I would like to provide an update into the development of our new Strategy and Results Framework, plus give an overview of an interesting meeting to understand similar issues in the Arctic and the Hindu Kush Himalayan region, and to see where there can be more collaboration between people working in the two regions.
To develop our Medium-Term Action Plan IV (2018–2022), we invited country-specific inputs, and conducted a series of country consultations in Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Nepal, and Pakistan in 2016. This exercise has helped us see if we are on track, and whether ICIMOD’s activities and projects are aligned with each country’s specific priorities. In early 2017, we conducted a consultation in Myanmar, and are now preparing for a country consultation for Afghanistan. We would like to thank the many people who completed the related online survey, giving us valuable input.
At the December 2016 Board Meeting in Bangladesh, organized with support from the Ministry of Chittagong Hill Tracts (MoCHT), and chaired by the Secretary of MoCHT, NBK Tripura, ideas for our Strategy and Results Framework and MTAP IV were tabled and discussed. We received valuable feedback, and are now updating the Strategy, plus building the Medium-Term Action Plan IV using all the input received. These will be put before our Board of Governors for approval during our May 2017 Board Meeting.
The strategy calls for strengthening the role of ICIMOD as a regional organization, increased evidence-based policy engagement, and increased private sector engagement. We will continue our long-term programmatic approach, and propose to add strength in the areas of disaster risk reduction, clean energy, mountain action networks, and youth engagement across the programmes.
As a regional inter-governmental body that works specifically for mountains and mountain people, ICIMOD has the convening strength to bring Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) countries together to tackle common mountain challenges. With a unique remit to work on issues that span country boundaries, ICIMOD also recognizes the work of other regional collaboration institutions like the Arctic Council – a high-level intergovernmental forum to address issues facing the countries and indigenous people of the Arctic.
At the Arctic Frontiers conference in Tromsø, Norway, this year, ICIMOD organized two side events to better understand and explore the potential for strengthened collaboration between institutions in the HKH and the Arctic. These events brought together researchers, policy makers, universities, and community representatives from the Arctic and the HKH for a science-policy dialogue on regional and inter-regional collaboration.
The Arctic and the Hindu Kush Himalaya are both climate change hotspots facing similar challenges related to high latitude/high altitude ecosystems. Both regions exhibit a strong need for sustainable development and environmental protection that requires successful collaboration between countries sharing their resources.
Through this venture, we look forward to increased collaboration and lessons learned between the HKH and the Arctic.