The Hindu Kush Himalayan region has experienced great changes in the past ten years, with rapid population growth, economic development, urbanization, and high rates of out-migration and consequent feminization of rural activities. In particular, the mountains have gained greater attention as hotspots of climate change. These changes pose challenges to traditional livelihood strategies and coping mechanisms. At the same time, the mountains have been increasingly recognized for the ecosystem services they provide. To respond better to the changing needs, ICIMOD revisited its Strategic Framework in 2012 with the following Strategic Goals:
The new Strategic Framework, prepared through extensive consultation with the regional member countries, unveils a major shift in ICIMOD's structure with the aim to facilitate interdisciplinary work. Impacts will be delivered through six Regional Programmes - Adaptation to ChangeAdaptation to Change, Transboundary Landscapes, River Basins, Cryosphere and Atmosphere, Mountain Environment Regional Information System, and Himalayan University Consortium. All of these programmes will draw on the varied expertise from ICIMOD’s four Thematic Areas – Livelihoods, Ecosystem Services, Water and Air, and Geospatial Solutions – while also integrating cross-cutting topics such as gender, governance, poverty, economic analysis, and private-sector engagement. Knowledge Management and Communication will remain core functions of the centre.
These changes are aimed to make the organization more responsive to the needs and demands of its stakeholders, partner organizations, and especially the women, men, and children of the Hindu Kush Himalayan region.