I am glad to share the journey of Himalayan Climate Initiative (HCI) this far, and where the organization stands at the completion of five years since coming into effective operation. This journey would not have been so swift without the trust and support of some of the leading industrialists, accomplished professionals and social entrepreneurs of Nepal who joined me as
co-founders in founding the organization back in 2011.
It was primarily their support and goodwill that brought many more stakeholders who collectively carried us this far.
HCI was founded with the very ambitious goal of making Nepal into a truly sustainable polity. It began with promoting The Great Himalaya Trails (GHT)- Climate Smart Trek. One of the co-founders of HCI, Dawa Steven Sherpa, in order to support the cause, walked the entire length of 1,555 KMs over a 99 day period along with other famous mountaineers and personalities. The campaign involved Nepal’s President, Prime Minister and several senior politicians and bureaucrats, and earned accolades of several global personalities. Following the trek, we committed to convert GHT into the world’s first Climate Smart Trail. This required an advocacy group comprising of community leaders from mountains that could earn the requisite support globally. That led to the foundation of Climate Alliance of Himalayan Communities (CAHC)- another non-profit organization focused on this goal.
It did not take us long to recognize that to spread ‘sustainability’ within a rather unsustainable universe, we would not only have to educate and advocate for it, but also have to demonstrate several success examples of truly sustainable ventures- initiatives that follow the triple bottom-line. That led to our foray into designing and running social enterprises and smart philanthropies that would create a miniature ecosystem supporting each other. Hamri Bahini- The Green Angels was the first, Nagar Mitra- Friends of the City, the second, Sadbhaw- Nepali Nepali Laai, the third, and so on.
HCI today, stands as Nepal’s largest homegrown Social Innovation and Business Incubation Hub. With as much as twelve sustainable social enterprises and smart philanthropies rolled out, HCI has set itself on a definitive path- earning its own financial sustainability in the bargain. As a natural corollary, HCI is currently in the process of setting up Center for Social Innovation and Business Incubation in Kathmandu and Nepalganj, and plans to have such centers in most of the urban centers of Nepal in due course.
As most founders do, I volunteered to be the unpaid CEO for the formative years of the organization. On March 15, 2016, I handed over the solemn executive responsibility to a much younger, professionally qualified and passionate CEO who runs the organization today. I continue to serve as the Chairperson at the HCI Board- providing Strategic Leadership and Guidance.
I totally and humbly reckon, the organization still has a long way to go to make a nationally visible impact. And yet, I am optimistic of HCI’s continued success- given the dozens of young leaders associated with it. I am sure you would continue to motivate us the way you’ve always been.
Founder & Chairperson