Apart from achieving common pursuit, the members of Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region should work together, the director general of International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), David Molden, said.

He said this at the end of a conference ICIMOD and Nepal’s ministry of population and environment organised, where members of the HKH region committed to making a common narrative for the region and adopted 12 points action agenda to build resilience through common purpose and collective action.

The HKH member countries are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan. The members also agreed to adopt a more internationalist approach to solving the challenges of the HKH and called for a transformative change.

Suggestions were made on leveraging water and energy as the entry point to promote regional cooperation, reduce water footprint and generate evidence-based knowledge.

The members agreed to strengthen regional and global voice of the HKH region and its mountain people, including youth, create a regional awareness to action campaign, encourage mass promotion of resilience-building technologies and solutions, promote and strengthen cooperation at all levels across the HKH, and strengthen and build capacity at all scales of governance, and inter-linkages to facilitate resilience building.

Some of the major action points were to support the incubation of businesses and the formation of cadres of mountain entrepreneurs and business leadership, particularly among women and youth, build long-term funding arrangements that are consistent, flexible, and responsible, and establish and mobilise ICIMOD as a regional forum for knowledge generation, repository, and dissemination.

A panelist from Bhutan, who is the founder and chief executive officer of Bhutan Association of Women Entrepreneurs (BAOWE), Damche Dem, said that mountain people don’t have many options for trade and it is imperative to optimise around food, value-adding produce, tasty nutritious real foods under a HKH brand.

Yangchen C Rinzin | Kathmandu