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Regional workshop

Managing rangelands in the HKH for multiple benefits




ICIMOD headquarters

Date & Time

29 May 2023 to 01 June 2023



Managing rangelands HKH


About the event

The aim of this regional workshop is to share ICIMOD’s vision on our intervention on rangelands in our new medium-term action plan (MTAP), and to highlight the Hindu Kush Himalaya’s (HKH) rangeland-wetland as a key resource for regional cooperation, investment, and programme development.

The workshop will bring together national and sub-national policymakers on rangeland management, experts on managing rangelands for multiple ecosystem services, representatives from key partner institutions identified for the intervention implementation, and experts on rangeland mapping and analysis from key partner institutions.



  • Inform policy makers in the HKH countries on the need for and challenges related to managing rangelands for multiple benefits
  • Launch ICIMOD’s intervention on rangelands, formalise regional implementation partnership and build common understanding on the design of the intervention
  • Develop regional and country-wise workplans including an annual plan for 2023
  • Develop the framework, methodologies, and workplans for regional mapping and assessment of rangelands and wetlands


Expected outputs

  • Commitment from policymakers from the HKH countries for joint implementation of the intervention
  • Consensus on the intervention’s specific outcomes, outcome targets for 2026, key milestones and outputs
  • Formalised regional and country-wise partnerships for collaborative implementation
  • Developed regional and country-wise implementation plans
  • Harmonised framework, methodology and workplan for regional mapping and assessment of rangelands and wetlands



Rangeland ecosystems cover around 60% of the 4.3 million square kilometres of the HKH and provide bases for economic and livelihood opportunities for 25–30 million agropastoralists who live in extreme poverty. High-altitude rangelands (including wetlands embedded within rangelands) are important mountain ecosystems that lie at altitudes exceeding 3000 metres above sea level. They are crucial in terms of their multiple-use value and the benefits they provide to indigenous communities and a wide range of other stakeholders, contributing significantly to the HKH regional economy. Rangelands also support wildlife, provide valuable ecosystem services and are important grazing lands for livestock, which are a vital source of income and food for rural communities. However, over the last decade, these high-altitude ecosystems have been rapidly degrading in the context of climate change, rapid socioeconomic changes, and expanding stakeholder interest in using rangelands.

ICIMOD’s Regional Rangeland Programme (1999–2009) was developed to help reduce and alleviate poverty among rangeland-dependent mountain people and to improve the productivity of rangeland ecosystems in the HKH-Tibetan Plateau region in Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Nepal, and Pakistan. From 2010 to 2022, our work on rangelands was integrated within a transboundary landscape management framework incorporating research, capacity building, and transboundary cooperation.

ICIMOD is now embarking on a new MTAP plan which prioritises rangelands as an important intervention under the Action Area “Regenerating and Restoring Landscapes”. The main aim of this intervention is to support our regional member countries in adopting inclusive policies and innovative practices to conserve, restore, manage, and sustainably use rangelands/wetlands and reverse their degradation. Our three focus areas are: i) generating evidence and advocacy to trigger policies for rangelands/wetlands management, ii) piloting innovative solutions for improved rangelands management, and iii) strengthening the capabilities of institutions for rangeland management. The intervention will be implemented in six HKH countries – Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Nepal, and Pakistan, with focused action on the ground towards the conservation and restoration of high-altitude rangelands and wetlands in Bhutan, Nepal, and Pakistan. The intervention will support these countries’ commitments to global SDGs, UNFCCC climate actions, and biodiversity framework targets. It will strengthen national and subnational policies, plans, institutions, and investments for effective rangelands/wetlands management.


Event photos



Day 1 | Monday, 29 May 2023

Time Programme
09:00–09:15 Registration
Opening session

Facilitator: Bandana Shakya, Action Area Coordinator, Restoring and Regenerating Landscapes, ICIMOD

09:15–09:20 Opening remarks – Pema Gyamtsho, Director General, ICIMOD
09:20–09:25  Opening remarks – Geley Norbu, Director, National Land Commission, Bhutan
09:25–09:30 Opening remarks – Wu Ning, Professor and Director General, Chengdu Institute of Biology and Deputy Chair, CNICIMOD
09:30–09:35 Opening remarks – Karma Tenzin Bhutia, Director, Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services Department of Sikkim State, India
09:35–09:40 Opening remarks – Surya Prasad Poudel, Chief Livestock Development Officer, Department of Livestock Services, Nepal
09:40–09:45 Opening remarks –Zafar Waqar Taj, Secretary Forests, Wildlife & Environment Department, Government of Gilgit-Baltistan Province, Pakistan
09:45–09:55 Workshop objectives and agenda: Yi Shaoliang, Intervention Manager-Rangelands, ICIMOD
09:55–10:10 ICIMOD Strategy 2030 & MTAP IV – Nand Kishor Agarwal, Strategic Group Lead, Shaping green and inclusive mountain economies, ICIMOD
10:10–10:35 Key Presentation I: Managing rangelands for multiple ecosystem services in HKH: Implications for policies, governing institutions and research – Wu Ning, Professor and Director General, Chengdu Institute of Biology
10:35–11:00 Key Presentation II: Shrinking pastoral spaces: Communities affected by geopolitics, social and climate change – Hermann Kreutzmann, Professor, Freie Universitaet Berlin
11:00–11:05 Launch of ICIMOD’s rangeland intervention – Bandana Shakya, Action Area Coordinator, Restoring and Regenerating Landscapes, ICIMOD
11:05–11:25 Tea break and photo session
Technical session I

Facilitator:  Babar Khan, Senior Ecosystem Management Specialist, ICIMOD

11:25–12:30 Policy dialogue: Rangelands and pastoralism in national agenda and regional cooperation


Geley Norbu, Director, National Land Commission, Bhutan

Shi Peili, Professor, Institute of Geographic Sciences & Natural Resources Research, China

Karma Tenzin Bhutia, Director, Department of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services, India

Surya Prasad Poudel, Chief Livestock Development Officer, Department of Livestock Services, Nepal

Izhar Ali Hunzai, Head, Soni Jawari Centre for Public Policy, Pakistan

12:30–13:45 Lunch break
Technical session II: Rangeland in HKH region and its multiple ecosystem services

Facilitator:  Kesang Wangchuk, Biodiversity Specialist, ICIMOD

13:45-14:00 Rangeland-based economy in the HKH region – Long Ruijun, Professor, Lanzhou University
14:00-14:15 Wetlands as fundamental carbon sink across the HKH region: from knowledge to practice– Zhu Dan, Associate Professor, Chengdu Institute of Biology
14:15-14:30 Rangelands and Kunming-Montreal Biodiversity Framework targets – Sunita Chaudhary, Ecosystem Services Specialist, ICIMOD
14:30-14:45 Climate change, water and rangelands in HKH – Arun Shrestha, Strategic Group Lead, Reducing Climate and Environmental Risks, ICIMOD
14:45-15:00 Rangelands as a repository of culture: Cultural diversity and pastoralism in HKH – Srijana Joshi, Ecosystem Specialist, ICIMOD
15:00-15:15 Q & A
15:15–15:30 Tea break
15:30–16:30 Panel session: Voices from the pastoral communities

Facilitator: Tashi Dorji, Senior Livestock and Rangeland Specialist, ICIMOD


Pasang Dolma Sherpa, Executive Director, Centre for Indigenous Peoples’ Research and Development (CIPRED), Nepal

Kumbu Dorji, Chairman, Bhutan Yak Federation, Bhutan

Saden Bhutia, Pastoralist, India

Nuru Sherpa, President, Nepal Yak Federation

Pasi Sherpa, Yak herder, Nepal

Chandra Nepal, Chair, Kanchenjunga Yak Farming and Conservation Association, Nepal

Mohammad Ishak, Pastoralist Van Gujjar Tribal Yuva Sanghatan Devalchaur, India

Rashmi Singh, Policy Engagement and Communication Officer, Pastoralism, Uncertainty and Resilience (PASTRES)IDS-UK/Core member – IYRP, South Asia Support Group

Long Ruijun, Director, International Centre for Tibetan Plateau Ecosystem Management and Head, Tibetan Rangeland and Yak Research Institute, Lanzhou University, China /Member of Regional Support Group of IYRP 2026 (East Asia)

16:30–16:45 Closing of the day

Day 2 | Tuesday, 30 May 2023

Time Programme
09:15–09:30 Recap of Day 1
Technical session I:  Innovative approaches to rangeland management

Facilitator:  Srijana Joshi, ICIMOD

09:30–09:45 Innovative incentive mechanisms for sustainable rangeland management – Bandana Shakya, ICIMOD
09:45-10:00 Grassland above-ground biomass estimation using unmanned aerial vehicles– Peng Jie, Professor, Lanzhou University
10:00-10:15 Qula Helps Locals Shake off Poverty in Gannan: Linking rangeland products to markets for sustainable development – Song Li, Chief Engineer, Gannan Hualing Diary Company, China
10:15-10:30 Planning management for ecosystem services – Philip Bubb, Senior Programme Officer, UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre
10:30-10:45 Q&A
10:45–11:00 Tea break
11:00–11:45 Rangeland intervention: Key elements

–          Introduction to the result framework: specific outcomes, targets, component and key outputs – ICIMOD team

–          Questions and answers – ICIMOD Team

11:45–12:30 Rangeland intervention: Activities and planning

Facilitator:  ICIMOD Team

12:30–13:45 Lunch
13:45–16:15 Rangeland intervention: Activities and planning (Continued)

Facilitator: ICIMOD Team

16:15–16:30 Tea break
16:30–16:25 Closing session

Closing remarks – Pema Gyamtsho, ICIMOD

Closing remarks – Representative from Bhutan, China, India, Nepal and Pakistan

16:25:17:00 Vote of thanks: Bandana Shakya, ICIMOD


Day 3 and Day 4 | 31 May – 1 June 2023

Group work: Designing collaborative generation of knowledge on rangelands/wetlands