The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) advocates the use of landscape and ecosystem approaches for managing biodiversity, an approach that implies coordination and cooperation among all those responsible for an area, regardless of jurisdiction, as defined by ecosystems rather than administrative boundaries. Since the endorsement of the landscape approach in 2004, it has earned attention as vital for sustainable and equitable development.
The HKH is well known for geo-hydrological, biological, cultural, and aesthetic values. It harbours a wide range of biodiversity and ecosystems, which provide numerous services in terms of climate regulation, water, food, and cultural values, all of which are subject to climatic and non-climatic changes that are affecting the livelihoods and resilience of communities living within the region as well as in downstream areas. This region traverses eight countries with ecosystems and ecosystem services moving irrespective of administrative boundaries. This makes the landscape approach well suited to the HKH.
ICIMOD’s transboundary landscape approach visualizes conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources at the scale of larger landscapes defined by ecosystems. Guided by the four north-south transects for the HKH and six identified transboundary landscapes (Kailash, Kangchenjunga, Far Eastern Himalaya, Hindu Kush Karakoram Pamir, Everest, and Cherrapunjee-Chittagong), The transboundary Landscape (TL) programme aims to enhance socio-ecological resilience to environmental change. Of these six landscapes, we have four operational initiatives: Kailash Sacred Landscape, Kangchenjunga, Hindu Kush Karakoram Pamir, and the Far Eastern Himalayas. In the next five years, our fifth initiative, the regional REDD+ Initiative, will embedded in this programme to incorporate incentive-based mechanisms related to greenhouse gas emissions, carbon sequestration, and biodiversity conservation at the landscape and regional scales.
Improved transboundary cooperation among member countries demonstrated through regional policies and strategic partnerships leading to sustenance of mountain ecosystem services and equitable livelihood benefits at regional landscape level.