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3 Apr 2023 | Press releases

UNCDF partner with ICIMOD for adaptation action in the Hindu Kush Himalaya

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Kathmandu, 3 April: The UN Capital Development Fund, UNCDF, is partnering with the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, ICIMOD, for coordinated action on adaptation to the impacts of climate change in the highly vulnerable Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH). This mountainous region, which includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan, is the highest on the planet and temperature rises are already having devastating consequences on the environment and communities that live there. Current impacts include extreme water insecurity, rapidly melting glaciers and worsening floods and droughts.

UNCDF is the United Nation’s flagship catalytic financing entity for developing and least developed countries. Catalytic financing involves leveraging public finance to attract, or catalyse, further investments from the private sector, primarily for development projects. Such financing also aims to mitigate risks, distribute risks among multiple investors, aggregate small projects to combine resources, and endorse public–private co-investments.

This agreement is to be implemented through the Local Climate Adaptive Living Facility, or LoCAL, which was designed by UNCDF over ten years ago and is today a global mechanism for channelling climate finance to local governments for adaptation at the community level.

ICIMOD, established in 1983 and based in Nepal, works to harness collective strengths of its eight regional member countries and address issues that affect the entire region, including the impacts of climate change.

“We’re delighted to be joining forces with ICIMOD to scale up our adaptation activities in the Hindu Kush Himalaya,” said Sophie De Coninck, Global Manager, Local Climate Adaptive Living Facility, UNCDF. “This is a region that is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change but where greater cooperation can, we believe, deliver impactful results for communities across the region.”

“At ICIMOD we are thrilled to be collaborating with UNCDF on this important and timely venture,” says Pema Gyamtsho, Director General of ICIMOD. “Targeted climate adaptation is key to improving the lives and livelihoods of the millions of people living in the HKH, and the many more who rely on water and other resources from this region. We’re hopeful that this partnership will focus our combined efforts on developing sustainable solutions for the region.”

The memorandum of understanding signed between UNCDF and ICIMOD aims to enhance collaboration and cooperation of technical assistance and support to Hindu Kush Himalaya countries concerning climate change adaptation and mountain development, particularly at the local level, with a five-point focus:

  1. Promoting awareness and cooperation
  2. Technical collaboration
  3. Capacity development
  4. Knowledge development
  5. Joint resource mobilisation

The Hindu Kush Himalaya region is home to many highly fragile ecosystems, immense biodiversity, and unique communities. Climate change and rising global temperatures, linked to greenhouse gas emissions, are exerting enormous pressure on the region and the way of life of the people who live there.

For more information, please contact:

Neraz Tuladhar, Media Officer, ICIMOD

Sarah Harris, Communication Officer, LoCAL-UNCDF


The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) is the United Nations’ flagship catalytic financing entity for the world’s 46 Least Developed Countries (LDCs). With its unique capital mandate and focus on the LDCs, UNCDF works to invest and catalyse capital to support these countries in achieving the sustainable growth and inclusiveness envisioned by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Doha Programme of Action for the least developed countries, 2022–2031.

UNCDF builds partnerships with other UN organizations, as well as private and public sector actors, to achieve greater impact in development; specifically by unlocking additional resources and strengthening financing mechanisms and systems contributing to transformation pathways, focusing on such development themes as green economy, digitalization, urbanization, inclusive economies, gender equality and women’s economic empowerment.

A hybrid development finance institution and development agency, UNCDF uses a combination of capital instruments (deployment, financial & business advisory and catalysation) and development instruments (technical assistance, capacity development, policy advice, advocacy, thought leadership, and market analysis and scoping) which are applied across five priority areas (inclusive digital economies, local transformative finance, women’s economic empowerment, climate, energy & biodiversity finance, and sustainable food systems finance).


The Local Climate Adaptive Living Facility, LoCAL, is designed by UNCDF to promote climate resilient communities and local economies by increasing investments in climate change adaptation at the local level in target countries. LoCAL contributes to the vertical integration and achievement of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly the specific goals of poverty eradication (SDG1), sustainable cities and communities (SDG11) and climate action (SD13). Globally, LoCAL has mobilised over US $150 million for adaptation to the impacts of climate change, benefitting over 12.5 million people through more than 1,900 climate resilient investments. Some 34 nations are implementing or designing their adaptation actions with LoCAL across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Pacific.


The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), is a regional knowledge development and learning centre serving the eight regional member countries of the Hindu Kush Himalaya – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan – and based in Kathmandu, Nepal. Globalisation and climate change have an increasing influence on the stability of fragile mountain ecosystems and the livelihoods of mountain people. ICIMOD aims to assist mountain people to understand these changes, adapt to them, and make the most of new opportunities, while addressing upstream-downstream issues. We support regional transboundary programmes through partnership with regional partner institutions, facilitate the exchange of experience, and serve as a regional knowledge hub. We strengthen networking among regional and global centres of excellence. Overall, we are working to develop an economically and environmentally sound mountain ecosystem to improve the living standards of mountain populations and to sustain vital ecosystem services for the billions of people living downstream – now, and for the future.

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