on biodiversity, water, energy, and sanitation systems, exacerbating unsustainable living conditions of mountain communities. Therefore, a scoping assessment on sustainable mountain settlements was conducted by ICIMOD to better understand the current development discourse in the HKH region and prioritise actions together with government and non- government actors.