The Hindu Kush Himalayas is one of the world’s most polluted region, with billions of us regularly breathing air that exceeds safe limits.

Breathing toxic air has major health consequences for people, even resulting in death, with children are particularly vulnerable.

It’s not just human health that air pollution hits. It also reduces crop yields, accelerates the loss of snow and ice in the mountains and affects monsoon patterns and rainfall distribution across Asia, impacting water security. It’s harmful too to animals and plants.

It’s crucial we come together reverse the trend of worsening air quality in the Hindu Kush Himalaya, because we are all better off breathing clean air.

This Clean Air Day, we’re announcing the ICIMOD clean air prize.





We want everyone in the Hindu Kush Himalaya to breathe air at World Health Organisation standards or better, so we are setting out to find, reward, and celebrate those communities, individuals and organisations across our region that are fighting to bring back blue skies.

From clean-cooking entrepreneurs to brick-kiln innovators, green transport pioneers or advocates, to air-quality citizen scientists, and those kickstarting the zero-waste farming revolution, we want to hear from you.

All you need to do is fill out a form telling us about your project, campaign or initiative, and its impact, and attach a video or still photographs of people working in your project and/or project activities.


Winners will receive $500, $300, and $200 each, with runners-up certified and all eligible applicants platformed on our website.


To qualify, the work must be delivered in ICIMOD RMCs

Deadline for entry: 26 November 2023 – 11 pm NPT. Winners announced on 5 December 2023


Eligibility and mode of submission

Entries are invited from ICIMOD’s regional member countries. Submissions must be in English and appropriately subtitled where needed.

To join this competition, kindly share your entry via this form

For further information, please contact:



  • Entries that are works of fiction with no real time reference to location and community in the region will not be accepted.
  • Entries that are culturally insensitive or portray subjects, especially women, children, and the marginalised communities in a bad light will not be accepted.
  • ICIMOD staff are not eligible to participate in the contest.

ICIMOD reserves the right to disqualify any submission whose entry or conduct tampers with the spirit of the contest in any way; violates the above terms and conditions, and exclusionary provisions; or infringes the rights of third parties. Decisions of ICIMOD are final.


Judging criteria

Entries will be judged by a technical panel consisting of scientific experts in the field of air quality, climate change and experienced editors.

Entries will be judged on: authenticity, clarity, impact. This will include details of the actions taken and how they contributed to a cleaner environment.

Join this competition