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15 Dec 2022 | RMS

Resilient Solutions Conference and Expo 2022: Exploring opportunities to accelerate innovative solutions at speed and scale in the HKH mountains

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Participants of the Resilient Solutions Conference and Expo 2022.

The ‘Resilient Solutions Conference and Expo 2022: Unlocking innovations and investments for green mountain economies’, held in Kathmandu from 5 to 7 December 2022, took stock of existing solutions addressing the societal, environmental, and climatic challenges faced by mountain communities across the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region, assessing their scalability and selecting solutions for their scaling potential in the region.

The conference brought together over 200 participants – representing 13 countries – from government, regional, and international organisations; private sector bodies; academia; and research institutions. The participants deliberated on the best possible channels and means through which to identify, package, and demonstrate innovative and context-specific solutions for the HKH. There was general agreement that several good innovations have not yet been scaled and that several good policies have not been well implemented. This gap, all agreed, needs to be filled with wider consultations and greater accountability. Going forward, five key aspects need to be incorporated into work on resilience:

  1. Investing in policy engagement
  2. Added effort and resources to ensure new innovations are scaled up
  3. Capacity development and institutional mechanisms along with a nurturing ecosystem
  4. Exchange between think tanks, policy makers, innovators, investors, and users
  5. Information sharing: a common platform to share solutions, innovations, and ideas

 

Pema Gyamtsho Director General of ICIMOD
Pema Gyamtsho, Director General of ICIMOD, delivering the welcome remarks.

 

As a key step towards better information sharing, the Adaptation Solutions Portal – a knowledge-sharing platform presenting resilient solutions from the HKH region – was introduced at the event.

Speaking at the conference inaugural, Pema Gyamtsho, Director General of ICIMOD – one of the co-organisers of the event – noted that the HKH is facing a crisis, with “increased frequency and intensity of disasters”. Deliberating on resilient pathways, Swarnim Wagle, Chair of the Institute for Integrated Development Studies, identified green growth, investment in clean energy, norms, regulations, and nature-based solutions in climate action as pathways to a resilient HKH.

The event sessions also explored resilience, innovation, and solutions through the lens of transboundary risks, air quality, green mountain economies, biodiversity, and environmental health.

As showcasing innovative solutions was central to the conference and expo, it featured discussions around solution innovations through the perspective of innovators, who develop them and those of agencies such as government bodies, the UNDP, Worldstartup, and Energize Nepal, who act as enablers.

On the second day, 24 innovative solutions were showcased at the ICIMOD Knowledge Park in Godavari. These innovations were around solid waste management, water management, air quality improvement, and nature-based solutions, among others. The expo provided an opportunity for knowledge exchange among solutions innovators, public and private sector users, academia, financial institutions, and developmental partners.

The final day of the event took a deep dive into scaling solutions. The role of public and private sectors in enabling the scaling of solutions with policies and investment was discussed. As the event concluded, Izabella Koziell, Deputy Director General, ICIMOD, stated that the centre will continue to work with partners to foster inter-regional transfer of green and resilient solutions through innovation exchange labs and learning hubs. She emphasized that ICIMOD stands fast on its role as an enabler for regional cooperation and a global knowledge lead that amplifies the voice for sustainable mountain development.

The conference was organised by Nepal’s Ministry of Forest and Environment (MoFE), Government of Nepal, GRAPE, and ICIMOD.

 

Visitors engaging with solutions providers
Visitors engaging with solutions providers at the expo organised on the second day of the event.

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