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Consultation workshop

Understanding the WEFE nexus approach from river basin and transboundary landscape perspectives


Serena Hotel, Gilgit

Date & Time

22 January 2022

This consultation workshop will share the findings of a study on the water–energy–food–ecosystem (WEFE) nexus in the upper Indus basin. Relevant government departments and line agencies, policy and decision-making bodies, academic and development institutions, and other key stakeholders will brainstorm on the synergies and trade-offs in the WEFE nexus in the context of Gilgit-Baltistan and the upper Indus basin.


About the study

The Hindu Kush Karakoram Pamir Landscape (HKPL) Initiative and the Indus Basin Initiative jointly conducted this study in 2021, through its partner WWF-Pakistan, covering overlapping landscape areas – HKPL and the Upper Indus basin – to identify and analyse key sectors, stakeholders, and resource flows across the upper Indus basin. The study examined key social, economic, ecological, and environmental factors of the nexus affecting the basin and downstream areas across Pakistan. A detailed stakeholder consultation conducted in the core study area informed the study’s findings and recommendations. A comprehensive literature review was also carried out to understand the interlinkages, synergies, and trade-offs in WEFE in the region. The findings will be used to develop a WEFE nexus framework for the HKH region.



The traditional sectoral approach to policymaking, which involves developing and executing sectoral plans in isolation without accounting for trade-offs and negative impacts on other sectors, is becoming increasingly risky due to its spill over effects across policies. The WEFE nexus is an emerging issue in multi-sector, interrelated resource planning and management. Careful analysis of the nexus can help manage trade-offs and synergies in key sectors such as agriculture, water, energy, and ecosystem services for sustainable development, while maintaining the health and integrity of natural ecosystems. The WEFE nexus highlights close interlinkages of different sectors and describes how they depend on and potentially impact different ecosystems.







Arrival of guests and participants



Recitation of Holy Quran



Opening session

Welcome remarks


Context and objectives of the session

WEFE nexus: Relevance and significance for Gilgit-Baltistan

Izhar Hunzai, Policy Advisor, Soni Jawari Center for Public Policy (SJCPP), and Chief Minister’s Secretariat

Rehmat Ali, NRM Expert, WWF-Pakistan

Ghulam Ali, Programme Coordinator – HKPL Initiative, ICIMOD

Babar Khan, Senior Ecosystems Specialist, ICIMOD

Facilitated by: Ajaz Ali, Programme Officer – River Basins and Cryosphere, ICIMOD


Tea break



Presentation of primary findings of the WEFE nexus study – Ashabullah Baig, Consultant (30 min + Q&A)



Plenary Discussion

Key questions

  • WEFE nexus for Gilgit-Baltistan
  • Ways to maximize potential synergies and minimize trade-offs
  • Potential areas of integration (nexus solutions)

Moderated by: Farid Ahmad, Head – Strategic Planning, Monitoring, and Evaluation, ICIMO


Remarks by Nazir Ahmad

Deputy Speaker, Gilgit Baltistan Legislative Assembly

Concluding remarks by Izhar Ali Hunzai, Policy Advisor, SJCPP, Chief Minister’s Secretariat



Way forward and closing

Farid Ahmad, Head – Strategic Planning, Monitoring, and Evaluation, ICIMOD


Vote of thanks

Muhammad Ismail, Country Representative – Pakistan, ICIMOD