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Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel, Dhaka, Bangladesh
24 January 2016
The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, ICIMOD is a regional knowledge development and learning centre serving the eight regional member countries of the Hindu Kush Himalayas – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan – and based in Kathmandu, Nepal. Globalization and climate change have an increasing influence on the stability of fragile mountain ecosystems and the livelihoods of mountain people. ICIMOD aims to assist mountain people to understand these changes, adapt to them, and make the most of new opportunities, while addressing upstream-downstream issues. We support regional transboundary programmes through partnerships with regional partner institutions, facilitate the exchange of experience, and serve as a regional knowledge hub. We strengthen networking among regional and global centres of excellence. Overall, we are working to develop an economically and environmentally sound mountain ecosystem to improve the living standards of mountain populations and to sustain vital ecosystem services for the billions of people living downstream – now, and for the future.
ICIMOD aims to serve the region through information and knowledge generation and sharing, and fostering regional cooperation to find integrated and innovative solutions to critical mountain and hill problems. ICIMOD bridges science with policies and on-the-ground practices. It provides a regional platform where policymakers, experts, planners, and practitioners can exchange ideas and perspectives towards the achievement of sustainable development for mountain and hilly region. ICIMOD facilitates knowledge exchange across the region, helps customize international knowledge and tailor it to the region’s needs, and brings regional issues to the global stage. ICIMOD sees knowledge generation and sharing as a source of inspiration, innovation, and questioning to help design future strategies.
ICIMOD works with various national, regional and international partners to deliver impact through its six regional programmes in a wide variety of partnerships. Knowledge Management and Communication (KMC) underpins all of its programmes and themes for effective outreach and communications. The thematic areas of Livelihoods, Ecosystem Services, Water and Air, and Geospatial Solutions work to advance science quality with cross-cutting strategic institutional functions on gender, governance, and socioeconomic analysis. The centre’s regional programmes house different initiatives that implement various activities with partners in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh is a founding member of ICIMOD, along with seven other member states, and contributes core support to the Centre. The Ministry of Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs (MOCHTA) is the nodal ministry for ICIMOD in Bangladesh and the secretary of MoCHTA represents the Government of Bangladesh on the ICIMOD Board of Governors. The current Chairperson of the ICIMOD Board of Governors is the Secretary of MOCHTA, Mr N B K Tripura, ndc.
With the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh as the primary area of focus, ICIMOD supports MOCHTA by helping to align the priorities of the Government of Bangladesh with the needs of people of Chittagong Hill Tracts. ICIMOD works with different government agencies, development organizations, research and academic institutions, and non-governmental organizations, and explores engaging the private sector, to bring about synergies and effective implementation of its projects and programmes.
ICIMOD is working together with partners in Bangladesh in the implementation of a range of regional programmes, in particular adaptation to change, transboundary landscapes, river basins, and mountain environment regional information systems, to support the priorities of the Government of Bangladesh and achieve the Centre’s objectives for the Hindu Kush Himalayan region. The partners include more than ten strategic and policy partners, thirteen implementation partners (since 2013), and numerous knowledge and network partners.
One of the key highlights of the Bangladesh-ICIMOD partnership in 2015 has been the instrumental role and contribution of ICIMOD in the development of ‘A Strategic Framework for Sustainable Development in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh’ with MoCHTA. In keeping with the priorities of the Government of Bangladesh, ICIMOD, as a regional intergovernmental entity with a unique mandate, would like to explore new opportunities for partnerships in Bangladesh towards sustainable development for hills and mountain through regional cooperation.
Bangladesh and ICIMOD have been working together on the mountain agenda in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region with policy-makers, experts, planners, and practitioners. Together with Bangladesh, ICIMOD has been emphasizing the importance of enhancing and strengthening partnerships to develop and customize methodologies and tools and carry out innovative applied research to support future programme development. ICIMOD’s partner institutions in Bangladesh include government agencies, academia, local research institutions, universities, and NGOs.
Recently, the Government of Bangladesh finalized its 7th Five Year Plan, incorporating vision and action for the CHT. It is now important to translate this vision into action for inclusive growth and sustainable development in the CHT. Global communities, including the Bangladesh Government, have also adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, along with a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a vision of ending poverty and hunger, and ensuring food, water and energy security as well as good governance for inclusive growth, leaving nobody behind. Further, the Paris Agreement, signed in December, requires all countries to take action on both mitigation and adaptation. All these recent developments call for a reflection on and refinement of development actions and priorities.
Against this backdrop, ICIMOD in close cooperation and support with MOCHTA, is organizing a Bangladesh-ICIMOD Partnership Day on 24th January 2016 with the overarching objective of strengthening ICIMOD’s engagement and enhancing partnership to mobilize support for sustainable development challenges and regional cooperation in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region.
The target audience includes ICIMOD’s current and potential partner organizations in Bangladesh, government agencies, academic and research institutions, international development organizations, local non-governmental and community organizations, diplomats, and representatives of the private sector.