President Ram Chandra Paudel emphasised that nations affected by climate change, including Nepal, should stand to benefit significantly from financial and technical assistance aimed at mitigating its impact.
Speaking at the 40th anniversary ceremony of International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) today at Lalitpur, he underscored that the repercussions of climate change, environmental degradation, and biodiversity loss extend beyond national borders, affecting the entire global community. “The current global crisis arising from human-induced climate change, biodiversity loss, and environmental pollution,” he said, highlighting the heightened impact of climate change in mountainous regions like the Hindu Kush Himalayas, attributing it to the sensitive terrain and socio-economic vulnerabilities.
Despite Nepal’s negligible contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, the President pointed out the disproportionate impact of climate change on the country. He also recalled urging global attention to this issue during the visit of the United Nations Secretary-General, stressing the urgency of addressing climate change impacts on nations with minimal carbon emissions.
“Minimizing the effects of climate change to improve the lives of people in this region is a significant challenge,” he said, “Events such as the melting snow, glacier bursts, mountain landslides, and floods in the south due to climate change inflict severe damage on the economy, environmental systems, and humanity.”
highlighting Nepal’s commitment to collaborating with neighbouring countries and international partners on climate change, environmental protection, disaster risk reduction, biodiversity conservation, and livelihood issues he reiterated ongoing support for the institutional development of ICIMOD and sustainable development in the entire Hindu Kush mountain region.
The President also suggested that ICIMOD should actively engage with the nearly two billion people in its influence area and coastal countries, encouraging collaboration to enhance environmental services from the Hindu Kush Himalayan region.
The ICIMOD marks four decades of catalysing sustainable development in the complex terrain of the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region.
Under the theme ‘Moving Mountains 2030’, the 40th anniversary 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, a press note issued by the ICIMOD reads. “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.”
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 Right Honourable Mr Ramchandra Paudel, and the inauguration of a new annex building.
During the event, the winners of the Dr Andreas Schild Memorial Mountain Prize were also 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, the press note reads. “This year’s winners were Sathi Eco Innovation India Pvt Limited and Rupani Foundation Pakistan (RFP).”
Reflecting on this milestone, Director General of ICIMOD Dr Pema Gyamtsho, said, “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 appointed Regent of ICIMOD in 1983 Peter Gueller, initial ICIMOD chair from Switzerland Dr Ruedi Hoeger and long-serving former chairperson of ICIMOD’s Programme Advisory Committee and former Prime Minister of the Royal Government of Bhutan Lyonpo Dr Kinzang Dorji, vice chair of National Planning Commission (NPC) and Board Member of Nepal and Chair of ICIMOD Support Group Dr Min Bahadur Shrestha, and ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway to Nepal Torun Dramdal.
ICIMOD, on the occasion, expressed gratitude to its partners and supporters, acknowledging the integral role they’ve played in working towards the organisation’s mission.
Following the signing of the agreement at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris on 30 September 1981 by Nepal government 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.

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