For mountains and people
Forests cover around a quarter of the Hindu Kush Himalayas. They’re an integral part of the transboundary landscape, connecting numerous ecosystems and conserving biodiversity, sustaining livelihoods, providing timber and other resources and guarding against natural disasters such as landslides, rock falls and avalanches.
The health and vitality of many forest ecosystems are already affected by climatic as well as land use changes. While the latter may outweigh the former at this point, climate change adds a challenging dimension to future forest management, as greenhouse gas and carbon sequestration are among the key functions that fast-degrading mountain forests must perform.
In the future, forest management will have to be sensitive to biodiversity and climate needs without short-changing the local communities that look to the forests for immediate goods and benefits. It’s more important than ever to understand the power relations among the various actors involved in forest management, the often unequal distribution of costs and benefits of forest exploitation, and the latest developments in science, economics and sustainable forest management.
The paramount role of forests in adapting to and mitigating the impact of climate change has become a global concern. Yet forest ecosystems continue to degrade and fragment. ICIMOD is seeking the knowledge and management tools to reverse that trend and preserve the forests of the Hindu Kush Himalayas for the benefit of the region’s people and the future of the world.
The web app on climate change vulnerability of forest ecosystems provides information about the current relationships between climate variables and biophysical variables depicting functioning of forests.
Conservation of forest and sustainable forest management are now recognized as important strategies for sustaining growth. Providing better livelihood options to forest-dependent mountain communities through incentives that enhance ecosystem services is now the new paradigm. This result-based management of forest resources is the basis for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+).
Stretching along the southern side of Mount Kangchenjunga, the Kangchenjunga Landscape (KL) is one of the six transboundary landscapes identified by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region.
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To sustain forest services in the context of climate change and other contemporary issues, stakeholders in the Hindu Kush Himalayas must consolidate current assessments of future challenges and opportunities and build a case for sustainable and inclusive forest management that brings together practice, policy, and science.
For mountains and people