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2 May 2023 | Press releases

Global Alliance for a Sustainable Planet and ICIMOD to Drive Social and Environmental Change in the Hindu Kush Himalaya

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Photo: Jitendra Raj Bajracharya/ICIMOD.

Kathmandu – The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and the Global Alliance for a Sustainable Planet (GASP) are teaming up to promote social and environmental change in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH).

The two organisations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate and enable rural and mountain communities to improve their quality of life while preserving the region’s ecosystem for future generations.

The HKH region, extending from Afghanistan to Myanmar and crossing Pakistan, India, China, Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh, holds 10 major river basins, a quarter of humanity, and the third-largest frozen body of water globally. However, scientists express growing concern about the climate crisis’s impacts on the region, posing threats to lives and livelihoods across the area.

Under the partnership, ICIMOD and GASP will promote the incorporation of consultation and engagement with indigenous peoples and vulnerable communities in relevant research.

ICIMOD will share its 40 years of experience working with local communities across its eight regional member countries. It will also integrate its insights into wider, regional and policy fora. This partnership will enable them to champion the voices and solutions of local communities and increase investment flows.

Dr. Pema Gyamtsho, Director General of ICIMOD, said: “This partnership with GASP allows us to turbocharge our work in this area – and champion the voices and solutions of local communities and increase investment flows. Through our work in community forestry, we have repeatedly seen the benefits of integrating local insights into policy development.

According to Satya S. Tripathi, Secretary-General of GASP, “There is an urgent need for grassroots partnerships and empowered coalitions to incubate catalytic shovel-ready projects with system-scale potential to absorb the benefits of a shifting financial landscape. Now is the time to act, and we hope to see transformational impacts on the ground.”

The MoU comes as global challenges, including those of climate adaptation, continue to grow. The partnership between ICIMOD and GASP aims to deliver transformative environmental and social impacts in the HKH. It will focus on building a resilient ecosystem, enhancing productive livelihoods, and promoting the well-being of people and the planet.

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