The UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) have recently signed the memorandum of understanding (MOU) for joint collaboration. Executive Secretary of UNCDF, Ms. Judith Karl, and Director General of ICIMOD, Dr. David James Molden, signed the MOU on July 14, 2016 in Kathmandu, Nepal.
ICIMOD is a regional intergovernmental learning and knowledge sharing center serving eight regional member countries- Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan - and based in Kathmandu, Nepal. Globalization and climate change have an increasing influence on the stability of fragile mountain ecosystems and the livelihoods of mountain people. ICIMOD aims to assist mountain people to understand these changes, adapt to them and make the most of new opportunities, while addressing upstream-downstream issues.
The purpose of the MOU between ICIMOD and UNCDF is to provide a framework of cooperation and facilitate and strengthen collaboration between the parties, on a non-exclusive basis, in areas of common interest. The MOU would help to establish a working relationship of mutual collaboration between the two organizations, for a long-term collaboration on mutual areas of interests of both organizations through a partnership principle based on synergy, equity, mutual trust and transparency.
The MOU proposes the utilisation of the existing competencies of both organizations to jointly upscale existing initiatives and explore future collaboration and funding for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The MOU proposes the utilisation of the existing competencies of both organizations to jointly upscale existing initiatives and explore future collaboration and funding for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly: 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 15, 16 and 17 in its targeted countries in Asia.
ICIMOD and UNCDF will cooperate to explore possible synergies, and collaboration in their existing programmes/projects in their operating countries in Asia. The parties have agreed the following preliminary and overarching themes for this MOU which are outlined below:
Enterprise development: Enterprise development at meso or local levels with sustainable financial services, strengthening value chains including business incubation and challenge fund mechanism for agriculture, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), women's economic empowerment and marginalized groups.
Private sector engagements: Joint private sector engagement activities will be explored where sustainable financial institutions and financial services would be linked to mountain communities.
Remittances: Productive use of remittances will be explored to link digital financial services to remittance for enterprise development and women's economic participation in the mountain regions.
Clean energy: Joint initiatives to be explored to support the increase of access to clean energy and financial mechanism for productive use of energy in the mountain regions.
Mountain economic development: Creating enabling environments will be explored for location-specific interventions in areas of climate resilience, food security and resource management through exploring available geo-spatial maps developed by ICIMOD for local area governance and digital finance programme, and better targeting based on multi-dimensional poverty and vulnerability assessment.
Knowledge sharing and joint products: Knowledge sharing and the development of joint products on areas of mutual interest will be undertaken particularly for data on financial inclusion, climate resilience and other relevant topics.
Explore joint funding: The parties may choose to explore joint funding where appropriate based on the above areas of cooperation.