Some technologies have been specifically developed to support the development of fragile mountain areas and improve the lives of mountain people. They can be categorised broadly into three groups: water conservation and management, soil conservation, and renewable energy. In partnership with other regional and national organisations, ICIMOD has identified many technologies that are beneficial for mountain farmers. Technologies for water conservation and management include low cost conservation ponds, drip irrigation, sprinkler irrigation, roof water harvesting, underground cisterns, and spring restoration. Those for soil conservation and soil fertility management include black plastic composting, vermicomposting, and planting contour hedgerows with nitrogen-fixing plants. Renewable energy technologies include biogas plants and solar-based technologies for sustainable energy management. combine these approaches, for example the system of rice intensification (SRI) which addresses issues of water management and crop productivity. All of these have led to considerable improvements in water and land productivity, have enhanced the livelihoods of mountain farmers, and reduced workloads, especially for women.
ICIMOD is promoting sustainable land management (SLM) in the Hindu Kush-Himalaya region by testing, identifying, generating, and disseminating information about appropriate mountain-specific, pro resource,-pro poor technologies and approaches. SLM is important for ensuring the long-term productive potential of the existing natural resources, the maintenance of environmental functions, and adaptation to climate change. The Centre is also addressing global and regional challenges related to climate change by identifying new and traditional technologies that are tolerant to climate change, through participatory action research. ICIMOD strategic programmes adopt a wider perspective while testing and promoting a technology or practice. The criteria for evaluating technologies and practices include agro-ecological, social (including gender), economic and climatic specifications. The methodologies and tools developed by the World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies (WOCAT; www.wocat.org) are being used for evaluating and documenting SLM technologies and approaches.