The second Himalayan Consensus Summit 2017 was held on 24 and 25 March. The annual summit envisages to make Kathmandu the Davos of the Himalayas and is hosted by the Himalayan Consensus Institute, Hong Kong with Nepal Economic Forum as its Secretariat.
Himalayan Consensus is a holistic development paradigm that emphasises the integrity of planetary eco-systems as an indispensable basis for socio-economic development in the Himalayan region. The agenda of the HCS program is to design and create sustainable alternative solutions based on grass root and alternative efforts that are being developed around the region. The Himalayan Consensus process involves convening an annual conference that brings together pioneers across the region, together with business and financial leaders, in seeking pragmatic ways to scale local solutions. Throughout the year the Himalayan Consensus Institute will matrix outcomes from the conference together with examples of social enterprise innovation across the Himalayan region, evolving these into a fresh economic paradigm.
The event was supported by Peak Re; a reinsurance company based in Hong Kong and Embassy of Switzerland in Nepal; the principal sponsors as well as Altai Himalaya, Himalayan General Insurance, The Asia Foundation, and UNCDF. This theme for this year was Himalayan Ideas – Global Prosperity that attempted to examine alternative paradigms that suit the Himalayan context. It focused on integrating innovative solutions of social entrepreneurs into globally relevant models. It also looked into harnessing business and finance to build capacity for green energy and water conservation. Preservation of heritage as core to respecting local identity was one of the main objectives of the summit. A core principle of Himalayan Consensus is that conflict does not arise due to clashes among civilizations, religions or cultures. It is caused by economic disempowerment and identity marginalization. In this era of global volatility, there is an urgent need for dialogue and action to reduce climate disruption and protect communities to reduce the probability of conflict from arising. The Himalayan Consensus as a convening process served as an effective second track dialogue towards mediation and prevention of conflict.
The Summit ended with eight announcements. Celine Cousteau working on a documentary on the Himalayan indigenous people on line of her project in the Amazon. Mahendra Shrestha announced to work on a Himalayan Heritage Hotel Fund, Ryan Nadeau, Galvanize announce a competition with USD 300,000 prize for local innovators across the Himalayas which can help farmer’s access data and smart farming techniques. Christopher Flensborg of SEB Bank announced an initiative to raise money to be deployed into a Himalayan Fund. Daniel Taylor announced 20 scholarships for students of pan Himalayan region for Future Generations University. Hon Wai Wai announced that Palace Musuem, Beijing will work with UNESCO on digitization of artefacts. Eckhart Roth announced that Peak Re will create a pre-disaster fund for cities and towns to have instant cash to mitigate disasters.
Meanwhile, Executive Board member Prof Mahendra P Lama announced a Himalayan Consensus Institute program on a centre to study and work towards mitigation of conflict in the Himalayas. Whereas, Executive Board member Ambica Shrestha announced the HCS 2018 dates as 23 and 24 March 2018 with the theme Connecting the Himalayas and the Mekong. Sujeev Shakya, Secretary General informed that close to 200 people with more than 50 international speakers and delegates attended the event.