Transforming Mountain Forestry


Forests cover about 25% of the Hindu Kush Himalayas (HKH). They interface with numerous ecosystems, providing an invaluable range of ecosystem services: they sequester carbon and are the source of livelihoods, recreation, and timber and non-timber resources for millions of people. The ecosystem goods and services from forests sustain mountain agriculture, which is an integral part of ensuring food water and energy security in the context of transboundary socioeconomic, environmental, and cultural linkages of the HKH region. Since the 2007 UNFCCC Conference of the Parties in Bali and the 2008 World Forestry Congress, the paramount role of forests in promoting climate change adaptation and mitigation has found global resonance, particularly in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region. The health and vitality of many forest ecosystems have already been affected by climatic and land use changes; it is possible that the impact of the latter may outweigh the former.

To sustain forest services in the context of climate change and other contemporary issues, stakeholders in the Hindu Kush Himalayas must consolidate current assessments of future challenges and opportunities and build a case for sustainable and inclusive forest management that brings together practice, policy, and science. Given the range of issues related to forest governance that have upstream-downstream linkages (e.g. illegal trade of forest products, corridor connectivity, human-wildlife conflicts, water management, value chain sustainability), this is increasingly a subject for transboundary cooperation in terms of making future mitigation and adaptation strategies successful. 

The Mountain Forestry Symposium will provide a forum for over 200 regional and global experts – including crosssectoral policy makers, scientists, practitioners, donors, civil servants, media, market actors, and legal experts – to outline the way forward. The conference will include highlevel representation from all of the mountain states of India, as well as the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change and other key ministries. All eight countries of the Hindu Kush Himalayas, as well as key global mountain forestry centres, will be represented as well.