Forty years of ICIMOD: Moving mountains 2030

NL Today

  • Read Time 2 min.

Kathmandu: The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) marks four decades of catalysing sustainable development in the complex terrain of the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region. The 40th anniversary event was graced by President Ramchandra Paudel on Tuesday.

Under the theme “Moving Mountains 2030”, the event highlighted ICIMOD’s journey and its commitment to shaping the future of the HKH region. The 40th-anniversary agenda included a series of key moments, showcasing ICIMOD’s achievements and the enduring partnerships that have fuelled its success. Importantly, this moment marks an opportunity to consolidate urgent actions for the future in a context of the triple planetary crisis of climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss. 

In his inaugural address, President said: “ICIMOD has been a vital force in promoting regional cooperation and sustainable development. The 40th anniversary is a moment to recognise its impact and renew our commitment to the shared vision for the HKH region.” He emphasised the continued collaboration needed to address the evolving challenges in the HKH region. 

The anniversary event featured a range of activities, including the release of a commemorative book highlighting four decades of ICIMOD’s contributions, launched by the president. During the event, the winners of the Dr Andreas Schild Memorial Mountain Prize were announced. The Mountain Prize sets out to amplify the voices of those on the front lines of the climate crisis in the HKH, recognising outstanding individuals and groups actively engaged in on-the-ground sustainable solutions. This year’s winners were Sathi Eco Innovation India Pvt Limited and Rupani Foundation Pakistan (RFP).

Reflecting on this milestone, Dr Pema Gyamtsho, Director General of ICIMOD, stated, “ICIMOD’s 40-year legacy is a testament to our resilience and the collaborative efforts of our partners. We’ve addressed diverse challenges, enabling sustainable development in the HKH. As we move forward, our ambition remains high, guided by the lessons of the past.” 

Also attending the event was Bhutan’s Advisor for Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock and Governor of the Royal Monetary Authority, Dasho Penjore, and high-level representatives from other member countries of ICIMOD–Bangladesh, China, India, , Nepal and Pakistan. Attendees also included ICIMOD’s Board and Support Group members from the region and beyond, as well as the diplomatic corps based in Kathmandu.  

Speakers at the event included prominent personalities from ICIMOD’s past, including Mr Peter Gueller, appointed Regent of ICIMOD in 1983, Dr Ruedi Hoeger, initial ICIMOD Chair from Switzerland, and Lyonpo Dr Kinzang Dorji, long-serving former Chairperson of ICIMOD’s Programme Advisory Committee and former Prime Minister of the Royal Government of Bhutan, Dr Shrestha, Vice Chairman of National Planning Commission and Board Member of Nepal and Chair of ICIMOD Support Group, and  Torun Dramdal, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway to Nepal. 

Following the signing of the Agreement at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris on 30 September 1981 by the Government of Nepal and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), ICIMOD was established and inaugurated in December 1983 with its headquarters in Nepal’s capital. As per the ICIMOD Act 2040 (1983), ICIMOD was mandated to carry out study, research and other necessary functions in order to develop the mountain area of Hindu Kush Himalayan regions in an integrated manner. 

ICIMOD reaffirmed its dedication and commitment to further strengthen its role in supporting its regional member countries to address the current and emerging challenges that the HKH region is facing from climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss as a neutral convenor and facilitator for sharing information, knowledge and sustainable policies and practices. 

The 40th-anniversary event served as a moment to celebrate past successes, present achievements, and chart a course for a more robust pathway towards a greener, more resilient and inclusive development of the HKH region.