ICIMOD celebrates partnership with China

20 Jun 2014, Kunming, China


Seen as an important platform for mutual learning and networking among the national partners in China, the first China-ICIMOD Day was held in Kunming under Yunan Province on 19 and 20 June 2014.

More than 80 participants from various provincial government agencies, institutes of CAS, universities, local research institutions, and NGOs attended the two-day event organized by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in collaboration with the Chinese Committee on ICIMOD (CN-ICIMOD) and Kunming Institute of Botany (KIB).

Delivering his keynote address, the head of International Cooperation Bureau of CAS, Dr. Wang Zhenyu, said ICIMOD’s transformation from a knowledge-sharing institute to a research performer and knowledge provider has been critical for the region. 

“That’s why ICIMOD now needs unflinching support from its member countries,” he said. “At the same time, ICIMOD must align its plans and projects with the policies and priorities of the member countries. It must involve scientists from the member countries from the very beginning in designing research programmes.”

Reiterating China’s continued support to ICIMOD, Dr. Wang said he hoped to see more Chinese stakeholders showcase their progress and collaboration with ICIMOD in the next China-ICIMOD Day. “We must involve local governments, universities, and other research performers in the designing and implementation of plans and projects,” he said.

Presenting mountain challenges of the Hindu Kush Himalayas and how ICIMOD is organized to respond to these across its eight Regional Member Countries (RMCs), ICIMOD’s Director General Dr David Molden said the China-ICIMOD day provided an opportunity to highlight ICIMOD’s work in China and also seek inputs from the Chinese partners in designing and implementing its programmes. 

“The interaction with various national partners gives us an opportunity to assess if ICIMOD is responding to the needs and specific priorities of China,” he said. “We will adjust where necessary and also identify strategic areas for future cooperation.” 

Thirty years ago, China was a founding member of ICIMOD and has continued to be instrumental in supporting the Centre’s mission and vision. Further, in the last 30 years, China has changed dramatically. The country not only recorded unprecedented economic growth but also made huge advances in science and technology. Given the changing context, ICIMOD will explore new opportunities for partnerships in China toward sustainable mountain development and to promote regional cooperation.

In the two days, various partners spoke about their ongoing activities, challenges, and opportunities. The event showcased works of ICIMOD’s partners in China for improved coordination and increased visibility and ownership. There were presentations and poster sessions on the ongoing collaborative works. Coinciding with the event, the glacier database of the entire Hindu Kush Himalayan region was released to the Chinese partners. The database was developed in close collaboration with Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute (CAREERI) under CAS.

Among others, the event is expected to help expand partnerships between ICIMOD and national institutions, particularly aligning with national priority programmes. These include but are not limited to long-term scientific planning for mountain areas, virtual and digital mountain scientific monitoring, climate change adaptation of mountain people, impact of climate change on livelihoods, water and ecosystems, mountain development and poverty reduction, mountain hazards and disaster risk reduction, and models of sustainable mountain development and integrated management. 

“We aim to strengthen our institutional ties with the CAS and various provincial agencies for improved coordination and communication of ICIMOD activities and improve our working modalities in China,” said Basanta Shrestha, ICIMOD’s Director of Strategic Cooperation.

Today, China is an active partner in various regional initiatives on transboundary landscape, adaptation to change, transboundary river basin management, rangeland resources management, air pollution and black carbon, geospatial solutions, livelihood, and glacier monitoring. 

The Director General of KIB under CAS, an important ICIMOD partner, Professor Yang Yongping, said China’s membership in ICIMOD is valued both by the people and the government of China. 

“ICIMOD is a very important platform for China to collaborate with other regional member countries,” he said. “Similarly, China is also important for ICIMOD. We are a very dynamic country with lots of experience in socio-economic development, and through ICIMOD we can share these lessons with other countries. It is a win-win situation.”

For more information please contact: 

Ms Nira Gurung
Senior Communications Officer, ICIMOD
Tel +977-1-5003222 Fax +977-1-5003277
Email: nira.gurung@icimod.org

More than 80 participants attended the first China-ICIMOD Day in Kunming

ICIMOD's Director General Dr David Molden outlines mountain challenges in the Hindu Kush Himalayas

Dr Wang Zhenyu, the head of International Cooperation Bureau of Chinese Academy of Sciences, delivers his keynote address

Dr Wang Zhenyu, the head of International Cooperation Bureau of Chinese Academy of Sciences, releases the HKH glacier database to the Chinese partners

More than 80 participants attended the first China-ICIMOD Day in Kunming