A year like no other

Reflecting together over the past decade

Dear friends and well-wishers of ICIMOD,

2020 was a year like no other as all nations and peoples around the globe struggled with the global COVID-19 pandemic. As an institution, ICIMOD has demonstrated its resilience and adaptability, focusing our work on the uniqueness of the pandemic impacts for the people and environments in the HKH mountains while ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our staff.

This report begins with a focus on the COVID-19 impacts and policy responses in the Hindu Kush Himalaya paper we researched and released mid-year and key messages from that paper are presented throughout the report, highlighting our response to this shock within the region. The stories in the report are organized around our seven strategic results, represent a depth and breadth of our work, and are milestones that signify progress towards our long term goals. One significant marker of this progress was the Ministerial Mountain Summit which resulted in a landmark declaration signed by ministers of all eight HKH counties and which marked the start of my tenure as Director General.

While 2020 was a watershed year because of the pandemic, it was also a watershed year for ICIMOD as an institution because of the transition in leadership after the departure of former Director General Dr David Molden and former Deputy Director General Dr Eklabya Sharma. I have benefited greatly from the counsel of these two dedicated leaders through my transition in the role of Director General which I took up only in the last quarter of 2020. To give a full picture of the year in 2020, I’ll share below snippets of conversations I’ve had with Dr David Molden and Dr Eklabya Sharma on the past years’ challenges and achievements.

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Deepened vulnerabilities and urgent need for green recovery for the mountains

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Commitments to action towards a more prosperous HKH

Ministers from eight HKH countries sign Ministerial Declaration on the HKH Call to Action

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Annual report 2020