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12 Jul 2021

Commitments to action towards a more prosperous HKH

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

Commitments to action towards a more prosperous HKH
A key development in the ongoing process to synergize action in response to clear scientific evidence, a virtual summit of ministers from all eight of the HKH countries recognized that urgent steps are required to sustain mountain environments and improve livelihoods in the region.In October 2020, during the first HKH Ministerial Mountain Summit, ministers from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan presented a signed version of a historically significant declaration agreeing to strengthen regional cooperation in the HKH. The declaration includes commitments to promote a united voice for the HKH at regional, global, and UN platforms; to enhance the uptake of scientific evidence for improving policies in the region focusing on mountain environments and livelihoods; and to assess the feasibility of establishing a regional institutional mechanism.

This process began with the production of The Hindu Kush Himalaya assessment: Mountains, climate change, sustainability and people, a publication that not just underscores the significance of the HKH as a vital regional lifeline, but also provides scientific evidence of the immediate threats that human drivers and climate change pose to the region’s livelihoods, biodiversity, and ultimately, sustainability.

In sharing the findings of the report, we undertook a consultative process across all eight HKH countries, which resulted in an HKH Call to Action detailing country-specific actions and solutions as well as six urgent actions tailored at the local, national, and regional levels, providing a roadmap for collective ownership by the eight countries and actions at multiple scales.

Recognizing and supporting the HKH Call to Action, the Ministerial Declaration endorses our regional member countries’ commitments to HKH-wide cooperation for resilient communities and a prosperous, peaceful, and poverty-free region that is food, energy, and water secure.

THE ROAD AHEAD

Based on the Ministerial Declaration, ICIMOD’s regional member countries sent nominations to constitute a Task Force with high-level representation from the eight HKH countries to assess the feasibility of establishing a regional institutional mechanism. The Task Force is expected to assess similar regional collaborative mechanisms from different parts of the world and recommend a feasible configuration for the HKH region in a report to be submitted to the next HKH Ministerial Mountain Summit. The Task Force would also monitor the progress of the HKH Call to Action.

Commitments to action towards a more prosperous HKH

The HKH Call to Action details six urgent actions tailored at the local, national, and regional levels, as well as country-specific actions and solutions, providing a roadmap for collective ownership by the eight countries and actions at multiple scales.