The transboundary landscape concept makes it possible to 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. The Hindu Kush Himalayan region is extremely heterogeneous, with interlinkages between biomes and habitats as well as strong upstream-downstream linkages related to the provisioning of ecosystem services. The Convention on Biological Diversity advocates the use of landscape and ecosystem approaches for managing biodiversity in the region, in recognition of the need for increased regional cooperation. ICIMOD and its partners have identified seven transboundary landscapes for programmatic cooperation; from west to east, these are: Hindu Kush Karakoram Pamir Landscape ( HKPL), Karakoram-Pamir, Kailash, Everest, Kangchenjunga, Landscape Initiative for Far Eastern Himalayas (HI-LIFE), and Cherrapunjee-Chittagong. From north to south, trans-Himalayan transects cover most of the eco-regions in the region.
This approach is people centred and includes the cultural conservation that is an essential first step to resource conservation efforts in the region. Successful resource conservation translates into sustainable and equitable development. By working at the transboundary landscape level, ICIMOD addresses national and regional, upstream and downstream concerns. Expected outcomes include improved ecosystem management of the landscapes, and better livelihood options.
Goal: Transboundary landscapes are better conserved and managed for sustaining ecosystem goods and services to improve livelihoods and enhance ecological integrity, economic development, and socio-cultural resilience to environmental changes.
Outcome: Improved cooperation among RMCs for sustainable and inclusive ecosystem management in identified landscapes for enhanced and equitable livelihood benefits, contributing to global conservation agendas.