EU and ICIMOD intensify collaboration


A joint meeting of delegations from the EU and ICIMOD expressed satisfaction on the progress made by the EU-funded programme on rural livelihoods and climate change adaptation. The meeting took place in Delhi, India, on 18 May 2015.

ICIMOD is implementing the ‘Rural Livelihoods and Climate Change Adaptation Programme’ (Himalica) in five countries of the Hindu Kush Himalayas. The collaboration is aimed at enhancing resilience of mountain communities through diversification of livelihood opportunities and sustainable resource management. The programme builds capacities of partners in assessing ecosystem services through action research to harnessing livelihood diversification opportunities latently available with tourism development through pilots. 

Himalica’s activities in Myanmar and Bangladesh aim to link rural communities to untapped opportunities possible through tourism development, and in Bhutan and Nepal, the programme is helping rural communities to harness opportunities arising out of well-managed, inclusive value chains developed around vegetables, livestock, and high-value products such as cardamom.

The head of EU delegation, Dr Johann Hesse, Counselor, Head of Operations, EU Delegation to India, said EU and ICIMOD should aim for closer collaboration on strategic issues. He also stressed the need for formulating a clear scaling-up strategy. “The project must identify opportunities where project learnings and support can be utilized to contribute to on-going national efforts in the regional member countries,” he said. “Efforts must be made to link in to such processes.” 

Appreciating the suggestions made by Dr Johann Hesse and acknowledging the support from EU for Himalica, Dr Eklabya Sharma, Director of Programme Operations of ICIMOD, assured that a strategy to scale up Himalica learnings will be developed and put into operation. “Translating knowledge and learnings generated from programme activities into policy and practice is central to ICIMOD’s functioning,” he said.