Learning the alpine way


Transboundary cooperation is possible, but there are challenges as impacts have to be achieved collectively. This was the lesson a group of participants learnt from their recent 10-day mentorship programme which took them to the European alpines.

The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) in collaboration with German Development Cooperation (GIZ) organized the mentorship programme under the aegis of the Kailash Sacred Landscape Conservation and Development Initiative (KSLCDI)

The programme took the 12 participants to Germany and neighbouring alpine countries from 17 to 27 October 2013, and was aimed at building better rapport among key partners in the three Kailash Sacred Landscape (KSL) countries of China, India, and Nepal. 

The participants included scientists, researchers, administrators, and policymakers from the three countries. With a trek through alpine trails of Bavarian Alps in South Germany, the programme provided an opportunity for cross-learning from transboundary landscape in Europe. They also witnessed eco-friendly tourism infrastructure.

The participants visited several local institutions to learn about environmental education, technological innovations, nature conservation and planning, protected area management, private sector partnership in conservation and development, management of broadleaf forests, and most importantly transboundary research, monitoring, and cooperation. The Forestry Faculty of the University of Munich, Nationalpark Berchtesgaden, DAV Summit Club, Nationalpark Bayerischer Wald, Narodni Park Sumava, Spessart Broadleaf Forest Permanent Monitoring Plot, the MehlingWiesmann Sawmill and Veneermill, and the GIZ headquarter were some of the institutions the participants visited.

The participants jointly identified a set of practical activities under various themes of knowledge management, integrated landscape management and planning, tourism infrastructure development, and transboundary research and monitoring for the KSL. Such commitments call upon the ‘team of champions’ from KSL and other transboundary landscapes across the Hindu Kush Himalayan region to pursue regional cooperation through integrated approach, translating collective learning into concrete actions on the ground.