Honourable Chair, delegates, observers, ladies and gentlemen, good morning. My name is Golam Rasul and I am from ICIMOD – the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development. First of all, on behalf of ICIMOD, and particularly our Director General Dr. David Molden, I would like to extend our sincere thanks to IOM for providing us with this opportunity.
Ladies and gentlemen, ICIMOD is a regional intergovernmental organization established by eight countries – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan – in 1983. Our headquarters are in Nepal, and we work for mountain people and the environment in the Hindu-Kush Himalayan mountain region.
As you know, the Himalayas are one of the most dynamic and complex mountain ranges in the world. The region is highly climate sensitive, environmentally fragile, socio-economically vulnerable. Despite considerable economic growth in some of the Himalayan countries, mountain communities remain on the periphery of development. Climate change, along with low economic opportunities, has further contributed to migration and displacement. Migration, especially migration for work, has become an increasingly important component in rural livelihood strategies. Around 15 per cent of the world’s labour migrants come from the Himalayan countries. Migration is not only an important source of livelihoods and adaptation option, but also become an integral part of rural and national economies. Remittances contribute significantly to GDP, foreign currency earnings, and macroeconomic stability. In some countries, for example Nepal, remittances contribute as much as one-fourth of GDP.
Ladies and gentlemen, even though migration has a significant scope for enhancing resilience, migration and remittances have not received due attention in development and adaptation policies in the Himalayan region. As a result, its potential for building resilience and adaptive capacity and supporting development is not fully realized. For example, in Nepal only 2% of remittances are being use for productive purpose.
ICIMOD and IOM signed an MOU in 2014. We are working together to support governments and other actors to better harness the potential of migration to reduce vulnerabilities, enhance resilience, and facilitate adaptation. Our joint efforts are focused on research, policy analysis, and policy engagement. We have been able to mobilize government and other stakeholders especially national planning commissions, ministries, and civil society in Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Hopefully, our joint effort will contribute to enhance recognition of the role of migration in adaptation and development.
ICIMOD values the partnership with IOM and we look forward very much to strengthening our partnership in future.
International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development
GPO Box 3226, Khumaltar, Lalitpur, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Tel +977-1-5003222 Ext.304, Fax +977-1-5003277