The session discussed the possibility of implementing prefunding risk systems in the Himalayan region to help the countries better prepare against natural disasters and the usage of green bonds. Emphasis was put on the ways the financial sector can adopt research and development of social entrepreneurs to scale up the investments in the grass-roots level. Discussions were also held in regards to the different financial tools that can be employed in the region to make it more investment friendly. Investment risks that are faced by investors were also discussed in length. It was moderated by Sujeev Shakya, Secretary General, Himalayan Consensus Institute, Nepal.
There are numerous water bodies crossing the political borders of two or more countries, which create interdependencies between societies that rely on them for social and economic needs. This session brought forth the need for regional collaboration and cooperation between governments to resolve conflicts that may arise out of such trans-boundary waters. Moreover, if countries work together, the risks of climate change can also be abated. The session was moderated by Celine Cousteau, Founder, CauseCentric Productions.
Chinese government has actively promoted economic and technical developments in Nepal, such as construction of roads, airport, hospitals and schools, among others. Nepal also became the founding member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank a year ago. We believe that all these initiatives will improve the infrastructure conditions and promote energy development in the country which will play a crucial role in boosting the economy and (business) environment of Nepal.
Finance and investments have been forthcoming with institutions and special-purpose vehicles such as AIIB coming forward. Whereas, funds from organizations such as ADB, JICA, UN, World Bank along with private funds are going to be key in trade and investment. There are three critical issues to be considered. These initiatives will be India’s and China’s most effective entry and durable presence into the geographies, societies and economies of this region. It could change the entire matrices of cooperation in South Asia and could trigger a “new regionalism”.
To ensure sustainable economic and social development of a community, one can help communities during a fast economic development process by combining community work with profit. Sustainable economy and social development bear long-term profit which cannot be measured in quarterly outcome. When we have rapid economic development then something in the community is being uprooted.
In case of Nepal, two principles – communities and environment – are already well anchored. 2015 Earth-quakes were a devastating experience, but everybody who experienced it witnessed incredible solidarity among the people during those days. It was a manifestation of how strong communities are spread across the country and among different ethnicities. The same is for environment.
The Himalayan Consensus Summit is one where we find ideas, put them together and share to resolve conflict. The Himalayan region should come together regardless of borders, and religion; religion should not be a basis for conflict as none of the religions call for violence. There is no conflict in human development as conflict arises when people do not have the means to satisfy their needs. The 2015 Gorkha earthquake resulted in the loss of thousands of heritage sites and tangible heritage; which, if not fixed quickly, leads to loss of intangible ones.
Conflict often arises from a chronic economic disempowerment of people and marginalization of their identity. With the current global climate being volatile and vulnerable, the importance of this has grown immensely. There is a need to promote economics that emphasizes on the integrity of planetary eco-systems, and this could be done through financial instruments such as green bonds. The emergences of new paradigms have come into place with countries like China commencing the “One Belt One Road” initiative and India’s “Look East” policy. Meanwhile, the impending climate change should lead to promotion of policies that cater to businesses focusing on climate and environmental integrity.
This session stressed on the need for a holistic approach to deal with issues regarding renewable energy. There are various sources of alternative energy and their efficient use should be promoted. The session explored the emergence of solar and wind as renewable energy ventures with enormous growth potentials, the need for better energy storage technology as well as the need for a people-centric approach to transport management.