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Building a member-led consortium

Strengthening thematic working groups as a modality for network sustainability

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The thematic working groups (TWGs) of the Himalayan University Consortium have proven to deepen network sustainability. These working groups were initially set up through institutional grants but have over the years transformed into member-led, self-operating, and resource-sharing groups.

There are eight thematic working groups: Mountain Agriculture, Energy, Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience, Mountain Tourism and Cultural Heritage, Water, Trans-Himalayan Environmental Studies, Cryosphere and Society, and My Climate Risk.

In 2021, under the Cryosphere and Society working group, HUC built collaborations with the Royal University of Bhutan, Karakorum International University, Kashmir University, and the University of Bristol. The working groups emphasise partnership, inter- and trans-disciplinarity, capacity building, curriculum uptake, in-house synergies, and sustainability.

The success of this approach is reflected in the number of universities employing mountain-focused, HKH-specific curricula; in the numbers of regional collaborations using their own resources; the number GESI-embedded trainings by members; and the numbers of HUC fellows undertaking effective sustainable mountain development work.

Thematic working groups, initially set up through institutional grants, have transformed into member-led, self-operating, and resource-sharing groups

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