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Investment opportunities in green and climate resilient businesses in Nepal




Hotel Soaltee Crowne Plaza, Kathmandu

Date & Time

29 April 2024


Organiser: ICIMOD

About the event

The Government of Nepal is hosting the Third Nepal Investment Summit 2024, scheduled for 28–29 April 2024, in Kathmandu, Nepal. As part of the summit’s second day, we are organising a panel session to delve into investment opportunities in green and resilient business, including understanding policy frameworks, especially tailored for mountain communities.



  • Understand the investment needs and opportunities in green and climate-resilient businesses, including comparative advantages of mountain niche products and services for investment partners
  • Understand policy, legal, regulatory, and institutional arrangement for green/climate investment in Nepal
  • Discuss and understand the key ingredients for an enabling environment for green and resilient businesses



About the Hindu Kush Himalaya

Spread over 4.2 million km2, the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region has the highest mountain ranges in the world, the largest volume of ice outside the polar regions, and enormous amounts of snow. The HKH is home to unique cultures, diversified landscapes, and all the world’s peaks above 7,000 meters, spanning 3,500 km from Afghanistan to Myanmar and sections or all of Pakistan, India, China, Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh.

The glacier and snow-covered mountains of the region are an important source of water for 12 river basins, including 10 major (transboundary) rivers that flow through 16 countries in Asia and provide freshwater and other ecosystem services to 240 million people living in the HKH region and nearly 2 billion people downstream.

Rising global temperature is accelerating the melting of snow and ice, with glaciers shrinking 65% faster in 2011–2020 compared to the previous decade, causing enormous humanitarian implications. Biodiversity hotspots have lost 70% of their habitats over the last century, with half of the region’s wild species declining rapidly. The HKH region is highly polluted, with billions exposed to toxic air, impacting health, crop yields, and water resources. These issues only make the socio-economic vulnerability of the two billion people dependent on the HKH worse.

Catalysing investment to address these growing challenges is key to taking strategic action, with a specific aim to influence the quantity and direction of investments in policies and solutions at scale that meet climate and environmental priorities in the HKH region.

Impact on Nepal

Nepal lies in at the heart of this region and is being disrupted by the escalating threat of climate change. Rising temperatures are causing glaciers to retreat at an alarming rate, increasing the risk of glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs) and exacerbating water scarcity. Extreme weather events, such as floods and droughts, are becoming more frequent and intense, causing widespread damage to infrastructure, crops, and livelihoods. The impacts of climate change are not evenly distributed, with mountain communities, who heavily rely on agriculture and natural resources dependent livelihoods, bearing the brunt of these challenges.

To address interconnected issues such as climate change, environmental degradation, persistent poverty, and slow economic recovery from COVID-19, Nepal has shifted towards a Green, Resilient, and Inclusive Development (GRID) trajectory. To hasten development, build inclusive opportunities, and produce green jobs—especially for the disadvantaged who suffer most from climate change and unsustainable resource consumption—immediate and effective monetary and legislative measures are required.

Unlocking investment opportunities in Nepal

The prospect of bringing investment in Nepal is tremendous, as the country is strategically located between two growing giant economies of the world, India and China. In addition to ideal location, Nepal has comparative advantage on labour cost and resource availability. The commitment of Nepal to accept regional and global framework and protocols and endowment of natural resources and rich biodiversity also offer comparative advantage for investors to harness untapped potential for green, resilient, and inclusive businesses. The areas included, agriculture and agro-processing, mountain-specific nature-based solutions, resilient infrastructure, clean air, and water management actions.

ICIMOD and its partners in Nepal have identified several opportunities for investment partners with focus on greener and more inclusive climate-resilient development pathways. Nepal offers a range of opportunities for promotion and wider-scale adoption of nature-based solutions (NbS), which include investment on bioprospecting for green livelihoods, watershed management, air pollution solutions, ecological and landscape restoration, and disaster risk reduction. To attract investment and scale up these solutions we require the right policy and practice recommendations, and institutional and investment environment.

There are opportunities for investors also to identify, align, and scale-up investment in mountain-niche products (such as large cardamom, medicinal and aromatic plants), and to create entrepreneurial ecosystem, inclusive and climate-responsive financial landscape, shock-responsive social protection, and resilient and inclusive labour markets.


Catalysing investment for the Hindu Kush Himalaya

Catalysing investment in the HKH is key to improving the lives and livelihoods of mountain communities, and forms a central pillar of ICIMOD’s new strategy.

Read more