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Engaging parliamentarians to spearhead the national climate change, environment and natural resource policies and legislation in the HKH countries




Kathmandu, Nepal

Date & Time

25 February 2024 to 05 March 2024

Babar Khan

About the event

We are organising a learning exchange visit for the Chair and members of the Good Governance Committee (GGC) from the National Council of Bhutan. This visit aims to facilitate a dialogue on the factors leading to outmigration, underutilisation, and abandonment of farmlands. The focus is on understanding Nepal’s strategies and policies in addressing these issues in the mid-hills region. This visit is the first episode of the intra-regional learning exchanges of the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) parliamentarians.

The event is supported by the Himalayan Resilience Enabling Action Programme (HI-REAP) and the Successful intervention pathways for migration as adaptation (SUCCESS) project. HI-REAP is funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) under the Climate Action for a Resilient Asia (CARA) programme. The SUCCESS project is funded by the CLimate Adaptation and REsilience (CLARE) Framework Programme under FCDO and International Development Research Centre (IDRC).


The purposeful engagement with HKH parliamentarians aims to:

  • Mobilise national governments towards enacting national laws, policies, and plans that prioritise mountain issues in alignment with regional and global climate and environmental agreements
  • Facilitate the evolution of the HKH Parliamentarian’s Mountain Forum to promote dialogue on climate change, biodiversity loss, and air pollution in the HKH and
  • Bring a united HKH voice to the regional and global forums to better lobby for increased investment in sustainable climate action for a climate-resilient HKH region

Expected outcomes

  • GGC members engage with local communities and officials from the municipalities of Lamjung, Syangja, and Sindhupalchok to gain insights into the drivers of rural outmigration, farmland abandonment, and food insecurity in mountain areas
  • GGC members meet with legislators and policymakers to understand relevant regulations and policy measures implemented by the Government of Nepal
  • GGC members formulate policy recommendations for the Royal Government of Bhutan to address the challenges. The recommendations will be presented to the National Council in May 2024 for approval and implementation.


The HKH region is facing the triple planetary crisis – climate change, biodiversity loss, and air pollution with serious implications on ecosystems and human life. Given their increasing responsibilities, HKH parliamentarians play a crucial role in advancing climate action and resilience in the region. Yet, they lack the necessary knowledge and evidence needed to effectively advocate for pro-planet, pro-mountain, and pro-climate policies at national and global levels.

Parliamentarians in the HKH countries hold significant roles as members of the Standing Committees, overseeing national policies, laws, and plans and providing direction to governments. They approve these policies, allocate resources for implementation, and wield influence in shaping public opinion on crucial issues such as the environment, climate change, economy, and livelihoods. Their mandates extend to ratifying bilateral, regional, and international treaties and agreements, including the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction, among others.

To address these challenges, we aim to engage with parliamentarians by providing knowledge and evidence on the triple planetary crisis and their impact on life and livelihoods through the HI-REAP programme. HI-REAP aims to build a more cohesive and enabling regional environment for greener and more inclusive climate-resilient development pathways, creating the right policy and practice recommendations and the institutional and investment environment for scaling new solutions. Our engagement with members of parliaments from the HKH countries will contribute to developing enabling policies, plans, and laws that support climate, environment, and biodiversity priorities aligned with regional and international agreements.

Furthermore, the SUCCESS project aims to reduce vulnerability of migrants and immobile population through mainstreaming migration as an adaptative strategy for inclusive and equitable development. The engagement of parliamentarians and policymakers in the SUCCESS project is crucial for shaping and implementing policies that focus on the specific needs and challenges of migrant and immobile residents in mountain areas.

About Bhutan

In Bhutan, as in other parts of the HKH and beyond, rural-urban outmigration, especially among youth, is an emerging issue with interconnected social, economic, and ecological implications. This trend has had significant impacts on food security and mountain ecosystems. For instance, despite efforts to achieve cereal self-sufficiency, Bhutan’s paddy production declined by over 50% between 2017 and 2022, leading to increased rice imports. This decline is primarily attributed to the outmigration of one-third of paddy cultivators from eastern Bhutan, resulting in fallow farmlands. This abandonment, particularly in the context of a rapidly changing climate, not only affects local food security but also raises ecological concerns.

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