Every year, the ICIMOD Mountain Prize is awarded to an individual, organisation, or private sector entity based in the HKH or beyond for outstanding efforts in enabling sustainable and resilient mountain development in the HKH region to benefit the environment as well as communities – particularly the poor, the youth, and women. In honour of the late Andreas Schild, the former Director General who played a significant role in shaping ICIMOD into the organisation that it is today, the award was renamed the Dr Andreas Schild Memorial Mountain Prize in 2021. He will always remain in the hearts of those in the HKH whose lives he touched during his long and illustrious career.
The Dr Andreas Schild Memorial Mountain Prize 2021 focused on individuals and organisations whose work contributed to building the resilience of HKH communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The winners were:
Mahila Umang Producers Company (MUPC) for their innovative work supporting women’s self-help groups during the pandemic in the mountains of Uttarakhand, India. MUPC is a collective of self-help groups and producer-members engaged in promoting sustainable livelihoods through micro enterprises. As a women’s producer collective of 165 self-help groups with a membership of over 2,500 women, MUPC enables small-scale producers to have increased access to markets for their local products. MUPC’s use of crowdfunding to address the crisis brought on by the pandemic not only supported its members but also provided extra support to the government. While the pandemic devastated mountain communities dependent on marginal livelihood options, MUPC ensured that the community built through the producers’ collective remained supported.
Community Homestay Network (CHN) for their innovative work within the tourism industry in Nepal. This sustainable and socially responsible tourism development initiative organised through a digital platform provided direct financial support, along with access to new markets, networking opportunities, and skill development trainings, to help tourism entrepreneurs in Nepal who were hit hard by the pandemic. CHN’s focus on diversification of income sources and products and improving access to markets through their ‘Koseli’ programme provided relief and a sustainable means for local communities to continue to support themselves as the tourism industry rebounds from the shocks of the pandemic.
Gurunjur Welfare Organization of Ghizer District, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan, a youth-led NGO that conducted COVID-19 awareness and relief activities to support Gurunjor village development.
Samdrup Jongkhar Initiative of Dewathang, Bhutan, which focused on urban farming and support to small-scale producers during the pandemic.
Mahila Umang Producers Company for their stellar work supporting women’s self-help groups during the pandemic in the mountains of Uttarakhand, India.
Community Homestay Network for their innovative work within the tourism industry in Nepal.
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