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International conference on Addressing Poverty and Vulnerability in the Hindu Kush Himalayas



International conference on

Addressing Poverty and Vulnerability in the Hindu Kush Himalayas

Forging regional partnerships to enable
transformative change  

Kathmandu, Nepal

1–4 December 2013

Poverty eradication remains one of the greatest challenges facing the world today and is a prerequisite for sustainable development. However, despite global poverty eradication efforts, over 1 billion people – one in five people on this planet –  live in extreme poverty. One in seven is undernourished, of which a significant proportion are in Asia.

In the mountainous regions of the Hindu Kush Himalayas (HKH), the poverty rate is on average 5% higher than the rate for the countries as a whole. The determinants of poverty also differ considerably. In particular, parameters such as lower access to basic amenities, poor physical access, and higher dependency rates are more prominent in the mountains.

Mountain communities have a high degree of self-reliance and a rich tradition of practices to avert risks. However, increasing uncertainties, inadequate and insecure access to resources, technology and finance, a rapidly degrading natural resource base, and insufficient integration into value chains and markets severely compromise their capacities to effectively deal with change and take advantage of emerging opportunities to pull themselves out of poverty.

There is an urgent need to support the adaptation abilities of vulnerable mountain households, communities, and ecosystems and enhance their resilience focusing specifically on the challenges confronting mountain women and disadvantaged groups. Mountain specific policies and development interventions to address the needs of the people in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region are still inadequate, primarily because of insufficient knowledge.

The Conference aims to compile updated knowledge on the contours of poverty and enablers of a sustainable development approach for the HKH and thereby, provide inputs specific to the mountain context that can contribute to the formulation of the Post-2015 Development Agenda. The Conference also proposes to set the tone for forging and strengthening regional partnerships for sustainable mountain development.

© 2008 – 2013

Marketplace for development agencies and projects

A marketplace will be organized during the Conference to provide a forum and opportunity to development agencies and projects to showcase their ongoing (or completed) programmes and projects implemented in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region. The mode of presentation in the marketplace will be through posters, displays, or audio-visuals. The programme/project has to address poverty and vulnerability reduction in the HKH and must have a focus on at least two or three sub-themes of the Conference.

The themes are:

  • ·        Quantitative Approaches for Effective Targeting of Poverty and Vulnerability
  • ·        Challenges in Inclusive Development (Gender, Indigenous Communities and Marginalized Groups)
  • ·        Migration and Remittances
  • ·        Climate Change Adaptation
  • ·        Mountain Goods and Services
  • ·        Inclusive Economic Development

Preference will be given to those programmes/projects that highlight community innovations and approaches and have been/or are under the process of scaling up. The programmes/projects should showcase inclusive development, in particular, gender inclusiveness and should be good practices of inclusive economic development. A maximum of 20 institutions/programmes/projects will be selected for exhibiting their material in the marketplace.


Development agencies/projects should submit a one page write-up highlighting the programme/project achievements, ensuring that indications of how the project/programme involves community innovations, gender inclusiveness, and inclusive economic development are adequately highlighted. Young professionals from the development agencies/projects closely involved in the implementation will be given preference for presentations at the Marketplace. It is expected that the participants in the Marketplace will cover their own costs to attend the Conference.


Please send your abstracts to [email protected] latest by 20 October 2013.


Selected development agencies and projects will be informed of their selection by 1 November. The Marketplace is only open to nationals/projects from countries in the HKH region.


Special poster session for young professionals


International conference on

Addressing Poverty and Vulnerability in the Hindu Kush Himalayas

Forging regional partnerships to enable 

transformative change
Kathmandu, Nepal

1–4 December 2013


Special poster session for young professionals

A special session devoted to showcasing cutting edge research and innovative development approaches will be organized during the last day of the Conference. The aim of this special session is to provide a forum to young professionals from the region to showcase research findings on the main sub-themes of the Conference.


The themes are:

  • Quantitative Approaches for Effective Targeting of Poverty and Vulnerability
  • Challenges in Inclusive Development (Gender, Indigenous Communities and Marginalized Groups)
  • Migration and Remittances
  • Climate Change Adaptation
  • Mountain Goods and Services
  • Inclusive Economic Development


Young professionals (up to 35 years old) are encouraged to submit a 300 word abstract highlighting their research findings in any of the themes listed above in addition to a visual outline of the poster. The research work should highlight issues/concerns, or document innovative approaches that address critical issues within the particular sub-theme, and thus contribute to the deliberation on the sub-themes during the Conference. A total of approximately 24 posters will be selected for presentation covering all the eight countries of theHindu Kush Himalayas. Selected poster presenters will be provided support to attend the Conference.



Please send your abstracts and visual outline of the poster to [email protected] latest by 20 October 2013


Selected young professionals will be informed of their selection by the end of 1 November. The poster session is only open to the young professionals from countries in the HKH region.



(The announcement has been published for wide dissemination to attract prospective  participants at the marketplace as requested by ICIMOD.The announcement has been taken from the link:http://www.icimod.org/?q=11269)

Sahara India Pariwar Launches Venture in Real Estate Sector of Bangladesh-By Syed Zainul Abedin

The housing or real estate sector of Bangladesh is embracing a new member with the advent of the famous Sahara India Pariwar.The news has been circulated in the Bangladeshi media amidst surprise,hopes and resentment among different groups of peoples and business communities.The common people who are frustrated by the monopoly and deceptive roles of the local housing and development companies seem to welcome foreign companies who will provide services with transparency.It was felt from the reactions ventilated in the local media that people want a fair competition and standard in the housing sector.It is not yet clear how the Sahara Pariwar will operate their business in Bangladesh and what regulatory measures they have to encounter here.However,in the absence of transparent housing policy in Bangladesh and extreme profiteering culture the general public look for a modest solution in the housing and real eatate sector.Only time may say what blessing Sahara Pariwar has to offer for the people of Bangladesh.

Following news item has been taken from the website: http://english.samaylive.com

Though the company is very famous in India,it is not yet known widely in Bangladesh.Hence I like to provide the link of the website of Sahara Pariwar which may be a great resource for the intersted people to discover its programmes and services.I invite you to visit the following link :http://www.sahara.in/index.html

Sahara India Pariwar, a major business conglomerate in India has on Friday announced its entry into the housing & infrastructure sector of Bangladesh.

The group’s, newly formed Bangladesh based company ‘Sahara Matribhumi Unnayan Corporation Limited’ has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Housing and Public Works of Bangladesh Government, to invest in the development of housing industry in Bangladesh.

‘Sahara Matribhumi Unnayan Corporation Limited’ will conceptualize, design and plan a new city near Dhaka, i.e. Notun Dhaka (New Dhaka) and will build affordable housing for low income groups with integHousing Finance support for majority applicants. The newly formed company will also conceptualize, design and plan various integrated satellite townships under the Ministry of Housing & Public Works (MOPW) of the Government of Bangladesh.

The MoU was signed by Saharasri Subrata Roy Sahara, Managing Worker & Chairman, Sahara India Pariwar and Mr. Nurul Huda, Chairman, Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (RAJUK). The event was witnessed by Mr. Abdul Mannan Khan, State Minister for Housing & Public Works and other top bureaucrats, politicians and senior officials of the Bangladesh Government.

The eventful 4 day visit of Saharasri Subrata Roy Sahara was concluded with positive notes after having meetings with Dr. S. A. Samad, Executive Chairman of Board of Investments (BOI), Dr. Atiur Rahman, Governor of Central Bank and the Shri Hasan Mahmood Khondokar, Inspector General (IG) of Bangladesh Police.

Hon’ble Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina had also met Saharasri Subrata Roy Sahara to discuss about the intended projects and further opportunities in Bangladesh.
Saharasri Subrata Roy Sahara has urged the Government of Bangladesh to ease conditions about availability of housing finance and to remove the difference in tax rates between listed and unlisted companies in Bangladesh. The newly formed company ‘Sahara Matribhumi Unnayan Corporation Limited’s plans are to build integrated and satellite townships which will be heavily intensive on infrastructure unlike regional real estate projects. He requested both Dr. S. A. Samad and Dr. Atiur Rahman that a classification of a section be created midway between housing and infrastructure so that the taxation policy is relooked at Bangladesh.

Speaking at the press conference, Saharasri Subrata Roy Sahara, Managing Worker & Chairman, Sahara India Pariwar, said, “I am extremely proud to extend our business interests in Bangladesh. The Government of Bangladesh and its people have provided us a wonderful support and this in effect will help us to contribute towards the development of Bangladesh.”


A press conference of the REHAB and BLDA has taken place yesterday in response to the MOU between Ministry of Housing and Public Works of Bangladesh Government and Sahara Matribhumi Unnayan Corporation Limited.
The report of the press confrence has been published in media today.The report published in online
newspaper,BANGLANEWS24.COM has been presented here for the knowledge of interested readers.You can also read the news item at the following link:

REHAB-BLDA demand equal opportunity

Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh (REHAB) and Bangladesh Land Developers’ Association (BLDA) came up with the plea in a joint press conference this morning at a city hotel.

BLDA President and Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan said, “As a businessman, I welcome foreign investment but first of all, we have to protect the interests of local companies when we have failed to handover thousands of flats due to lack of gas and electricity.”

He said, “The government should provide similar opportunities for the local companies like the foreign one. Thus a fair and same level competition will be created.”

The local companies are capable in investing more than the foreign investors, he added.

The BLDA president said, “For the foreign investors, several lakh acres of land are available in different areas in the country, including Nijhum Deep and Mirsarai rather than Dhaka.”

The top businessman of the country said, “If the government signs MoU with the foreign investors over one lakh acres land requisition, they should sign another MoU of two lakh land requisition for REHAB and BLDA.”

The BLDA president stated that the government acquires land at Tk 100,000 or Tk 200,000 per bigha while BLDA has to acquire the same land at Tk 50 lakh to Tk 2 crore. “The farmers become deprived if government acquires land which could trigger unrest,” the newsmen were told.

The difference between the price of governmental requisition and private will create an uneven competition. “That’s why Public Private Partnership (PPP) is important to secure the interest of the farmers by generating balanced competition,” he said.

“I believe that the government would not do anything to infringe the interest of the country. The incumbent democratic government repeatedly said that they would provide us land and we would develop that,” he said.

Regarding the Sahara boss Subrata Roy’s allegation of building Dhaka as the jungle of cement, he said, land is the main hindrance of urbanizing Dhaka. It happened due to the scarcity of land or lack of urban plan.

“If the government gives us land, we can build up better city than the foreign investors,” he claimed.

Regarding Rajuk, he said this organization doesn’t follow its own urbanization strategy rather filling the ditches. “Journalists should be careful in this regard,” he said.

At the press conference, REHAB President Nasrul Hamid Bipu read out a written speech.

He said, “We want to talk about foreign investment rather than a particular company. Like previous, I am urging the government to provide us land.”

Nasrul also told journalists that it is a crucial moment of the housing industry as 70 percent investment has been already stopped. “Without government assistance it will be difficult to survive in this sector,” he said.

BLDA general secretary Mostafa Kamal Mohiuddin, REHAB joint secretary Major (retd) Jamshed Hasan PSC, Arshi Hayder, chairman of REHAB Land Standing Committee M Aktar Biswas, M Anisuzzaman Bhuiyan Rana and managing director of Building Technology and Ideas FR Khan were among others present at the press meet.