Back to news
18 Mar 2022 | News

Experts discuss policy perspectives on air pollution solutions with young business entrepreneurs from Bhutan and Nepal

2 mins Read

70% Complete

On 4 February 2022, as part our Climate Action4Clean Air (CA4CA) programme, our partners Antarprerana Pvt. Ltd. and Institute for Learning Solutions (ILS) organized a virtual interaction programme, ‘Policy perspectives on air pollution mitigating solutions in Bhutan and Nepal’. The CA4CA incubation and mentorship programme, under our Atmosphere Initiative, engages youth and start-ups in developing viable solutions to combat the negative impacts of air pollution in the Hindu Kush Himalaya.

The interaction programme consisted of a panel discussion on clean energy, sustainability, and environment. The experts on the panel included Indu Bikram Joshi, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Forests and Environment, Nepal and Sangay Dorji, former civil servant, and expert in sustainable development, environmental compliance, environmental issues, feasibility studies, and carbon management. Anu Joshi Shrestha, Rural Enterprise, and Value Chain Specialist – Livelihoods and the lead for the CA4CA programme moderated the event. The participants included entrepreneurs who submitted the ten winning air pollution business solutions from Nepal and Bhutan in response to the CA4CA call.

The session enabled the entrepreneurs to understand the prospects of starting a new business that focuses on cleaning the environment and the government’s outlook towards startups. The entrepreneurs shared their experiences, issues, and problems with the experts, who advised them on potential solutions and provided the contact details of key officials in the respective government departments.

Indu Bikram Joshi shared that for countries like Bhutan and Nepal, two main factors – technology and psychology – affect the motivation of startups. Joshi highlighted that Nepal and Bhutan both lack the required infrastructure and technology and are missing out on the huge potential to recycle waste materials. Hence, every year the million-dollar business ends up going to neighbouring country, India. Joshi emphasized that Nepal lacks the technology to recycle iron and plastic – the most profitable sectors in the recycling business. Other waste materials like biogas, textile, and furniture waste can create profitable recycling business, which can be a great platform for Nepalese entrepreneurs. Joshi informed that for such initiatives the Government of Nepal (GoN) is ready to provide support to startups for such businesses through subsidies and tax incentives.

Joshi invited the entrepreneurs to visit his office and pitch ideas on green business solutions and encouraged them to talk to technical personnel at the Department of Environment, GoN. The government currently does not have any written procedure for adopting startup solutions, but they could call for open tenders if the ideas or prototype solutions are deemed helpful for the environment and people. Joshi also stated that the government has been working towards an action plan regarding the use of plastic bags, and waste regeneration and recovery. On the Department of Environment’s part, they have prepared a draft plan to adopt startup solutions, which has been put forth to the concerned authorities for feedback.

Sangay Dorji cited a World Bank report to highlight that globally air pollution causes an estimated USD 5 trillion in losses due to lost livelihoods and disease, which in turn creates a loss of USD 225 billion in income. Echoing Joshi, Dorji stated that Bhutan faces two constraints – enabling policy regarding startups and access to finance, as private banks charge high interest rates. However, despite the challenges for startups, Bhutanese youth are enthusiastic and express concern about the environment. Each day, Bhutan produces young entrepreneurs with creative ideas and green solutions to mitigate pollution even though the country lacks research and development, which makes it very challenging for business to start, survive, and serve the people.

13 Dec 2017 News
ICIMOD Provides Technical Support to Farmers during Agri-Flori Fair in Bhutan

ICIMOD shared a stall with the Bhutan Youth Cooperative (BYC) where they demonstrated bio-briquette technology and promoted the ICIMOD Knowledge ...

13 Oct 2015 News
Let the Music Play on

  ICIMOD has band of very accomplished musicians who play theme songs or regional songs. It is blessed with great capacity ...

7 Feb 2019 RMS
Myanmar delegation visits Nepal to learn about community forestry practices

Myanmar has developed Community Forestry Strategic Action Plan 2018–2030 to address forest degradation and improve the livelihoods of forest-dependent communities ...

5 Feb 2024 News
Personal visit by Director-General of FAO signals new era in cooperation

The MOU commits both bodies to pool expertise, knowledge, innovation, technology and networks to strengthen food production and community resilience, ...

26 Jan 2016 News
Lessons in High Altitude Medicine

A training on high altitude mountain medicine to prevent and treat altitude related sicknesses was organised by the Cryosphere Initiative ...

29 Mar 2015 News
Workshop on Application of Geospatial Technology in Climate Change Research

  In March 2015, the Cryosphere Initiative of ICIMOD and the Centre for Climate Change & Spatial Information (CCCSI) of Sherubtse ...

珠峰上的垃圾堆。在今年的#世界环境日,是时候纠正我们的行为了

#塑战速决 (#BeatPlasticPollution) –今年世界环境日的三项行动 似乎没有任何地方可以免受塑料污染浪潮的影响:即使是地球之巅。上周在当地社区、登山者和政要前往纪念珠峰人类首登 70 周年时,ICIMOD 发起了我们新的 #拯救我们的雪(#SaveOurSnow)活动——一段视频显示被留在珠峰(南坡)大本营的堆积如山的塑料制品和其他垃圾的消息迅速传播开来。 但我们这代人可以扭转塑料潮流吗?随着谈判代表离开巴黎,同意起草一份具有国际法律约束力的条约草案以终结塑料污染,而在设立世界环境日的50周年呼吁采取集体行动来抵制它,有充分的理由充满希望。 同样重要的是,我们有充分的理由采取行动:塑料工业不仅是世界上增长最快的工业温室气体来源,而且塑料废物极大地加剧了兴都库什-喜马拉雅地区现有的气候变化、生物多样性丧失和污染等问题,ICIMOD 的 南亚网络开发和环境经济学(South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics ,简称SANDEE)。原因如下: 气候:固体废物——其中大部分是塑料——堵塞了排水系统,并增加了破坏性洪水,即由全球变暖引发的更频繁且更强烈的降雨事件引发的洪水。 生物多样性:塑料垃圾可能需要数百年才能分解,它们堵塞水道,其中的有害化学物质渗入土壤和水中,影响陆地和水生生物、生态系统和人类健康。 ...

11 Apr 2016 News
Pakistan’s Minister of State Visits ICIMOD Projects

Minister of State, Pakistan and Chairperson of the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), Marvi Memon paid a visit to women farmers ...