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Promoting sustainable mountain tourism for climate–resilient future and green circular economy

published date
11 June 2024 to 13 June 2024
Adnan Dogar, Anu Kumari Lama, Chi Huyen (Shachi) Truong
About the writeshop

This policy writeshop brings together relevant stakeholders representing governments, private sectors, researchers, civil society organisations, and community members from Pakistan, China, and Nepal to brainstorm and formulate policy briefs. This activity builds on the 2023 stock take exercise on mountain tourism and climate change, (aligned with the UNFCCC’s 2023 Synthesis Report on GST and TPCC’s Tourism and Climate Change Stocktake 2023) conducted by in Nepal and Pakistan by ICIMOD.

ICIMOD is also collaborating with country–based partners in translating research findings on mountain tourism and climate change into information/documents relevant to decision–makers. In line with this, the writeshop will engage in a focused yet interactively designed consultation, discussion, and writing process to come up with relevant policy documents.

The policy writeshop will also focus on these key questions:

  • What is mountain tourism and what sensitivities does it carry to climate change?
  • What is green tourism and how does it respond to climate change impacts, the net carbon emissions and resilience building agenda? What policies can promote it?
  • What characterises the circular economy and what policy measures should be implemented to encourage its adoption?
  • What are the essential guidelines for promoting climate–resilient and low–carbon mountain tourism?

These questions were derived from a review of mountain tourism in the policy documents of the federal and regional governments of the HKH countries and Pakistan specifically, which highlighted a significant gap in areas related to mountain tourism and its interface with climate resilience, low carbon tourism and circular economy.


  • Build the capacity of selected country representatives to develop concrete, policymaker–focused recommendations relevant to the national or sub–national contexts

  • Provide support to develop policy briefs highlighting policy, research, and knowledge gaps, as well as barriers and bottlenecks to promote mountain destination sites that are climate–resilient and low carbon in their footprint

  • Bring together academics, policymakers, and relevant stakeholders to facilitate knowledge exchange, establish a common understanding around climate change and mountain tourism and circular mountain economies, and produce sector–specific, regional–specific, and destination–specific policy briefs

  • Build political awareness on the importance of sustainable mountain tourism that is green, inclusive, and climate–resilient and sensitize relevant stakeholders for effective policy brief design and their implementation.


Expected outcomes
  • Establishment and capacity building of the core team on green, inclusive, and climate–resilient mountain tourism
  • Provision of policy guidelines for different regions of Pakistan (Gilgit Baltistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, and Punjab Province) and Nepal – for sustainable mountain tourism. All regions are autonomous in policymaking and implementation.
  • Three region–specific, concise, and action–oriented policy briefs for Pakistan



While tourism suffers from and contributes to climate change, accounting for 8–10% of global emissions. In HKH region, countries such as Pakistan and Nepal, are highly vulnerable to climate change impacts, faces challenges with hazards and increased carbon emissions from its tourism, particularly in mountain regions. In Pakistan, despite government’s commitments to international agreements, tourism lacks priority in climate action plans. There is a huge gap in tourism planning and policy, and effective implementation mechanisms to make mountain tourism green, inclusive, and climate resilient. This calls for urgent action by key mountain tourism stakeholders at all levels of decision–making – regional, provincial, and national levels. Creating an enabling environment, especially through the provision of need based, contextualized and collaborative policy decisions is an important step in this direction.