Promotion of transboundary management of natural resources in the Himalayas

Project description

Title: Promotion of transboundary management of natural resources in the Himalayas
Client: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Nepal
Lead executing agency: International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)
Overall term: 2013 to 2017

Context
The extended Himalaya region is one of the world’s most important ecosystems and is the direct source of livelihood for more than 210 million people. The region contains the sources of major river systems that supply water to about one fifth of the global population. The ecosystems play an important role in biodiversity and the function of the Himalayas as a water reservoir. Particularly in the higher regions, climate change and steadily increasing exploitation pressures are contributing to a deterioration in the condition of the sensitive mountain ecosystems.

These challenges can only be overcome by intergovernmental cooperation. In 1983, the eight nations of the extended Himalaya region – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan – founded the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) as a platform for regional cooperation. Germany has been supporting the Centre since 1986. In recent years, ICIMOD has made marked progress with the task of fulfilling its regional mandate. Through knowledge sharing and expert dialogues, it has brought the Himalayan nations and their national expert organisations together to implement joint regional programmes, for example the Kailash Sacred Landscape Conservation and Development Initiative.

Objective
The population’s social situation is improved, as is the condition of the ecosystems in the Kailash region and two other transboundary landscape regions.

Approach
The programme focuses on the use of selected approaches to the management and conservation of ecosystems in the Kailash region and two other regions.

The programme supports the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) with the task of institutionalising its strategic reorientation to regional priority areas and development results. By doing so, the programme primarily strengthens the principle of collaboration between ICIMOD and the regional member states and the responsible sectoral partner organisations in the individual states. The methodological approach involves stepping up regional and transboundary cooperation to address suitable concepts. ICIMOD brings its core competencies to bear on the implementation of the programme and strengthens the expertise of the national partner organisations.

Results achieved so far
Initial approaches have been devised for implementing sustainable ecosystem management and nature conservation in regional transboundary landscape projects.

ICIMOD has strengthened its institutional focus on regional projects and their implementation.

Dialogue forums and workshops enable the national partners to exchange information and learn from each other with a view to joint planning and steering of regional projects in the future. At present, the differences in the national partners’ capacities still present ICIMOD with a special challenge for successful project implementation.

First pilot measures have been implemented in connection with the Kailash Sacred Landscape Conservation and Development Initiative, which is also supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). In the long term, this should help to improve the social situation of the population and the condition of the ecosystems.

Experience gained from the programme in the Kailash region will be evaluated and adapted for use in new projects.