Forests cover around a quarter of the Hindu Kush Himalayas. They’re an integral part of the transboundary landscape, connecting numerous ecosystems and conserving biodiversity, sustaining livelihoods, providing timber and other resources and guarding against natural disasters such as landslides, rock falls and avalanches. 

The health and vitality of many forest ecosystems are already affected by climatic as well as land use changes. While the latter may outweigh the former at this point, climate change adds a challenging dimension to future forest management, as greenhouse gas and carbon sequestration are among the key functions that fast-degrading mountain forests must perform. 

In the future, forest management will have to be sensitive to biodiversity and climate needs without short-changing the local communities that look to the forests for immediate goods and benefits. It’s more important than ever to understand the power relations among the various actors involved in forest management, the often unequal distribution of costs and benefits of forest exploitation, and the latest developments in science, economics and sustainable forest management. 

The paramount role of forests in adapting to and mitigating the impact of climate change has become a global concern. Yet forest ecosystems continue to degrade and fragment. ICIMOD is seeking the knowledge and management tools to reverse that trend and preserve the forests of the Hindu Kush Himalayas for the benefit of the region’s people and the future of the world.

Mega event

Transforming Mountain Forestry 

Bridging transboundary challenges with 21st century paradigms for the welfare of mountain people,forests and environment in the Hindu Kush Himalayas

Dehradun, India

18 - 22 January 2015

Relevant Publications

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Digital dataset of Forest Cover of Central Karakoram National Park (CKNP) area, Pakistan. This dataset is extracted from land cover dataset of 2010.

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Compiled MODIS Active fire dataset of HKH region derived from FIRMS (Fire Information for Resource Management System). The data shows the locations of fire incidents within HKH region on various dates in the period between 2000 to 2010 along with the confidence level information of such incidents.

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Land cover and its change analysis across the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region is realized as an urgent need to support diverse issues of environmental conservation. This study presents the first and most complete national land cover database of Nepal prepared using public domain Landsat TM data of 2000 and replicable methodology. The study estimated that 41.64% of Nepal is covered by forests and 27.77% by agriculture. Physiographic regions wise forest fragmentation analysis revealed specific conservation requirements for productive hill and mid mountain regions. Comparative analysis with Landsat TM based global land cover product showed difference of the order of 30-60% among different land cover classes stressing the need for significant improvements for national level adoption. The online web based land cover validation tool is developed for continual improvement of land cover product. The potential use of the data set for national and regional level sustainable land use planning strategies and meeting several global commitments also highlighted.

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Vulnerability layer gives information about the climate change vulnerability of forest ecosystems in Chitwan Annapurna Landscape.

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Adaptive capacity layer gives information about the climate change adaptive capacity of forest ecosystems in Chitwan Annapurna Landscape

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At the watershed level, crown projection area (CPA) vs. basal area (BA) model was developed and validated. At the watershed level, for CPA delineation, region growing technique was adopted. GeoEye-1 images captured on 15 December, 2012 was used.

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NTFP layer gives information about the dependence of local communities for NTFP on forest ecosystems in Chitwan Annapurna Landscape.

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Exposure layer gives information about the climate change exposure of forest ecosystems in Chitwan Annapurna Landscape.

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This is a list of seed plants (angiosperms and gymnoperms) recorded from the Kangchenjunga Corridor on the Nepal side of Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve.

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Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) based active fire incidents in Bhutan from March 2012 to June 2016. The active fire data has been overlaid with land cover data of Bhutan to find out forest fire incidents in the country.

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