National Cooperative Federation of Nepal Fostering Clean Energy Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism in Nepal
By: Samanata Thapa
A cooperative is a financial institution governed by and for the people who share similar identities. It is the concept of a community put into a financial institution to benefit its members. We have over 35,000 cooperatives across Nepal that provide financial support and services to people who create and govern them. Cooperatives are established to make financial services accessible to people who otherwise may not have access to the financial services provided by the banks. In the ICIMOD Tourovation Hub, we welcomed the apex body of cooperatives in Nepal, the National Cooperative Federation of Nepal (NCF) as one of our 8 tourism enterprises in the incubation program to facilitate the adoption of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficient technology into their advocacy amongst cooperatives.
It has been an extraordinary journey and opportunity with NCF to explore partnerships and the role of financial institutions to promote and adopt RE and EE technology through financial services in Nepal. Although the Tourovation Hub kick-started with 8 tourism enterprises, we have successfully incubated 9 tourism enterprises through the partnership fostered by NCF during the program. Midway through the program, NCF realized the need to have an implementing partner to pilot their business model more effectively. Soon, they onboarded Prakritik Tourism Cooperative with COOP Resort in Gotikhel, Lalitpur to implement their clean energy business model.
Established during the pandemic, Prakritik COOP Resort is located 3 hours away from Kathmandu in the valley of Gotikhel in Mahankal Rural Municipality, famous for the pilgrimage in Baitadi Dhaam and Kaleshwor Temple. But the valley is slowly gaining popularity for its scenic beauty, weekend hiking trails, waterfalls, and the newly established tea gardens. The resort is an excellent choice for organizations looking forward to conducting team retreats and residential workshops, especially if you are tired of our good old Dhulikhel and Nagarkot. NCF and COOP Resort are set to install a solar hybrid-inverter to minimize their electricity consumption through the seed fund provided by the ICIMOD Tourovation Hub. The hybrid system will power 19 rooms, a restaurant, and the sound system in the conference hall even during power outages in the area. The resort aims to minimize its fossil fuel consumption by redirecting the surplus energy for cooking using induction appliances.
In order to sustain a business, it is important to care for the people, community, and environment. The partnership between NCF and COOP Resort intends to play an active role in promoting the local products of Gotikhel by sourcing fresh produce from the farmers, cultural tours, and specially curated local farmer’s market for their visitors. Similarly, Gotikhel lacks hotels or event halls for the locals to organize social and cultural functions and gatherings. Hence, the resort will be the first of its kind in the locality to provide catering and venue services, keeping in mind the public sentiments and needs. The resort along with NCF has the potential to generate local opportunities and employment for youths. They further plan to invest in startups initiated by the local people of Gotikhel.
“Initially, we were skeptical about our participation in the program as a tourism enterprise as we do not directly work in the tourism sector. But the program design and business coaching helped us foster a meaningful partnership with Prakritik Tourism Cooperative to create a business model that both adopted RE technology and promoted sustainable tourism in Nepal. I really enjoyed the approach of the program and the opportunity to share this space with another partner organization. We initially wanted to work with biogas but through expert advice and the masterclasses on energy, climate services and business coachings, we pivoted to adopt solar-hybrid inverters to minimize energy use. This was an essential step that we did not think of before the program. I am excited to pilot the business model we developed in the program with the Prakritik COOP Resort in Gotikhel and further replicate it in other Tourism Cooperatives of Nepal. The program has been a valuable addition to advocate the SDGs and the adoption of RE and EE technologies among cooperatives in Nepal.”Rishikesh Lamichhane, Administrative Officer
National Cooperative Federation of Nepal
The partnership between NCF and Prakritik COOP resort is a milestone for Nepal Communitere’s incubation program to promote the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12, Partnerships for the SDGs to amplify our social, economic and environmental impact. NCF looks forward to replicating this business model in supporting tourism cooperatives in Nepal to facilitate the adoption of RE and EE technology in Nepal.
If your team or family is looking for a weekend getaway or retreat not too far from the city but closer to nature, history, or even Illam then the Prakritik COOP Resort might be right for you. Similarly, looking for a cooperative that you identify yourself with? Reach out to NCF for guidance!
Contact: 01-5010033 , 01-5010116