ICIMOD - Contribution to the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development

ICIMOD is a regional intergovernmental knowledge and learning center serving its eight member countries in the Hindu Kush Himalayan Region. SDC support towards strengthening ICIMOD’s role as an enabler of regional cooperation and informed policy dialogue will benefit mountain communities through green, climate resilient and inclusive development, while profiting from Swiss thematic expertise.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Climate change and environment
Environmental policy
Disaster risk reduction DRR
Water sector policy
01.12.2022 - 31.12.2026
CHF  5’000’000
Background With its vast reserves of snow and ice, the Hindu Kush Himalayan Region (HKH) is the source of ten large Asian river systems that provide water and ecosystem services to more than 210 million people and supply water downstream to nearly 2 billion people. The HKH region has experienced significant changes in the past ten years, threatening the indispensable goods and services the HKH provides to high- and lowlands: rapid population growth, economic and infrastructure development, urbanization. But most prominently, the HKH region has gained worldwide attention as hotspot of climate change, and its recent worsening impacts are already having serious consequences for people and ecosystems. There is, however, a significant gap in the understanding of these processes that limit capacities to inform action and decisions. Moreover, the 8 member countries ICIMOD serves - Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan – expressed the need for strengthened cooperation at all levels across the region. ICIMOD is well-positioned to support the region overcome these challenges.
Objectives The overall objective for SDC in the partnership with ICIMOD is to contribute to a greener, more inclusive and climate resilient Hindu Kush Himalaya (ICIMODs vision statement) in order to improve livelihoods and climate resilience of vulnerable mountain communities. The main and common focus of SDC’s core and core programme support is to strengthen ICIMOD as a knowledge, innovation and scaling hub that provides robust evidence and advice on policy responses, and as an enabler of regional cooperation and collaboration on the technical and policy level.
Target groups ICIMOD’s work targets, and therefore is relevant for mountain communities, development workers, environment and natural resource managers, researchers and students, the private sector as well as for local, national and regional policy makers and planners.
Medium-term outcomes

-    Policy responses and practice solutions are widely adopted and supported by largescale investments.

-    The HKH mountain agenda is recognised in global policy forums, attracting more investment for the region.

-    Regional cooperation and collaboration leads to critical policy decisions including HKH Council and regional protocols.

-    ICIMOD is an agile, efficient, responsive, inclusive and transparent organization that delivers sustainable outcomes for the benefit of mountain communities.


Expected results:  

-    Relevant regional member country institutions, private sector and other partners integrate multi-hazard risk assessment into their DRR policies, approaches and guidelines in the context of climate change and biodiversity loss.  Key polluting and GHG producing sectors in the region accelerate sustainable investments based on high quality evidence and knowledge.  High level mechanism for regional cooperation operates effectively around green, inclusive and resilient development in the HKH.

-    ICIMOD’s transformed institution provides
i) a focused, transparent and effective strategic planning, monitoring, evaluation and learning system (SPMEL)
ii) knowledge products of high quality and relevance
iii) effective and efficient management of projects
iv) a modernized human resource management approach that attracts and retains talent from across and outside the region, including women and others from marginalized groups.

Results from previous phases:   SDC has been supporting ICIMOD since its inception in 1983. In the course of this period ICIMOD has become increasingly a leading institution in sustainable mountain development at the regional and global level. In the previous phase, ICIMOD published the Hindu Kush Himalaya Assessment report, a comprehensive IPCC style assessment of the region. Based on its findings, ICIMOD has launched the HKH Call to Action, supported by a ministerial declaration signed by all member countries to commit to regional cooperation. A comprehensive strategic and operational review in 2021 recommended, among others, to strengthen approaches for regional cooperation and policy dialogue, increase focus on the role of ICIMOD as knowledge broker, and mainstream gender and social inclusion in programmes. These findings informed ICIMOD’s new strategy that was well received by the regional member countries and donors and have been fully integrated in the Medium-Term Action Plan 2023-26.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Project partners Contract partner
Other International Organization
  • International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development

Other partners
Coordination with other projects and actors

SDC projects:

-    Strengthening Climate Change Adaptation in Himalayas

-    Adaptation at Altitude

-    Cryosperic Monitoring for Improved Adaptation in Central Asia

-    Clean Air India, Climate and Clean Air Coalition

-    High Andean Mountain Ecosystems

International Frameworks: UNFCCC, IPCC, Sendai Framework, GFDRR, CREWS.

Other funders: FCDO, SIDA, NORAD, AdA, USAID, DFAT GIZ/BMZ, regional member countries.

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    5’000’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    2’150’000
Project phases Phase 2 01.12.2022 - 31.12.2026   (Current phase) Phase 1 01.12.2017 - 31.12.2022   (Completed)