BAM-E-DUNYA WEBINAR SERIES
The Hindu Kush Karakoram Pamir Landscape (HKPL) represents “Bam-e-Dunya” (“roof of the world” in Persian), a home to diverse ecosystems, indigenous ethnic groups, and rich cultural traditions. This webinar series aims to foster exchanges of multidisciplinary knowledge among the diverse stakeholders within and outside of the landscape.
Mountains constitute around 24% of the world’s land area and are home to one-fifth of the world’s population. These regions provide 80% of the world’s freshwater and host about half of the global biodiversity hotspots.
The Hindu Kush Karakoram Pamir Landscape (HKPL) represents “Bam-e-Dunya”, or “roof of the world” in Persian. This landscape covers the arid high-altitude regions of the Hindu Kush Himalaya, connecting three big mountain ranges – the Karakoram, the Hindu Kush, and the Himalaya – and six protected areas spread across parts of four countries – Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, and Tajikistan.
The HKPL carries significant cultural, economic, social, environmental, and geographic importance. Home to diverse indigenous ethnic groups and rich cultural traditions, it was once part of the ancient Silk Route. It is now a corridor connecting China with South Asia, West Asia and Europe. It is the gateway to the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor, one of the projects under the Belt and Road Initiative. This landscape is also a major source of ecosystem services derived from its rich flora, fauna, forests, rangelands, glaciers, rivers, and other natural endowments.
Communities in the landscape have been central in building resilience while evolving different development models with intricate but varying degrees of interface with natural, social, thematic, institutional, and governance resources – including rural support programmes.
This significant experience can inform and shape future resilience strategies that emphasize participation, inclusion, and, above all, balance between development and conservation imperatives.
Transboundary cooperation plays an important role in addressing the dynamics of corridors (social, ecological, and economic). The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) has fostered transboundary cooperation through the landscape approach by generating scientific evidence, and enabling collaboration, partnerships, and cross-border learning. ICIMOD’s HKPL Initiative focuses on cross-border development and conservation in the landscape by addressing poverty, food and nutrition security, capacity building, conservation planning, sustainable extraction of resources, green infrastructure, and sustainability.
The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the HKPL landscape’s vulnerability to climate and other changes. There is an urgent need to link socio-cultural and economic resilience and sustainable opportunities for communities across the landscape, while maintaining healthy ecosystems. Resilient systems, wide knowledge networks, and strong regional cooperation are needed to withstand and adapt to disruptive shocks.
The pandemic has also fundamentally changed how we work. In particular, given the inaccessibility of the HKPL, the pandemic has prompted the use of digital communication tools to continue the HKPL Initiative’s work. Webinars (or web-based seminars) are a useful medium to continue the exchange of knowledge and experiences around best policies, practices, and science. Given this background, the HKPL Initiative is launching a webinar series titled “Bam-e-Dunya webinar series: Unleashing the potential of transboundary cooperation for a healthy and resilient roof of the world”.
This webinar series aims to foster exchanges of multidisciplinary knowledge among the diverse stakeholders within and outside of the landscape.
The specific objectives are as follows: