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Stakeholder consultation on developing a framework for sustainable hydropower in Nepal


Kailash Hall, ICIMOD

Date & Time

27 May 2022


Miriam Jackson & Nisha Wagle

Developing a framework for sustainable hydropower in Nepal

About the workshop

We are organizing an in-person consultative workshop on sustainable hydropower development in Nepal. The workshop will discuss and assess policy and institutional gaps related to environmentally sustainable hydropower development, formulate recommendations for policy and institutional reform, and identify capacity building needs.

The outcomes of the workshop will contribute to the development of an environmentally sustainable hydropower framework for Nepal, which will be conceptualised by ICIMOD. As a part of the framework, we aim to develop criteria for environmentally sustainable hydropower development, and the institutional arrangements for implementation.

The workshop will bring together stakeholders – government agencies, private developers, researchers, and international agencies – working in the hydropower sector in Nepal.



  • Engage hydropower sector stakeholders in Nepal to discuss gaps and ways to execute environmentally sustainable hydropower projects
  • Capture learnings from stakeholders’ experience and knowledge of the environmental challenges and risk mitigation measures
  • Identify policy interventions, institutional reforms, and capacity building required for environmentally sustainable hydropower development



The hydropower sector in Nepal is facing several challenges – both in terms its impact on the environment, and the impact of environmental changes on hydropower projects. The environmental sustainability of hydropower projects and improving environmental quality are determined by how well risk mitigation measures are planned for and implemented. However, in developing countries, risk mitigation measures are not properly implemented. This is true in Nepal’s context where hydropower projects do not meet compliance requirements, and most hydropower projects follow different risk mitigation approaches. Sustainable hydropower, which is comparatively clean and green, is both acceptable and affordable to adapt to changing climatic conditions.

Furthermore, gaps in policy implementation and existing institutional arrangements related to the hydropower sector in Nepal hinder the shift towards sustainability. Hence, there is a need to design criteria for environmentally sustainable hydropower development and craft institutional arrangements for implementation. This will help and promote environmentally sustainable hydropower development in Nepal and eventually help projects qualify for low-cost funds such as green bonds. For this, regulatory bodies need to take immediate action to improve the environmental compliance of hydropower projects. Impact and risk assessments and recommendations for risk mitigation measures need be complemented by policies, plans, institutional arrangements, and budgetary allocation.


Proposed agenda 

Facilitator: Ashmita Shakya, ICIMOD

Time Programme Speaker/resource person
9:00-9:30 Registration
9:30-10:00 Opening remarks Basanta Shrestha, Director Strategic Co-operation, ICIMOD

Dinesh Kumar Ghimire, Secretary, Water and Energy Commission Secretariat (WECS)

10:00-10:20 Overview of the River Basins and Cryosphere Programme

Overview of the Cryosphere Initiative

Objectives of the workshop

Arun Shrestha, Regional Programme Manager, ICIMOD

Miriam Jackson, Programme Coordinator – Cryosphere, ICIMOD

10:20-10:40 Presentation – ‘Environmentally sustainable HP development – what does this mean for Nepal?’ Ramesh Vaidya, Former member of the National Planning Commission
10:40-11:00 Environmentally sustainable hydropower development and natural hazards Miriam Jackson, ICIMOD
11:00-11:15 Tea/coffee break
11:15-12:30 Panel discussion
Challenges and opportunities for sustainable hydropower development in Nepal

Madhu Prasad Bhetuwal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Energy, Water Resources, and Irrigation

Kul Man Ghising, Managing Director – Nepal Electricity Authority

Jeebachh Mandal, Joint Secretary – Water and Energy Commission Secretariate (WECS)

Arjun Kumar Gautam, Chief Executive Officer, Hydroelectricity Investment and Development Company Ltd (HIDCL)

Chair: Dinesh Kumar Ghimire, WECS


Moderator: Arun Shrestha, ICIMOD


12:30-13:30 Lunch
13:30-14:45 Group discussion

Group discussions on different topics concerning challenges and opportunities in environmentally sustainable HP development

Moderated by: Ghulam Muhammad Shah, ICIMOD
14:45-15:30 Summary from each group/presentation Group leads
15:30-15:45 Tea/coffee break
15:45-16:15 Discussion in plenum: Way forward and action points Arun Shrestha, ICIMOD
16:15-16:30 Closing remarks Arun Shrestha, ICIMOD



Arjun Kumar Gautam

Chief Executive Officer, Hydroelectricity Investment and Development Company Limited

Arjun Kumar Gautam has more than 31 years of experience in the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and has served as member of the Board of Directors of Nepal SBI Bank Ltd. Gautam has a master’s in business administration and a master’s in public administration from Tribhuvan University, Nepal, and a diploma in International Financial Reporting Standards (Dip. IFRS), from ACCA, UK. He is also familiar with banking governance and risk management.

Madhu Prasad Bhetuwal

Joint Secretary, Ministry of Energy, Water Resources, and Irrigation

Madhu Prasad Bhetuwal has over 25 years of experience in the water resource and energy sector of Nepal, having worked in various capacities in policy making and implementation. Prior to his current position, Bhetuwal served as the Director General of the Department of Electricity Development, where he contributed towards making the licensing of hydroelectricity projects more transparent and competitive. Bhetuwal is an engineering professional skilled in AutoCAD, hydrology, highways, engineering, and environmental awareness.


Jeebachh Mandal

Joint Secretary, Water and Energy Commission Secretariat, Government of Nepal

Jeebachh Mandal has over 27 years of experience in managing, policy making, planning, designing, reviewing, and updating hydro and solar electricity generation, transmission, and distribution projects as well as physical infrastructure development projects. Mandal also has teaching and research experience in Power System Planning and Reliability Engineering. Prior to his current position, Mandal served as the Program Leader (Energy Trade) for the SAARC Energy Center in Islamabad; Senior Divisional Engineer in the Ministry of Energy and Department of Electricity Development; Assistant Professor in the Institute of Engineering, WRC Pokhara; and Deputy Manager in Janakpur Cigarette Factory Ltd. He has participated and represented Nepal in several international workshops, conferences, seminars and trainings.

Kul Man Ghising

Managing Director, Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA)

Ghising has more than 26 years of professional experience in power generation, transmission, distribution, and trading business including contract management, dispute settlement, and financing in hydropower projects. In the past, he has served as the Managing Director for NEA and Chair of the Chilime Hydropower Company. From 2008-2012, Ghising served as an energy advisor to the Natural Resource–Energy sub-committee of the Constitution Assembly. He has an Executive MBA degree from ACE Institute of Management in 2011. He has a master’s degree in Power System Engineering and BSc in electrical engineering.


Dinesh Kumar Ghimire

Secretary, Water and Energy Commission

Dinesh Kumar Ghimire has more than 27 years of experience in formulation of policy, laws, plans, strategies, and directives for water resources and energy sector in Nepal.