Environmental Change and Ecosystem Services

Mountain poverty is exacerbated by environmental change. Livelihoods in the mountains are considerably more susceptible to environmental and economic change than those in the plains. They react more immediately to, and tend to be much more strongly linked with, the management and availability of natural resources. ICIMOD monitors ecological and socioeconomic changes, it analyses the consequences for the livelihoods of mountain people and of downstream inhabitants, and it helps mountain people to facilitate the development of appropriate policies, and innovative and equitable compensation mechanisms for ecosystem services, including freshwater and carbon sequestration. The Centre works with the people of the region to conserve and manage biodiversity as a natural heritage, and a resource for livelihoods and ecological resilience, and promotes integrated watershed management, rangeland resources management, and community and livelihoods forestry


  1. Enhanced global understanding of environmental change in the Hindu Kush Himalayas (HKH) through regional and international strategic partnerships and participation in regional case studies
  2. Effective and vibrant regional cooperation aimed at assessing environmental change and its impact on natural resources
  3. Strengthened community-based natural resource management in watersheds and rangelands; participatory action research in biodiversity and in community and livelihood forestry; and interventions in ecosystem services enhancements
  4. Mountain-specific technologies, procedures, coping mechanisms and methodologies adopted by key partners in the region
  5. Suitable coping and adaptive strategies and programmes scaled up in the regional member countries in conjunction with capacity building for communities, professionals and institutions.