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Protect the pulse.

The Hindu Kush Himalaya is the pulse of the planet. Being at the top of the world, changes happen here before they happen anywhere else and the beat of this place vibrates across the globe. We are ICIMOD. Together with our partners, we protect the pulse. 

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Welcoming our new Deputy Director General

We’re thrilled to welcome Izabella Koziell who joined the ICIMOD team at the beginning of June as our new Deputy Director General. She brings to the role a depth and breadth of experience working on a range of environment and development initiatives, in multiple management and leadership roles, and across policy, development and research, spanning topics critical for the Hindu Kush Himalayan region, including climate change, water scarcity, biodiversity loss, and land and ecosystem degradation. Izabella joins at an important moment for us institutionally as we review our past work and start planning for our next Medium Term Action Plan.


Call for nomination: ICIMOD Mountain Prize 2021

Prize: USD 2,500
Nomination deadline: 30 September 2021
Result announcement: 11 Dec 2021

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Green, resilient, and inclusive development in the Hindu Kush Himalaya: Challenges and opportunities

Date: 08 July 2021

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Empowering women in geospatial information technology – Bhutan 2021 edition

Date: 27 July 2021

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Mountain Research and Development Vol 41, No 1 available online and open access

Deadline: 01 September 2021

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Featured news/articles


The decade to restore our planet

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A public–private–community forestry partnership in Baitadi

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Ethnic cuisines for healthier, more sustainable, and equitable food systems

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World Environment Day 2021 celebrations with the Government of Pakistan and UNEP

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Experts call for greater focus on mountain-specific conservation issues

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A big push for climate-friendly brick production in Pakistan

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Featured videos

More than just trainings: HUC fellows’ journey

Connecting space to village – Birendra Bajracharya, ICIMOD, at #WoGITPAK21

Importance of ethnic cuisine in Hindu Kush Himalaya

World Environment Day 2021: Mountain ecosystem restoration

Women farmers & sustainable mechanization: The Bhutan chapter

"Cities and climate change" - Guest lecture by Mani Nepal for graduate students at Duke University

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Featured dataset

Data on socio-economic factors leading to open agricultural burning in Nepal

This study investigated the socio-economic factors leading to open agricultural burning in Nawalparasi, Kapilvastu and Rupandehi districts in Nepal. The data set consists of survey data from 388 farmers across the 3 districts in Nepal’s Terai region on their crop residue management practices. Data on demographic profile, income, asset and agricultural land use was used to supplement the surveyed data. The survey was carried out under ICIMOD’s Atmosphere Initiative in 2017.

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Reviving drying springs in the Nibuwa–Tankhuwa watershed, Dhankuta

Springs are one of the main sources of drinking water in the Nibuwa–Tankhuwa watershed in Dhankuta, Nepal. However, these springs are drying up, so communities are following ICIMOD’s six-step protocol for spring revival to improve water security and access to safe drinking water; reduce climate risks and water-related conflicts among local communities; and enhance ecosystem services. This poster details the areas of intervention and field activities being implemented.

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Regional Drought Monitoring and Outlook System: Seasonal Outlook June-September 2021

The Regional Drought Monitoring and Outlook System (RDMOS) is an operational service which produces reliable drought indicators for the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region with a specific focus on Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan.

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Proceedings of the Fourth Upper Indus Basin Network Regional Strategic Committee meeting

The fourth Regional Strategic Committee (RSC) meeting of the Upper Indus Basin Network (UIBN) was convened on 28 January 2021 to explore avenues for government ownership and sustainability of the UIBN and to discuss strategic guidelines for the country chapters focusing on the prevailing context and future needs.

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Reviving and protecting our springs

Springs are an important source of water across the mid-hills of the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region. They sustain ecosystems and millions of people in the region – supplying water for consumption, irrigation, and domestic use – and are deeply intertwined with religious rituals and cultural identity. Alarmingly, springs are drying up across the HKH region because of a multitude of factors, and this has led to acute water stress among mountain communities.

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Proceedings of the interaction workshop on planning for sustainable tourism in Namkha Rural Municipality, Humla

Namkha, a gateway to Mt Kailash, is a culturally unique and biologically diverse region in the Nepal Himalaya. Our Kailash Sacred Landscape Conservation and Development Initiative supported the Namkha Rural Municipality in drafting a five-year sustainable tourism plan. In February 2021, we organized an interactive workshop in Kathmandu, where a draft of the plan was made public for stakeholder feedback.

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Landscape Initiative for the Far Eastern Himalaya (HI-LIFE)

HI-LIFE connects communities across a shared landscape spanning western Yunnan in China, northeastern India, and northern Myanmar to identify shared benefits and work towards effective policy development and management.

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Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD)

The Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) Initiative identifies threats to our forests, promotes community-centric forest management and monitoring, develops livelihood alternatives, and links researchers and policy makers.

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Kangchenjunga Landscape Conservation and Development Initiative

The Kangchenjunga Landscape Conservation and Development Initiative (KLCDI) is a transboundary conservation and development programme aiming to enhance regional cooperation and socio-ecological resilience of the landscape by conserving and managing ecosystems and services and improving livelihoods through nature-based solutions. Let us look at the landscape features and the initiative’s vision and components.

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Journal articles

Adhikari, LKhan, BJoshi, S;  Ruijun, L;  Ali, GShah, GMIsmail, M;  Bano, K;  Ali, R;  Khan, G;  Pasakhala, B; Ali, A  (2021). 'Community-Based Trophy Hunting Programs Secure Biodiversity and Livelihoods: Learnings from Asia's High Mountain Communities and Landscapes.' In Environmental Challenges: 100175  DOI: 10.1016/j.envc.2021.100175.

We discuss the benefits of community-based trophy hunting programs (CTHPs) in the Hindu Kush Karakoram Pamir Landscape, focusing on Pakistan and Tajikistan. We review this model's effectiveness for conserving rare and threatened wildlife populations, protected areas, and community welfare. There are, however, some significant problems related to CTHPs, including the lack of accurate information to understand the effect of trophy hunting on herd structure and size, weak policy implementation, lack of transparency, and corruption. Regular monitoring of wildlife, understanding population dynamics, appropriate allocation of hunting quotas and use of hunting revenue, and proper evaluation and documentation are urgently required to make CTHPs more effective and sustainable.

Azam, MF;  Kargel, JS;  Shea, JM;  Nepal, S;  Haritashya, UK;  Srivastava, S;  Maussion, F;  Qazi, N;  Chevallier, P;  Dimri, AP;  Kulkarni, AV;  Cogley, JG; Bahuguna, IM  (2021). 'Glaciohydrology of the Himalaya-Karakoram.' In Science: eabf3668  DOI: 10.1126/science.abf3668.

Clifford, HM;  Potocki, M;  Koch, ISherpa, T;  Handley, M;  Korotkikh, E;  Introne, D;  Kaspari, S;  Miner, K;  Matthews, T;  Perry, B;  Guy, H;  Gajurel, A;  Singh, PK;  Elvin, S;  Elmore, AC;  Tait, A; Mayewski, PA  (2021). 'A Case Study Using 2019 Pre-Monsoon Snow and Stream Chemistry in the Khumbu Region, Nepal.' In Science of The Total Environment 789: 148006  DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.148006.

Our case study provides a framework for future monitoring and evidence for human source pollution in the Khumbu region, Nepal. We analyzed the chemical composition of pre-monsoon stream water (4,300–5,250 m) and snow (5,200–6,665 m) samples collected from Mt. Everest, Mt. Lobuche, and the Imja Valley during the 2019 pre-monsoon season, in addition to a shallow ice core recovered from the Khumbu Glacier (5,300 m). Pre-monsoon aerosol deposition is dominated by dust originating from western sources and less frequently by transport from southerly air mass sources, as evidenced by one of the strongest recorded pre-monsoon events emanating from the Bay of Bengal, Cyclone Fani. Elevated concentrations of human-sourced metals (e.g., Pb, Bi, As) are found in surface snow and stream chemistry collected in the Khumbu region. As the most comprehensive case study of environmental chemistry in the Khumbu region, our research offers sufficient evidence for increased monitoring in this watershed and surrounding areas.

Dahal, NM;  Xiong, D;  Neupane, N;  Yigez, B;  Zhang, B;  Yuan, Y;  Koirala, S;  Liu, L; Fang, Y  (2021). 'Spatiotemporal Analysis of Drought Variability Based on the Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index in the Koshi River Basin, Nepal.' In Journal of Arid Land DOI: 10.1007/s40333-021-0065-6.

Muhammad, S; Thapa, A  (2021). 'Daily Terra–Aqua Modis Cloud-Free Snow and Randolph Glacier Inventory 6.0 Combined Product (M*D10a1gl06) for High-Mountain Asia between 2002 and 2019.' In Earth Syst. Sci. Data 13: 767-776  DOI: 10.5194/essd-13-767-2021.

Snow is a dominant water resource in High Mountain Asia and crucial for mountain communities and downstream populations. Snow cover monitoring is important to understand regional climate change, managing meltwater, and associated hazards. The uncertainties in passive optical remote-sensing snow products, mainly underestimation caused by cloud cover and overestimation associated with sensors' limitations, hamper the understanding of snow dynamics. We reduced the biases in Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Terra and Aqua daily snow data and generated a combined daily snow product for high-mountain Asia between 2002 and 2019. Our data are mainly useful for observation and simulation of climate, hydro-glaciological forcings, calibration, validation, and other water-related studies.

Nirmal Mani, D;  Donghong, X;  Nilhari, N;  Baojun, Z;  Bintao, LIU;  Yong, Y;  Yiping, F;  Saroj, K; Maan, BR  (2021). 'Factors Affecting Maize, Rice and Wheat Yields in the Koshi River Basin, Nepal.' In Journal of Agricultural Meteorology advpub DOI: 10.2480/agrmet.D-20-00019.

Shugar, DH;  Jacquemart, M;  Shean, D;  Bhushan, S;  Upadhyay, K;  Sattar, A;  Schwanghart, W;  McBride, S;  de Vries, MVW;  Mergili, M;  Emmer, A;  Deschamps-Berger, C;  McDonnell, M;  Bhambri, R;  Allen, S;  Berthier, E;  Carrivick, JL;  Clague, JJ;  Dokukin, M;  Dunning, SA;  Frey, H;  Gascoin, S;  Haritashya, UK;  Huggel, C;  Kääb, A;  Kargel, JS;  Kavanaugh, JL;  Lacroix, P;  Petley, D;  Rupper, S;  Azam, MF;  Cook, SJ;  Dimri, AP;  Eriksson, M;  Farinotti, D;  Fiddes, J;  Gnyawali, KR;  Harrison, S;  Jha, M;  Koppes, M;  Kumar, A;  Leinss, S;  Majeed, U;  Mal, S;  Muhuri, A;  Noetzli, J;  Paul, F;  Rashid, I;  Sain, K;  Steiner, J;  Ugalde, F;  Watson, CS; Westoby, MJ  (2021). 'A Massive Rock and Ice Avalanche Caused the 2021 Disaster at Chamoli, Indian Himalaya.' In Science: eabh4455  DOI: 10.1126/science.abh4455.

van Tiggelen, M;  Smeets, PCJP;  Reijmer, CH;  Wouters, B;  Steiner, JF;  Nieuwstraten, EJ;  Immerzeel, WW; van den Broeke, MR  (2021). 'Mapping the Aerodynamic Roughness of the Greenland Ice Sheet Surface Using Icesat-2: Evaluation over the K-Transect.' In The Cryosphere 15: 2601-2621  DOI: 10.5194/tc-15-2601-2021. 

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