ICIMOD-RSPN: Support to Rural Livelihoods and Climate Change Adaptation In the Himalayas Programme (HIMALICA)

The lives of mountain people in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region are affected by climate change. The increased frequency and spell of extreme weather events including natural disasters have aggravated erosion and land degradation, and thereby led to decline in soil fertility and crop yield. Further, there is great uncertainty about the rate of change because of several drivers. On the other hand, the capacity of mountain people to deal with these growing stresses is limited. To address such situations, international and regional collaborative actions are required to narrow down the knowledge gap. In this respect institutional capacity needs to be developed and strengthened. Current links between poverty and environment are insufficiently addressed through policies at regional, national, and local levels. Interventions in the HKH region also need to consider possible downstream effects, given that currently there is little dialogue on upstream-downstream issues in transboundary and regional context. Overall efforts are needed to enable a consensus on the adoption of common policies at regional level to mitigate these impacts and agree on clear commitment to support the poor, especially the vulnerable communities.

The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) is a regional intergovernmental learning and knowledge sharing centreserving the eight regional member countries of the HKH region – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan. It aims to influence policy and practices to meet environmental and livelihood challenges emerging in the HKH region.

Together with the collaboration of Rural Support Programmes Network (RSPN) and ICIMOD this European Union funded Initiative is to enable and facilitate the equitable and sustainable well being of the people in the HKH region over a period of eighteen months. The specific objectives of the Capacity Building component of the Initiative in highland areas of Pakistan are to support the RSPN to bring the concept of‘adaptation to change’ down to the local level through various rural support programmes (RSPs) of Pakistan to transfer knowledge and skills on adaptation to change, including climate change issues, to all relevant development stakeholders (including government line departments and RSPs) in selected regions and districts across Pakistan.

The deliverables from the project will consist of a trained cadre of professionals on climate change adaptation. These professionals will help adjust awareness on climate change adaptation approaches to community level. Other than training officers a case study on good practices of climate change adaptation that will contain results from the field research on fruit bee pollination in Chitral will be produced. This case study will be published and disseminated widely. The aim is to allow knowledge from this process to feed into national, regional, and global Capacity Building component processes.

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