Our Mission and Vision

Our mission

To enable sustainable and resilient mountain development for improved and equitable livelihoods through knowledge and regional cooperation.

Why we exist

Our vision

Men, women, and children of the Hindu Kush Himalaya enjoy improved well-being in a healthy mountain environment.

ICIMOD believes in a future where the region’s mountain people can experience enhanced livelihoods, equity, and social and environmental security; where they can adapt to climate, environmental, and socioeconomic change; and where future generations of mountain and downstream populations can enjoy the benefits and opportunities afforded by the region’s natural endowment. ICIMOD foresees a future in which the role of the HKH as the water tower for close to two billion people, as a cultural and spiritual hub, as the home of global biodiversity hotspots, as a significant ecological buffer zone, and as a source of resources and services for mountain and lowland people is upheld, valued, and recognized globally and regionally.

ICIMOD is an intergovernmental knowledge and learning centre that develops and shares research, information, and innovations to empower people in the eight regional member countries of the HKH – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan. We serve the region through information and knowledge generation and sharing to find innovative solutions to critical mountain problems. We bridge science with policies and on-the-ground practices. We provide a regional platform where experts, planners, policy makers, and practitioners can exchange ideas and perspectives towards the achievement of sustainable mountain development. We facilitate knowledge exchange across the region, help customize international knowledge and tailor it to the region’s needs, and bring regional issues to the global stage.

Core pillars

Our activities range greatly from hands-on research and piloting of solutions, to policy implementation with governments, to mountain advocacy on the global stage. What unites everything we do, is a core focus around these fundamentally important defining objectives.

Enhance livelihoods

For centuries, millions of people have lived among the awe-inspiring mountains, peaks and valleys of the HKH. From farmers to fishermen, climate change is wreaking havoc on their lifestyles and livelihoods, threatening communities and their ability to survive.

Sustain resources

From animals and plant species you won't find anywhere else in the world, to ice caps and glaciers that store water for close to 2 billion people, the biodiversity and natural resources of the HKH are in greater jeopardy than ever before, and their loss will be felt across the globe.

Value culture

The HKH spans countries and comprises a rich, diverse tapestry of colors, textures and cultures. The HKH is a microcosm of the world, and it’s absolutely beautiful.

Do you know that ICIMOD sees knowledge-sharing initiatives as a source of inspiration, innovation, and questioning, helping in the design of future strategies.

We hold ourselves accountable to our mission and vision, and our work is guided by seven strategic results which also help us to measure our progress toward realizing our strategic framework:

  • Widespread adoption of innovations developed by ICIMOD and partners to adapt to change leading to positive impacts for women, men, and children
    We work along with our partners to develop and test new approaches to address change and build resilience, and base this on reliable and well-documented analyses. We feel most successful when innovations are scaled out beyond the programme boundaries.
  • Substantial advances in the generation and use of relevant data, knowledge, and analysis
    Large data gaps exist in the region and filling these gaps is a core part of our mission. We are most successful when communities, government agencies, practitioners, and scientists use the data and information generated and this is widely shared.
  • Significant advances made in approaches and knowledge that promote gender equality and inclusive development
    We believe that promoting gender equality and inclusive development across our programmes and within the institution will help ensure that we develop the most effective interventions and solutions. We work hard to integrate gender perspectives across our programmes. We adopt a rights-based approach for equitable human development and gender equality and seek to contribute towards closing structural inequalities by promoting social inclusion and gender justice across all sections of society.
  • Significantly developed human and institutional capacity
    We believe that greater human and institutional capacity are needed to upscale positive change in the region and work to enhance capabilities across our areas of expertise.
  • Policies and practices considerably influenced by the work of ICIMOD and its partners
    We play a key role in enhancing the interface between science-based evidence and policy and practice and seek to positively influence policies and practices across the HKH.
  • Enhanced regional cooperation related to sustainable mountain development
    We foster regional cooperation by contributing to cross-border technical collaboration and by promoting policies and plans that bring countries together, for example, on regional flood warning systems or biodiversity corridors. We’ve facilitated the establishment and continuation of collaborative programmes among the countries and we always strive to promote greater awareness among downstream populations of the services they receive from mountain areas, and the need to value and compensate for these services.
  • Global recognition of the importance of mountains and the need for more global resources made available to mountain people to ensure improved and resilient livelihoods and ecosystems
    Greater global attention will bring needed resources to mountain areas already experiencing the impacts of climate change and globalization and we promote the mountain agenda in global policy arenas and through our work with bodies such as the IPCC, UNFCCC, CBD, the Ramsar Convention, and UN organisations and processes.

Our vision and mission (2023-2030)

Our new strategy from 2023-2030 has been approved by our Board of Governors and will come into effect from our new Medium-Term Action Plan (MTAP) period beginning in 2023. We’ll be updating this space with developments for our new strategy and MTAP, please stay tuned!



To build and share knowledge that drives regional policy and action and attracts investment that enables the diverse countries and communities of the HKH to transition to greener, more inclusive, and climate resilient development.

Get involved

Whether you are looking to join our team, establish a partnership or contribute to our mission there are many ways you can make an impact.

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