Between the Alps and the Hindu Kush Himalaya, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, ICIMOD, and the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) celebrate their longtime cooperation and shared passion for mountains towards a sustainable and resilient development of these mighty and yet so fragile systems.
Global changes are affecting mountain ecosystems and societies at an unparalleled pace, beyond their resilience and adaptation counter response. Outmigration and feminization, climate change impacts and disasters, political, economic as well as infrastructural and energetic marginalization are some of the common issues that mountain regions are facing. Tackling these issues requires a transboundary strategy and a holistic vision, only then can shared needs and gaps be addressed while local contexts, their natural and cultural specificities represent the rich basis for future development opportunities of these landscapes. In this perspective, Landscape becomes an all-round concept and evolves into a cosmos: landscape is ecosystem and environment, landscape is community and livelihood, landscape is natural resources, cultural heritage and traditional knowledge. It goes beyond the boundaries set by the conventional definition of the term.
Working across shared ecosystems, transcending national boundaries
ICIMOD's programme Transboundary Landscapes received the "Renewable Natural Resources Foundation's (RNRF) 2018 Outstanding Achievement Award" from the US-based policy research organisation RNRF that will bestow the award on ICIMOD this upcoming November. The programme focuses since 2013 on the landscape and ecosystem approach to biodiversity conservation within a sustainable and equitable development frame shaped on shared ecosystems rather than administrative boundaries, counting on multi-stakeholder participation and dialogues within the upstream-downstream context. ADA contributed Euro 2.00 million for the implementation of Transboundary Landscapes during the period 2013 - 2017. In these last five years, this cooperation generated transboundary benefits both at policy and practice levels covering biodiversity conservation, ecosystem management, inclusive value chain of mountain products and long term monitoring of environmental and social change. Five are the initiatives so far implemented: Kailash Sacred Landscape (covering China, India and Nepal), Hindu Kush Karakoram Pamir Landscape (Afghanistan, China and Pakistan), Kangchenjunga Landscape (Bhutan, India, Nepal), Far-Eastern Himalayan Landscape (China, India, Myanmar) and REDD+ (Bhutan, India, Nepal, Myanmar and Pakistan).
Future results and opportunities for mountain landscapes build on present common efforts. In fact, ADA supports ICIMOD's medium term programme 2018-2020 in form of financial resources of Euro 1,500,000.00 for the implementation of ICIMOD's regional programmes - Transboundary Landscapes among others.
ADA welcomes the introduction of the clean energy strategy in the planning with a yearly commitment of 200,000.00 Euro for implementing in the next three years the new programme renewable energy and energy efficiency capability in the HKH (REEECH) that will serve as a catalyzing hub for energy knowledge and practice developments across the region.
Further opportunities of the Alpine-HKH cooperation will arise after finalizing the ongoing GCF (Green Climate Fund) accreditation of ADA and ICIMOD. Highlights of ICIMOD's efforts are also reflected into International Mountain Society and the Mountain Research and Development Journal with the aim of disseminatingknowledge and sharing best practices on sustainable mountain development.
The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development
The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, ICIMOD, was founded in Kathmandu in 1984 by 8 Regional Member Countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan).
ICIMOD operates for poverty reduction, enhanced resilience through reduction of physical and social vulnerabilities and fostering enhanced ecosystem services while promoting regional cooperation in the HKH across an area covering the mountainous territory of its 8 Regional Member Countries that founded the Institution in Kathmandu, Nepal in 1984. Since 1993 ADA (Austrian Development Agency), in cooperation with other donors, supports ICIMOD's aim to improve the living conditions for the people and to protect the environment in the HKH with an amount of Euro 8.26 million.