Norwegians, ICIMOD launch Climate and Development programmes in the Hindu Kush Himalayan

Eurasia News

Kathmandu, Nepal:  Norwegian Government and ICIMOD launch wide-ranging Climate and Development programmes in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region with USD 25 million funding.

The five-year (2013-2017) ‘knowledge for development’ programme covers the entire Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region in the eight member countries and focuses on adaptation to change, cryosphere and atmosphere, and transboundary cooperation. The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) on December 10, 2013  signed a NOK 150 million (USD 25 million) agreement to support ICIMOD in resilient and sustainable mountain development for improved and equitable livelihoods through knowledge and regional cooperation. The agreement was signed by His Excellency Kjell Tormod Pettersen, Ambassador of Norway to Nepal, on behalf of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Dr David Molden, Director General of ICIMOD.

It may be mentioned Norwegian government is already supporting  ICIMOD in its programs and that Erik Solhem, Norway’s Minister of the Environment and International Development, made the announcement at a press conference held at COP 16 in Cancun, Mexico in December 2010  that ‘Hindu-Kush-Himalayas Climate Impact Adaptation and Assessment (HICIA)’ programme will run from 2011 to 2015, coordinated by ICIMOD with two Norwegian partners, CICERO and UNEP-Grid Arendal.

Norway-Agreement-Signing-web.jpgICIMOD is a regional intergovernmental learning and knowledge sharing centre serving the eight member countries Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan. The Centre’s aim is to influence policy and practice to meet the emerging environmental and livelihood challenges in the HKH region. ICIMOD also plays an important role in creating a platform for regional cooperation among the member countries.

The Government of Norway supports ICIMOD’s regional programmes that shed new light on climate change, help mountain and downstream people adapt to changes, and build capacity for sustainable solutions. These programmes take a ‘problem-solving approach’ to address ongoing regional and global changes covering a range of issues.

“Increased knowledge and capacity is one of the most important tools we have to mitigate the effects of climate change. This is particularly important in the Himalayan region, which is very vulnerable to melting glaciers and other consequences of climate change which create significant challenges for food production and access to clean water,” states Ambassador Kjell Tormod Pettersen. “Several of the countries in the region experience big problems with air pollution, both indoors and outdoors. Black carbon emissions have serious health consequences, and we need more knowledge about the source of emissions and possible actions for reducing them,” Pettersen goes on to say.

Spanning the HKH mountain region, this ‘knowledge and development’ programme builds on the long-standing cooperation between the Government of Norway and ICIMOD for mountain people. It includes a significant new focus on black carbon emissions and their effects on human health and livelihoods in the region through work in cryosphere and atmosphere, which is expected to show new dimensions on the state and fate of glaciers, snow, and permafrost in the region, crucial for the depleting water resources. It will deepen the understanding of how air pollution and black carbon affect the cryosphere, human health, and agricultural production systems.

“People who live in these mountain areas are already some of the world’s most vulnerable groups,” says Ambassador Pettersen. “Through this agreement we will contribute to helping these groups adapt to the negative effects climate change will have on their livelihoods.”

Substantial effort will go into putting knowledge into action, thereby facilitating exchange of knowledge on how to adapt to a multitude of changes including climate change, migration, and environmental change with a view to improving livelihoods in a healthy environment. This will include work on water resource management, high-value agricultural products and their market links, ecotourism, and other livelihood options. Work will also be carried out to further explore options for reducing air pollution, deforestation and degradation, and working with forest user groups across the mountain areas. The programme will seek knowledge from around the world to solve some of the most pressing problems of our times, and is to be implemented through partnership with institutions of the regional member countries and Norwegian partners such as CICERO, Grid-Arendal and NVE.

“The support will impact on the ground by informing policy and improving capacities of the regional member countries” said Dr David Molden. He further added other areas of focus include climate modeling, water availability and demand, food security, ecosystem services, and adaptation to change, specifically climate change. The programme will particularly focus on local level institutions, gender disaggregated analysis, and approaches for sustainable development in mountains and downstream.

The support is part of the Norwegian Government’s priority on climate and climate change. Through partnerships like the one with ICIMOD, Norway is investing significant resources in work aimed at documenting and mitigating the effects of climate change worldwide.




Norwegian government and ICIMOD

ICIMOD and Norwegian funding

Hindu Kush Himalayan

climate change