The Hindu Kush Himalaya Science-Policy Forum unites scientists, policymakers, development practitioners, and young researchers from across the High Mountain Asia region to discuss critical transboundary issues and collaborative solutions.
On Thursday in New Delhi, India’s Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Ms Nameeta Prasad, convened the second meeting of the ICIMOD National Coordination Committee in India.
The National Coordination Committee has been created to serve as the key body to guide, drive and coordinate plans and programmes co-developed with ICIMOD in India, and the meeting brought together key stakeholders from central and state ministries, academia and other stakeholders.
At the event, Joint Secretary Prasad praised the body’s “comprehensive mandate”, saying it would “serve as the hub for scientific solutions in the Himalayan region” and “play a vital role in addressing pressing environmental challenges.”
ICIMOD Director General Pema Gyamtsho welcomed the deepening of ties with India the meeting signified, with its implications for “the scope, scale and ambition of the work we might be able to deliver as a result.
“Everywhere we look, we are seeing the rapid and escalating threats faced by the Hindu Kush Himalayan region. This meeting is a crucial step not just in reinforcing the Government of India’s longstanding commitment to ICIMOD, but in recognising the need for closer coordination and greater collaboration to drive faster progress to reduce risks, and protect people and investments in this crucial mountain biome.
“The NCC puts this important work on a much firmer footing, and will enable us to work in a more streamlined way with key strategic partners and identify more opportunities to join forces to have faster impact.”
Along with a strong delegation from India’s MoEFCC, whose secretary represents India on the ICIMOD Board of Governors, the event was attended by Dr Sunil Nautiyal, Director from Govind Ballabh Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment (NIHE), ICIMOD’s focal institution.
Also represented were state governments of Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh & West Bengal, the Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of External Affairs, the Ministry of Earth Sciences, the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, WWF India, Unesco India, Niti Aayog, G.B. Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment, National Institute of Urban Affairs Gandhi University, Sikkim University, JNU, and North-Eastern Hill University.
The National Coordination Committee for Transboundary Landscape programmes in India was established in 2018. Following the publication of the HKH Assessment Report and country consultations held to firm up the HKH Call to Action, its mandate was widened in 2021 to include all ICIMOD programmes in India.