Strengthening partnership in China


ICIMOD’s transformation from a knowledge-sharing institute to a research performer and knowledge provider has been critical for the region. 

This was the message from ICIMOD’s partners in China at the first China-ICIMOD Day held in Kunming under Yunnan Province on 19 and 20 June 2014.

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

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


Delivering his keynote address, the head of International Cooperation Bureau of CAS, Dr. Wang Zhenyu, said ICIMOD’s research outcome will be critical to the region. 

“ICIMOD 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. 

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.

“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, geo-spatial 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.”