Healthy Mountains, Healthy Planet: A Hindu Kush Himalayan Partnership for Sustainable Mountain Development

Adoption of Declaration

Recalling that the Rio + 20 Declaration “The Future We Want”, has recognized the vital goods and services mountains provide as essential for sustainable development across the globe,

Emphasizing that the mountainous Hindu Kush Himalayan region is the water tower of Asia and a rich reservoir of biodiversity, cultural diversity, and traditional knowledge,

Bearing in mind that the Hindu Kush Himalayan region provides indispensable ecosystem goods and services for subsistence livelihoods of indigenous peoples upstream and for numerous populations downstream,

Further bearing in mind that the Hindu Kush Himalayan region faces tremendous challenges in terms of poverty reduction and is one of the most vulnerable regions of the world due to environmental and land degradation and climate change,

Concerned that the Hindu Kush Himalayan region – while contributing only minimally to climate change – is facing the brunt of climate change impacts with increasing severity, magnitude, and frequency of natural disasters having far-reaching implications for the socioeconomic development of HKH countries,

Recognizing that the major global deliberations, WCDRR-Sendai Framework, United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs), and Paris Climate Agreement have a special significance to the Hindu Kush Himalayan region,

Reiterating that achieving the Sustainable Development Targets, effectively combating climate change through adaptation and mitigation measures and reducing disaster risks are overriding national priorities of all Hindu Kush Himalayan countries,

Convinced that combating climate change, reducing disaster risks, conserving biodiversity and enhancing livelihoods in the mountainous regions of our countries in order to achieve sustainable and equitable development require regional cooperation and financing mechanisms,

Welcoming that global climate and environment financing mechanisms such as the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), and the Adaptation Fund encourage investments in mountain areas including mobilizing the private sector,

Recognizing the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) as an intergovernmental platform for mutual sharing, learning and exchange of knowledge and best practices, and fostering regional cooperation for sustainable mountain development,

Hereby agree to adopt the declaration “Healthy Mountains, Healthy Planet: A Hindu Kush Himalayan Partnership for Sustainable Mountain Development” in order to forge a regional partnership to strengthen sustainable mountain development and to highlight the importance of the mountainous regions for the HKH countries and the world in future global fora especially in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Paris Climate Agreement.

We, the Ministers or the Government Representatives of Hindu Kush Himalayan countries, namely, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan, hereby adopt the declaration for “The Hindu Kush Himalayan Partnership for Sustainable Mountain Development” on this special occasion of a high-level panel event held on the sidelines of the United Nations Environment Assembly on 24 May 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya.