Developing Solutions at the Intersection of Environment and Development
The Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region is the source of ten large Asian river systems and provides water, ecosystem services, and the basis for livelihoods to more than 240 million people. The basins of these rivers supply water to more than 1.9 billion people. Climate change plus a range of social changes such as rapid population growth, urbanisation, migration, feminisation of rural labour and economic development are major drivers of rapid transformation in the HKH region. Mountains people and ecosystems are highly vulnerable to climate change. Temperature rise amplifies with elevation with predictions that temperatures could increase 3 to 4 degrees at high elevation in a 2-degree world. The ecological stability of the region faces multiple threats with vast ice reserves and glaciers melting, putting at risk the role of this mountain region as a water reservoir.
To address complex climate plus change challenges in mountains and downstream, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD*) develops solutions at the intersection of environment and development of the HKH by facilitating knowledge generation and exchange, transboundary cooperation and science-policy dialogues on water resources and river basin management, biodiversity conservation and use, landscape management and resilience building. ICIMOD aims to achieve resilient outcomes including (i) enhanced adaptation capacities, ii) recovery from shocks and stresses, and iii) transformative change or “bouncing forward”.
About the speakers
Dr David Molden is the Director General of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) an intergovernmental knowledge organization dedicated to mountains and people of the Hindu Kush Himalayan region. David has been instrumental in the development of the Himalayan University Consortium to promote academic learning and exchange, and the Hindu Kush Himalayan Assessment, an IPCC like assessment that lays out policy options for sustainable development in region. He comes from a background specializing in water resource management and sustainable mountain development.
Dr Eklabya Sharma is Deputy Director General of ICIMOD. He is an ecologist with over 35 years of experience in developing, managing, and implementing programmes mainly on sustainable mountain development in the HKH region. He specializes in mountain ecology with contributions across diverse fields including mountain ecosystem studies, ecosystem management, and participatory mountain development focusing on natural resource management and protected areas.
*The Australian Government is a donor to ICIMOD’s program of work in South Asia.