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Call for submissions: Best practices in sustainable management of high altitude rangelands/wetlands in the Hindu Kush Himalaya

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ICIMOD is seeking submissions of best practices in sustainable management of high-altitude rangelands and wetlands for sustaining the multiple ecosystem services of the rangelands and the social resilience of the rangeland-dependent communities.

This call seeks to draw upon the collective expertise of practitioners, researchers, indigenous knowledge holders, and stakeholders, allowing for exchange of insights and innovative approaches that can contribute to the preservation and revitalization of these vital ecosystems.

Purpose

We aim to promote regional learning on best practices and innovative approaches that sustain the multiple ecosystem services of high-altitude rangelands/wetlands in the HKH region while providing good resources for the adaptation and transformation of rangeland-dependent or pastoral communities.  The selected best practices cases will be compiled and published as a compendium of best practices for wider dissemination.

Selection criteria  

Submissions will be selected based on the following criteria:

Note: A best practice should meet at least the full application, effectiveness, and relevance criteria in addition to one or more of the other criteria. A best practice may not meet all the above criteria.

Funding and obligations

Twenty selected best practices will be announced on 30 March 2024. The winning applicants be provided with funding (amount on case basis) for further documentation of the practice. The documented cases will be compiled and published for wider dissemination.

Disclaimer: the primary focus of the call is on rangelands, with wetlands as an important interface

Interested applicants may submit the online application form available here.

We look forward to receiving your submissions on the sustainable management of high-altitude rangelands and wetlands.

Timeline

Tasks  Deadlines
Call for submissions 3 November 2023
Submission deadline 15 January 2024
Evaluation and selection of best practices 15 February 2024
Announcement of selected best practices 30 March 2024
Submission of best practices – full document 30 June 2024
Compilation and editing of the compendium 30 September 2024
Release of the compendium November 2024

Background

Rangelands account for about 60% of the land area in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH). They are the primary spaces and resources for 25–30 million indigenous and culturally diverse people who inhabit and depend directly on their extensive use, that is, pastoralism, for livelihoods and subsistence. Rangelands also provide enormous ecosystem services and vital ecological assets to downstream areas and communities beyond the region.

In  the past,rangelands were mainly regarded as fodder sources for livestock production. Their management primarily focused on increasing the quality and quantity of fodder for more or better livestock raising. With growing recognition of their multiple functions and diverse ecosystem services – forage or fodder production (livestock production), habitat for wildlife (biodiversity conservation), carbon sequestration (climate change mitigation), ecological processes (soil and water), and cultural and aesthetic values (recreation and spiritual sites) – the goals for managing the same rangeland areas have thus become complex and more diverse.

However, climate change and habitat loss, landuse change, over-exploitation, pollution, and spread of invasive species have caused rapid and widespread degradation of rangeland ecosystems and weakened the resilience and capability of rangelands to contribute to the welfare and sustainable development of human societies. Meanwhile, environmental, health, socioeconomic, technological, and geopolitical drivers are deeply impacting the sustainability of livestock production and pastoralism in the rangeland areas of the HKH.

On the other hand, improved accessibility and social services, emergence of new opportunities, thanks to the multiple benefits of rangelands, and fast dissemination and adoption of new technologies have catalysed socio-economic changes in the rangeland area and provided opportunities for better adaptive capacities and transformation of pastoral communities. Sustainable rangeland management, therefore, is essential for maintaining the health of ecosystems, supporting biodiversity, and ensuring the livelihoods of people dependent on them. It involves finding a suitable balance between ecological, social, and economic goals while recognising the dynamic nature of these ecosystems.

For any inquiries or clarifications, please contact Yi Shaoliang (Yi.Shaoliang@icimod.org) and  Srijana Joshi (Srijana.Joshi@icimod.org)

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