April 3, 2023

Staff Report


A partnership has been formed, in order to focus on issues faced by the vulnerable region of the Hindu Kush and Himalayas (HKH), which has been facing the brunt of rising temperatures and climate change over the years.

The UN Capital Development Fund, UNCDF, has partnered with the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), for coordinated action on the region’s adaptation to the impacts of climate change.

The mountainous region extends over a large area including parts of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, and Nepal. It is the highest on the planet but temperature rises have already had devastating consequences on its environment and the communities that live there. These include extreme water insecurity, rapidly melting glaciers and worsening floods and droughts.

HKH 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.

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 on promoting awareness and cooperation, technical collaboration, capacity development, knowledge development and joint resource mobilization.

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 10 years ago and is today a global mechanism for channeling 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.

The ICIMOD Director General, Pema Gyamtsho said that this was a timely venture. Pema said that, “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.”


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