At a glance

Initiative goal

HIMAP addresses the social, economic, and environmental pillars of sustainable mountain development and will serve as a basis for evidence- based decision-making to safeguard the environment and advance people’s well being.

Regional Programme

Mountain Knowledge and Action Networks


HKH Call to Action

Urgent steps are required to sustain mountain environments and improve livelihoods in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH).

The HKH is a vital regional lifeline, but human drivers and climate change pose grave and immediate threats to the region’s livelihoods, biodiversity, and ultimately sustainability. Changes on the rooftop of the world are having and will continue to have major consequences, not only for the region but globally. Local, national, regional, and global actions are urgently needed to sustain this global asset, focusing on substantially increased investments and more robust regional cooperation for sustaining mountain environments and improving livelihoods in the HKH and concerted action to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees by 2100.

The HKH Assessment and the resulting HKH Call to Action reflect five years of research, review, and analysis. The report was drafted in response to requests from governments in the region – meeting a demand for a comprehensive assessment of the region’s mountains, environments and livelihoods, and their status and their future. The HKH Call to Action has been developed as a roadmap based on the key findings of the HKH Assessment report and it articulates six urgent actions. To know the urgent actions in detail, follow the link below.

1. Cooperate at all levels across the HKH region for sustainable and mutual benefits
2. Recognize and prioritize the uniqueness of the HKH mountain people
3. Take concerted climate action at all levels to keep global warming to 1.5oC by 2100
4. Take accelerated actions to achieve the SDGs and 9 Mountain Priorities
5. Enhance ecosystem resilience; halt biodiversity loss and land degradation
6. Regional data and information sharing and science and knowledge cooperation

News and Features

Around the HKH

Events Around the HKH

Our involvement

Background and Rationale

ICIMOD has been coordinating the Comprehensive Assessment of the HKH Region, conducted as a part of the larger HIMAP programme. In September 2013, a ‘Framing Workshop’ was held in Kathmandu, where it was decided to produce an assessment report on the Hindu Kush Himalaya. It was aimed at a comprehensive assessment of the current state of knowledge of the HKH region, increase understanding of various drivers of change and their impacts, address critical data gaps and lead to a set of practically oriented policy recommendations. The assessment process involved a broad and diverse group of researchers, practitioners and policy makers, and was published in 2019. Our thinking has since evolved from a “one-off” assessment to more of an ongoing process, with the 2019 publication being the first of a series of assessments that we hope can happen every few years.


HKH First Assessment

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Key Questions

The Assessment considers many critical questions which are defined by chapter groups and working groups, including the following:

  • How is the HKH a global asset?
  • What are the risks of pursuing a status quo/inaction approach?
  • What kinds of land use changes are taking place in the HKH?
  • What are the different energy scenarios for the countries of the HKH and what are the implications on ecosystems, water availability, and air pollution?
  • What do the following 4 scenarios look like in the HKH? (1)  An eco or green scenario (2) an industrial or business scenario (3) A business as usual scenario; and (4) a sustainable development scenario
  • How will climate change impact glacier cover in the region?
  • What are the climate change adaptation strategies being employed?
  • What can we learn from traditional communities and indigenous knowledge in terms of sustainable mountain development?

For mountains and people

We have a deep history of work across a broad range of issues enabling sustainable development in the complex environment of the HKH. We have been protecting the pulse for over three decades.



Permafrost is frozen ground that remains at or below 0° Celsius for two or more years. In high-altitude regions, permafrost can underlie much of the landscape.

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Gender refers to the socially constructed roles held by women and men in a specific society, including their responsibilities, behaviours, and attitudes towards each other.

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HIMAP in the media

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HIMAP Publications

You will find publications produced or related to this Initiative in our publications repository – the HimalDoc. These information materials covers journal articles, books, book chapters, research reports, working papers, brochures, information sheets, publicity materials including posters, and others.

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Meet the team

Both internally and externally, our multicultural staff and partners are our greatest asset. They provide us with a broad perspective across disciplines, and offer us localized knowledge like no other.


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