The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) signed an Agreement with the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) for renewing their partnership for sustainable mountain development in the Hindu Kush-Himalayas. The Agreement was signed by Dr. J. Gabriel Campbell, Director General of ICIMOD and Ms. Ase Seim, Charge d’Affaires of the Norwegian Embassy on behalf of NORAD. As per the Agreement, NORAD will provide financial assistance of Norwegian Kroner 17.5 million (approximately USD 2.5 million) towards the execution of ICIMOD’s Medium Term Action Plan during a period of five years from 2003 to 2007.
ICIMOD will implement its Strategic Plan ‘Partnerships in Sustainable Mountain Development – Securing the Future of the Hindu Kush-Himalayas from 2003 – 2007’ through six integrated programmes focusing on natural resource management, agricultural and rural income diversification; water, hazards, and environmental management; culture, equity, gender, and governance; policy and partnership development; and information and knowledge management. These programmes have been developed based on extensive consultation with over 300 partners in each of the participating countries of the Hindu Kush-Himalayan Region in which ICIMOD works: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan. This region is home to all 14 of the 8,000 metre peaks in the world, but also for over 150 million of the world’s poorest peoples.
NORAD first entered into a partnership with ICIMOD in 1993 focussing initially on micro hydro and mountain tourism. Based on the success of these programmes, NORAD broadened its support to ICIMOD’s core regional collaborative programmes. Together with its partners ICIMOD’s new strategy focuses on promoting opportunities for community resource management, mountain niche products, vulnerability reduction, gender mainstreaming and social inclusion. ICIMOD works as a mountain learning and knowledge centre to share development solutions, promoting mountain policies and facilitating regional cooperation. ICIMOD was established 20 years ago as an international centre by its eight member countries and is located in Nepal by an Act of the Nepalese Parliament.