Himalayan Consensus Summit 2018

Unleashing Connectivity for Inclusive Growth

March 23 & 24, 2018

Himalayan Consensus Summit 2018 brought together pioneers, business and financial leaders across the Himalayan region to forge pragmatic ways to local challenges.

Held at Hotel Himalaya on 23 and 24 March, the Summit had the main objectives of monitoring commitments that were announced in HCS 2017 and building a platform for connectivity discourse to foster regional connection through sources such as air, water, energy, land and technology.

Proceedings Report Program Booklet Outcomes
Himalayan Consensus Summit 2018

Program Outline

23 & 24 March, 2018 • Lalitpur

23 March24 March24 March (Parallel Session)

8:00 am – 8:50 am | Registration

9:00 am - 10:00 am | Inaugural Session

How can the Himalayan Consensus process contribute to addressing contemporary global challenges?
Speakers will provide perspectives on this topic and provide insights on key themes of the Summit such as the importance of connectivity in the Himalayan region for fostering inclusive and sustainable growth.

Speakers: Ambassador Elisabeth von Capeller, Ambassador Mashfee Binte Shams, Ambassador Yu Hong, David J. Molden

10:00 am – 10:30 am | Break

10:30 am - 11:10 am | Session I: The World of Himalayan Heritage

Conserving regional heritage is an important pillar of the Himalayan Consensus process. HCS 2017 saw the announcement of the Himalayan Heritage Hospitality (3H) Fund and the announcement of a collaboration between The Palace Museum (Beijing) and UNESCO Nepal in digital archiving of Nepal’s religious heritage sites. This session will discuss developments on both initiatives aimed at conserving heritage in the Himalayan region.

Speakers: Laxmi Gurung, Mahima Shrestha, Yeshey Tshogay
Moderator: Sumnima Udas

11:20 am - 12:00 pm | Session II: Financing The Alternatives

Renewable energy firms in the Himalayan region need investments to flourish. In HCS 2017, Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB) announced the launch of Himalayan Consensus Renewable Energy and Water Conservation Fund, which aims to facilitate and invest in local renewable energy firms to foster growth and innovation in the sector. This session will explore the potential to leverage financial instruments to increase investments inefficient energy systems.

Speakers: Arun Bhakta Shrestha, Matthew Norley, Passang Dorji, Sunil KC
Moderator: Christopher Flensborg

12:10 pm - 12:45 pm | Session III: Insurance Against Future Disasters

Can insurance provide protection against natural disasters? In HCS 2017, Peak Reinsurance Company (Peak Re) Hong Kong announced plans to establish an insurance program for earthquake-prone regions of the Himalayas, focusing primarily on emergency relief and reconstruction. This session will explore how Peak Re’s insurance program can be successfully designed and reliably replicated in other earthquake-prone regions of the world.

Speakers: Basanta Shrestha, Iain Reynolds, Sushil Bajracharya
Moderator: Eckart Roth

12:45pm – 1:45 pm | Lunch

1:45 pm - 2:30 pm | Session IV: Crisis And Conflict Mitigation Initiative

Achieving sustainable peace requires a holistic, multi-disciplinary and community-based approach. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Nepal and Himalayan Consensus Institute have entered a partnership to collaborate in the areas of crisis prevention and conflict mitigation. The partnership focuses on developing systematic early warning systems, building local mediation capacity and conducting second-track dialogue to aid governments and communities in their response to environmental crisis. This session will delve into the pilot program, which will likely serve as a model for conflict prevention and mitigation in countries affected by climate change and underdevelopment.

Speakers: Mandira Singh Shrestha, Nicholas Rosellini, Renaud Meyer
Moderator: Mahendra P. Lama

2:40 pm - 3:15 pm | Session V: Cardamom Campaign for Peace

Community empowerment is key to mitigating crisis and conflict in vulnerable ecologies. The Cardamom Campaign for Peace arose from the Crisis and Conflict Mitigation Initiative undertaken by UNDP Nepal and Himalayan Consensus Institute and aims to use cardamom farming as a model for generating sustainable employment while protecting fragile ecosystems in the Himalayan region. The panel will discuss challenges for the campaign as well as deliberate on a way forward.

Speakers: Chhali Maya Thami, Deepak KC, Surendra Raj Joshi
Moderator: Gregory K. Tanaka

3:15 pm – 3:45 pm | Break

3:45 pm - 4:40 pm | Session VI: Together We Can - Himalayan Consensus Think Tank Consortium

Communication failures between think tanks working on conservation of culture and the environment undermine conservation efforts. How can this be mitigated? This session represents a step towards establishing a consortium of think tanks working on the preservation of environment and culture, and promotion of sustainable development in the Himalayan region. Acknowledging the importance of sub-regional efforts, this session will focus on the need to continue the conservation discourse and disseminate information to the public in the Himalayan region.

Speakers: Bipul Chatterjee, Long Xingchun, Philippus Wester, Pramod Jaiswal
Moderator: Sagar Prasai

4:50 pm – 5:30 pm | Closing Session

Speakers: Nirupama Rao, Huang Youyi, Laurence J. Brahm

9:00 am - 9:45 am | Opening Session

In today’s ever-changing world, it is increasingly important for businesses to keep abreast of trends in connectivity. Speakers will expound on the role of communities and businesses in enhancing national, regional and global connectivity. This session will also set the stage for subsequent sessions under the connectivity mandala of air, earth, fire, space, and water.

Speakers: Ambassador Alaina B. Teplitz, Ambassador Veronica Cody, Eklabya Sharma, Kul Chandra Gautam, Rurik Marsden

10:00 am - 11:00 am | Session I: Towards Air Connectivity

Air connectivity is key to unlocking a region’s growth potential as it enables the region to attract investments. To enhance air connectivity in the Himalayan region, it is important to expand on existing air travel networks and improve related infrastructure. Speakers will discuss the role of smart infrastructure, efficient airports and enhanced clean technology in expanding air connectivity in the region.

Speakers: Abdullah Tuncer Kececi, Arnico Panday, Sugat Ratna Kansakar, Umesh Chandra Rai
Moderator: Christopher Thomas

11:00 am – 11:30 am | Break

11:30 am - 12:30 pm | Session II: Mainstreaming Clean Energy

Adopter, convertible or skeptic, who are you when it comes to clean energy? Our choice of energy has an immense impact on our health and the environment. This session will highlight several forms of clean energy, underlining their benefits and underscoring how each can be mainstreamed into our lives so that we can move towards a clean and sustainable future.

Speakers: Govind Raj Pokharel, Kulman Ghising, Ramesh Anand Vaidya, Sujit Acharya
Moderator: Claudia Hiepe

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm | Lunch

1:30 pm - 2:30 pm | Session III: Exploring Water Solutions

Water is at the core of sustainable development and human survival itself, yet managing water resources is a complex and challenging task. In recent years, new community-based approaches, strategies and technologies have evolved to tackle water resource management. Speakers will discuss these water management methods, expounding on their benefits and challenges.

Speakers: Anustha Shrestha, Madhukar Upadhya, Philip Yiin, Sabyasachi Dutta
Moderator: Anil Pokhrel

2:40 pm - 3:40 pm | Session IV: Quest For Sustainable Earth

Landlocked states in the Himalayan region need specialized solutions to unleash connectivity in trade and commerce. This session will deliberate on the benefits of organic farming for people, communities and the environment as well as on the need for smart infrastructure to promote exports and connectivity in the Himalayan region.

Speakers: Khemraj Upadhyaya, Randall A. Bluffstone, Wang Yushui
Moderator: Arnico Panday

3:40 pm – 4:00 pm | Break

4:00 pm - 5:00 pm | Session V: Connecting Spaces For Connected World
Asian cellular technology is revolutionizing banking and allowing payment and financial systems to reach even the remotest of villages. The Asian Silicon Valley stretches from Bangalore, India to Shenzhen, China. These new tech hubs are not just revolutionizing rural banking, finance and medical care but pioneering Artificial Intelligence. This session will throw light on how the region with some of the brightest minds is using technology to create Shangri-La.

Speakers: Amuda Mishra, Giuseppe Savino, Robin Gravesteijn
Moderator: Monika Schaffner

5:00 pm – 5:15 pm | Break

5:15 pm - 6:00 pm | Closing Session
Selected speakers will end the sessions for day two with closing speeches.

Speakers: Ambassador Peter Budd, Carol A. Wolfson, Nicholas Rosellini, Sujeev Shakya, Valerie Julliand

3:00 pm - 3:30 pm | Opening Session
This session will commence with three speakers who are youth leaders in areas of community empowerment and environmental protection. They will set the tone for the program which will be focused on innovation to tackle the challenges of the next generation.

Speakers: Bhim Bahadur Nepali, Rajan Man Bajracharya, Ranjan Mishra

3:30 pm - 4:30 pm | Innovation & Technology With NepSAS
NepSAS is a voluntary association of skilled Nepalese diaspora in Switzerland. It has been organizing workshops and seminars to facilitate technology transfer and exchange cultural values. In this session, NepSAS will present on their technology transfer initiative and share experience of organizing Swiss-Nepal Technology Transfer Workshops, which mentored start-uppers to develop contextualized technologies to address local challenges and opportunities. NepSAS will also present their success and ongoing efforts towards the realization of the top projects conceptualized during the workshops.

Speakers: Amina Baniya, Khem Lakai, Ravindra Sapkota, Sonika Manandhar
Moderator: Shruti Jha

4:30 pm - 5:00 pm | Closing Session
Selected speakers will end the sessions for day two with closing speeches.

Speakers:Aayushi K.C., Ryan Nadeau

Our Speakers

Aayushi KC

Abdullah Tuncer Kececi

Alaina B. Teplitz

Amina Baniya

Amuda Mishra

Anil Pokhrel

Anustha Shrestha

Arnico Panday

Arun B. Shrestha

Basanta Shrestha

Bhim B. Nepali

Bipul Chatterjee

Carol A. Wolfson

Chhali Maya Thami

Christopher Flensborg

Christopher Thomas

Claudia Hiepe

David J. Molden

Deepak K.C.

Eckart Roth

Eklabya Sharma

Elisabeth von Capeller

Giuseppe Savino

Govind Raj Pokharel

Gregory K. Tanaka

Huang Youyi

Iain Reynolds

Khem Lakai

Khemraj Upadhyaya

Kul C. Gautam

Kulman Ghising

Laurence J. Brahm

Laxmi Gurung

Long Xingchun

Madhukar Upadhya

Mahendra P. Lama

Mahima Shrestha

Mandira S. Shrestha

Manjeev Singh Puri

Mashfee B. Shams

Matthew R. Norley

Monika Schaffner

Nicholas Rosellini

Nirupama Rao

Passang Dorji

Peter Budd

Philip Yiin

Philippus Wester

Pramod Jaiswal

Rajan Man Bajracharya

Ramesh A. Vaidya

Randall Bluffstone

Ranjan Mishra

Ravindra Sapkota

Renaud Meyer

Robin Gravesteijn

Rurik Marsden

Ryan Nadeau

Sabyasachi Dutta

Sonika Manandhar

Sagar Prasai

Shruti Jha

Sugat Ratna Kansakar

Sujeev Shakya

Sujit Acharya

Sumnima Udas

Sunil K.C.

Surendra R. Joshi

Sushil Bajracharya

Umesh C. Rai

Valerie Julliand

Veronica Cody

Wang Yushui

Yeshey Tshogay

Yu Hong

Our Sponsors & Partners

Principal sponsors