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ICIMOD sets out its agenda for the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP-12)


Pyeongchang, Korea

Date & Time

06 October 2014 to 17 October 2014


Rajan Kotru and Laxmi Dutt Bhatta

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is a global instrument that aims to help develop national strategies for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. One hundred and ninety-three countries are party to the Convention, including ICIMOD’s eight regional member countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan.

Recognizing the special vulnerability of biodiversity in mountain areas, in 2004 the seventh Conference of Parties (CoP-7) to the CBD agreed on the ‘Programme of Work on Mountain Biodiversity’ (Decision VII/27). ICIMOD has been assigned the role of observer in this Programme. The Convention specifically mentions ‘mountainous areas’ under Article 20, Paragraph 7, which states that, “with regard to funding and transfer of technology, developed country Parties shall take into consideration the special situation of developing countries, including those that are most environmentally vulnerable, such as those with arid and semi-arid zones, coastal and mountainous areas.”

ICIMOD uses an integrated ecosystem approach based on regional and bilateral cooperation for the management of six transboundary landscapes it has identified in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region – Kailash Sacred Landscape, Karakoram Pamir Landscape, Wakhan Landscape, Kanchenjunga Landscape and Brahmaputra Salween Landscape.  This approach is closely aligned with the CBD’s Programme of Work on Mountain Biodiversity: conservation of biological diversity, sustainable use of its components, and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources.

In 2010 ICIMOD reviewed the implementation of CBD in the HKH and concluded that certain factors have affected the rate of progress and the degree of importance the respective governments have given to the implementation the CBD. These factors include inadequate scientific capacity, political instability in some countries and violent conflicts in others, lack of capacity development and access to resources, and emerging challenges posed by climate change. Lack of resources and institutional limitations are other major impediments.

The findings of the review and ICIMOD’s past efforts to fulfill the CBD agenda have guided the activities ICIMOD has planned for the upcoming Twelfth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP-12) to the CBD. At the Twelfth Meeting, ICIMOD will share and discuss its ecosystem-based approaches and the concept of long-term environmental and socio-ecological monitoring for assessing, managing and sustaining transboundary landscapes.

Side Events

Opportunities and Challenges in Conserving Biodiversity in Transboundary Landscapes for Sustainable Development in Hindu Kush Himalayas
Date:  08 Oct 2014
Time: 18:15 – 19:45
Venue: Hall G, Room 1, Marie Khan Women’s Caucus Room
Contact Persons: Dr Rajan Kotru, Laxmi Dutt Bhatta
Type: Conferences/Symposia
Programmes: Livelihoods, Ecosystem Services, Water and Air, Transboundary Landscapes, Brahmaputra-Salween Landscape, Kailash Sacred Landscape, Kangchenjunga Landscape, Karakoram-Pamir LandscapeSide

Event Flyer – Opportunities and Challanges in conserving Biodiversity in Transboundary Landscapes (PDF, 1.08MB)

Millions of people in the fragile landscape of the Hindu Kush Himalayas depend on the ecosystems for their livelihoods. Ensuring their access to food, water and energy while addressing global and national conservation agenda is an enormous challenge. To address this challenge, we must place conservation and resource management within the broader framework of ecosystems services rather than limiting them to political boundaries, because ecological regions do not follow political boundaries. The ecosystem management approach is thus integral to managing large landscapes. With this in view, ICIMOD and its member countries developed a ‘Framework for Landscape Approach’ for the seven identified transboundary landscapes in the HKH region (ICIMOD, 2012). One of these initiatives is the Kailash Sacred Landscape Conservation and Development Initiative, or KSLCDI (2012-2017), which is jointly implemented by China, India and Nepal. It is a unique programme that explicitly acknowledges the importance of environment services for local ecosystems and communities. This flagship initiative was conceived through an intensive consultative and iterative process, which culminated in the endorsement of a regional cooperation framework by the three countries. The framework sets out the vision, goal, objectives, processes, principles, and mechanisms for transboundary ecosystem management of the landscape. It spells out how the three countries will promote regional cooperation in the KSL for the conservation and sustainable use of ecological and cultural resources and associated forms of traditional knowledge. This entails the collection, analysis, validation, exchange, and dissemination of information on the environment, ecology, climate, and biodiversity of the landscape.The implementation process of KSLCDI and preparatory process of other key transboundary landscapes (e.g.Karakoram-Pamir, Kangchenjunga, and Brahmaputra-Salween) have generated lessons about how we might strike a balance between conservation and development to achieve a ‘win-win’ situation for both the environment and communities that depend on natural resources for their livelihoods. It has been realized that efforts to mainstream the CBD agenda at the grassroots level would need to take into account existing institutional complexity, the mismatch between conservation and development activities, and the limited capacity to achieve CBD related targets/impacts. Similarly, human-wildlife conflicts resulting from habitat fragmentation and multiple stakeholder demands have reached a point where biodiversity conservation is forced to compete with the survival of species and welfare of communities. Several high-value species are spread and used on a transboundary scale, bringing a number of complex issues such as sustainable harvesting, forest and rangeland governance, and competing markets to the fore. The balance between resource use dynamics and conservation is increasingly being put to the test at the local level. Transboundary conservation and development initiatives are hence expected to address paradigmatic issues of adaptation, sustainability of local livelihoods, management of ecosystems and the human-environment interface to ensure a continued flow of biological and natural services.

The ICIMOD Exhibition Booth

6-17 October 2012
Venue: Exhibition Hall, The Alpensia Resort
ICIMOD Booth No: A-43

This exhibition booth will:

  • Provide information materials and posters on ICIMOD’s transboundary programme and initiatives;
  • Present video clips and photo stories on the collection and management of Cordyceps Sinensis (Yarsagumba), a high-value but exploited medicinal plant found in the Himalayas
  • Showcase various forms of traditional knowledge and mechanisms for accessing genetic resources and sharing benefits
  • Showcase ICIMOD’s work on mountain ecosystem services
  • Show video clips/documentary on traditional knowledge about the use of high-value mountain medicinal and aromatic plants
  • Promotional materials on the importance of mountain ecosystem and biodiversity, with a particular focus on the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region
  • Present validated frameworks of ecosystem management and long-term environmental and socio-ecological monitoring
  • Share the lessons learned in planning and implementing the CBD agenda at the ground level

Press Releases – Transboundary cooperation key to biodiversity conservation

Media Coverage
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