Urgent steps are required to sustain mountain environments and improve livelihoods in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH).Download
The HKH is a vital regional lifeline, but human drivers and climate change pose grave and immediate threats to the region’s livelihoods, biodiversity, and ultimately sustainability. Changes on the rooftop of the world are having and will continue to have major consequences, not only for the region but globally. Local, national, regional, and global actions are urgently needed to sustain this global asset, focusing on substantially increased investments and more robust regional cooperation for sustaining mountain environments and improving livelihoods in the HKH and concerted action to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees by 2100.
The HKH Assessment and the resulting HKH Call to Action reflect five years of research, review, and analysis. The report was drafted in response to requests from governments in the region – meeting a demand for a comprehensive assessment of the region’s mountains, environments and livelihoods, and their status and their future. The HKH Call to Action has been developed as a roadmap based on the key findings of the HKH Assessment report and it articulates six urgent actions.
“A shared vision for the future of the HKH region is one in which its societies and its people—children, women, and men—are prosperous, healthy, peaceful, and resilient in a healthy environment. To realize this vision, this HKH Call to Action elaborates six urgent actions. The key findings from the HKH Assessment and the draft HKH Call to Action were shared with multiple stakeholders during consultative workshops facilitated by ICIMOD’s nodal ministries in each of the eight HKH countries in 2019. The consultative processes were aimed at jointly identifying and developing the road map for this HKH Call to Action.”
1. Cooperate at all levels across the HKH region for sustainable and mutual benefits
2. Recognize and prioritize the uniqueness of the HKH mountain people
3. Take concerted climate action at all levels to keep global warming to 1.5oC by 2100
4. Take accelerated actions to achieve the SDGs and 9 Mountain Priorities
5. Enhance ecosystem resilience; halt biodiversity loss and land degradation
6. Regional data and information sharing and science and knowledge cooperation
Through a series of HKH Call to Action Consultations in ICIMOD’s regional member countries, the key findings and main messages of the HKH Assessment were shared with a larger audience to build momentum for more robust regional cooperation and to develop a roadmap for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the mountains. During these consultations, think tanks, senior experts, and high-level decision makers discussed key findings of the HKH Assessment, debated and validated its Call to Action and its integration with national and regional priorities, and charted a way forward for more robust regional cooperation around mountains to sustain this globally critical region and promote the mountain agenda.
The consultations have increased ownership of the HKH Call to Action, strengthened partnerships for sustainable mountain development among the HKH member countries, and provided a roadmap to promote the mountain agenda in global forums.
To further the mountain agenda of a prosperous, peaceful, and poverty-free HKH, a decision was taken by ICIMOD’s Board of Governors on 17 September 2019 to explore the possibilities of organizing an HKH Ministerial Mountain Summit in 2020.