Press release by  International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD).

In a regional workshop, fifty energy experts from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan discussed the technical and institutional design of the Hindu Kush Himalaya Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (HCREEE).

The two-day workshop was jointly organized by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in partnership with the Government of Nepal, with financial support from the Austrian Development Agency (ADA). The workshop marked the end of a consultative planning phase to determine the added value, feasibility and technical design the centre.

It is proposed that HCREEE becomes a think-tank and regional hub for promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency mountain solutions and best practices. Once established, the centre will become part of the UNIDO supported Global Network of Regional Sustainable Energy Centres (GN-SEC) and will benefit from south-south exchange on common issues with other regions.

“Access to renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions and technologies are a key ingredient for building climate resilience and promoting productive uses in the mountain areas of the Hindu Kush Himalaya. The centre will become an important platform of exchange between the countries and will help to bring energy mountain issues back on the international development and climate agenda”, said Mr. David Molden, Executive Director of ICIMOD.

“The centre, in close cooperation with existing national institutions and the private sector, has the potential to become a powerful mechanism for scaling up climate-resilient sustainable energy markets, industries and innovation customized for landlocked mountainous areas”, said Mr. Rene Van Berkel, UNIDO Representative, Regional Office in India.

Mr. Gyan Chandra Acharya, Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister of Nepal and Former Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, said: “Together with the other regional sustainable energy centres, the HCREEE forms an important capacity to contribute to the implementation of the 2014-2024 Vienna Porgramme of Action for Landlocked Developing Countries“.

Ms. Cornelia Schenk, Energy Adviser of the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), added “Experience has shown, that some of the barriers for sustainable energy solutions can be addressed more effectively and at lower cost through sub-regional exchange of policies, tools, techniques and methodologies”.

The validation workshop and the proposed centre is an important contribution to the International Conference “Resilient Hindu Kush Himalaya: Developing Solutions towards a Sustainable Future for Asia.”, scheduled to take place from 3 to 6 December in Kathmandu, Nepal. The conference is jointly organized by ICIMOD and the Government of Nepal with support of the European Union.

Photo: keso s (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)