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28 Dec 2018 | News

ICIMOD receives Global Outstanding Achievement Award 2018

ICIMOD’s Transboundary Landscapes Regional Programme has received the Renewable Natural Resources Foundation’s (RNRF) Outstanding Achievement Award for 2018. The award was given in recognition of the Programme’s continuous efforts and work in advocating the use of the landscape approach, which delineates areas based on shared ecosystems instead of administrative boundaries, for sustaining ecosystem services, managing biodiversity and protecting unique cultural and natural attributes. The award was received by Rajan Kotru, Regional Programme Manager on 29th November 2018 in Potomac, Maryland, USA.

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The Transboundary Landscape Programme facilitates cooperation based on shared ecosystems between countries and has fostered partnerships with over 55 government and non-government institutions in Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan. Through its work, the Programme has helped build a platform to bring countries together to sustain vital natural resources, protect unique natural and cultural heritage, and improve the lives of millions of people living in remote mountain landscapes of the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH).

Upon receiving the award, Rajan Kotru, also delivered a RNRF lecture on “Landscape-Level Sustainable Development: Transboundary Mountain Management across the Himalayas” where he spoke about ICIMOD’s efforts to bridge country boundaries in order to achieve sustainable development in mountain areas. The event was hosted by the American Society of Landscape Architects.

ICIMOD first introduced the transboundary landscapes approach to its work in 2009, and has helped pioneer the approach in the HKH region. Inspired by the Convention on Biological Diversity’s ecosystem approach, it seeks to simultaneously address conservation and development challenges that transcend boundaries through increased knowledge sharing and cooperation. The various transboundary work undertaken by the Programme include:

  1. Kailash Sacred Landscape Conservation and Development Initiative (China, India, Nepal)
  2. Kangchenjunga Landscape Conservation and Development Initiative (Bhutan, India, Nepal)
  3. Hindu Kush Pamir Landscape Conservation and Development Initiative (Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, Tajikistan)
  4. Landscape Initiative for the Far Eastern Himalaya (China, India, Myanmar)
    Regional REDD+ Initiative (Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan)

ICIMOD’s Transboundary Landscape Programme has demonstrated that inter-country frameworks on ecosystem and cultural services can be a bridge for collaboration between countries in a region prone to conflict and with countries in various stages of development. Through its initiatives, it has developed the capacity of local institutions, tested innovative and inclusive approaches to producing and marketing niche mountain products, and created common standards for monitoring environmental and social change. This has helped bring coherence to policies across borders and promoted strategic partnerships to sustain mountain ecosystem services and promote livelihood benefits at the landscape level.

The Renewable Natural Resources Foundation (RNRF) is a non-profit, public policy research organization based in the USA. It is a consortium of scientific, professional, educational organizations whose primary purpose is to advance science, the application of science, and public education in managing and conserving renewable natural resources. The Outstanding Achievement Award is determined through a global competition. Past recipients of the award have included the USDA Forest Service, US National Science Foundation, US Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Rockefeller Foundation, and Emmy-winning filmmaker Jeff Orlowski. More information about the award is available at www.rnrf.org/awards.html.

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