While most of the people of the Hindu Kush Himalayas rely on subsistence agriculture and natural resources for their livelihoods, traditional agriculture alone can’t meet all their needs. On the one hand, high mountains are regions of great diversity – biological, climate, topographic and cultural – which gives them a comparative advantage for niche products and services. But they’re also remote, with poor transportation and little development of the methods used to collect, process and market products. Those challenges keep mountain people, particularly women and other marginalized groups, from benefitting from their potential resources.
ICIMOD works to increase options and adapt mountain livelihoods to climate and socioeconomic change in a number of ways, including developing and piloting innovative ideas and supporting the upscaling of good practices. Efforts also aim to develop and promote pro-poor and gender-responsive options and strategies for livelihood diversification; develop ways to unleash the potential of local products and services; and build the capacity of stakeholders to adopt, adapt and upscale.