Austrian Government Support to ICIMOD

19 May 2016

The Director of ADA, Dr Martin Ledolter, Director, Austrian Development Agency (ADA), Vienna launches the publication "Yak on the Move: Transboundary Challenges and Opportunities for Yak Raising in a Changing Hindu Kush Himalayan Region". Also seen in the photo is Dr Eklabya Sharma, Director of Programme Operations, ICIMOD. 
Photo: ICIMOD/Jitendra Bajracharya

The Government of Austria has decided to continue its cooperation with the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). Channeled through the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), the Austrian fund is mainly used for the core and programme support to enable sustainable and resilient mountain development for improved and equitable livelihoods through knowledge and regional cooperation.  

At an official event today, ICIMOD’s Director of Programme Operations, Dr Eklabya Sharma, said ADA, the operational Unit of the Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC), has been supporting ICIMOD and its activities in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region for more than 20 years. One of its earliest support was in rangeland management of high-altitude areas in the six countries of Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Nepal, and Pakistan. “This support resulted in the formulation of rangeland policies in Bhutan, Nepal, and Gilgit-Baltistan in Pakistan,” he said. The ADA support has been instrumental in developing renewable energy access to mountain herders of the above six countries.

The Director of ADA, Dr. Martin Ledolter, said the Government of Austria’s more recent support to ICIMOD extends to develop the strategic Transboundary Landscapes Programme which addresses the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources in landscapes. ICIMOD has identified six transboundary landscapes - Hindu Kush-Karakoram-Pamir, Kailash, Everest, Kanchenjunga, Far-Eastern Himalayas, and Cherrapunjee-Chittagong. Bhutan, ADC’s main focus country, forms part of the Kanchenjunga landscape. 

ICIMOD’s transboundary landscape management programmes address the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources  - biodiversity, rangelands, farming systems, forests, wetlands, and watersheds - in landscapes defined by ecosystems rather than administrative boundaries. ICIMOD strives for improved cooperation among the regional member countries for sustainable and inclusive ecosystem management in identified landscapes for enhancing and equitable livelihood benefit sharing, and contributing to global conservation goals.

The ADA is also looking into the option of developing a Himalayan Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in cooperation with ICIMOD. “Such a Centre could build strong capacities in the areas of renewable energy and energy efficiency,” said Dr. Ledolter. A feasibility study is being carried out on the Centre.

The Director of ADA launched a publication titled Yak on the Move: Transboundary Challenges and Opportunities for Yak Raising in a Changing Hindu Kush Himalayan Region. The book is the result of ADA’s support to the transboundary landscape programme at ICIMOD, and is expected to fill the significant research gap on yak and pastoralism in the region. It can downloaded at this site: .

Mr. Johannes Binder, Head of the Austrian Coordination Office in Bhutan, overseeing the regional ADC Himalaya Hindu Kush Programme, said: “I look forward to a broadened and deepened cooperation with ICIMOD to sustainably further develop the livelihoods of the mountain people of the region.”

For more information please contact:

Nira Gurung
Senior Communications Officer, ICIMOD
Tel: 5003222 (ext 115)