Together with its partners and regional member countries, the international centre for integrated mountain development (ICIMOD) shares a vision of prosperous and secure mountain communities living in peace, equity, and environmental sustainable livelihoods for mountain peoples. ICIMOD’s work as a “Mounatin Learning and knowledge centre" builds on achievements, competence, and lessons that the centre and its partners have learned over the two preceding decades. ICIMOD is mandated to work in the Hindu Kush- Himalyan (HKH) region, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan.
What are rangelads?
Rangelands are major ecosystems within the HKH region and, for a large number of local people; they provide the main or the only livelihood resource. At the same time, these rangelands also provide high value ecosystem functions and services to the mountain peoples’. More than 60% of the Hindu Kush Himalayan and Tibetan Plateau region consists of rangeland ecosystems and are much like rangelands of other parts of the world, they are a marginal resource, naturally low in productivity and highly variable in terms of water and forage availability. These rangelands support a large livestock industry, accommodate important water shed functions, and provide valuable and biologically diverse resources. They also reflect a diverse cultural landscape, concurrently shaped by physical forces and human use. In this context it is important to view the rangelands not only as resources to sustain the livestock, but also as a complex environment with diverse array of amenities and possibilities and rich cultural milieu. Despite the importance of rangeland resources to and local and national economies, most government and development agencies have neglected them, though the potential of rangelands to contribute significantly to economic development and biodiversity conservation is high.