The Himalayan University Consortium (HUC) Steering Group met at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) headquarters in Kathmandu, Nepal, on 13 March 2017 to discuss HUC's progress till date, its planned activities for 2017-2018, and its strategy during the fourth Medium Term Action Plan (2018-2022) of ICIMOD.
Welcoming the Steering Group members and other participants, Dr David Molden, Director General of ICIMOD, remarked, "HUC is growing steadily. It has good funding and activities in place, and this is an opportune time to strategize for the realization of its vision."
During the one-day meeting, the Steering Group members discussed a range of agenda items such as new membership applications, several proposed amendments to the HUC Charter, the progress of the HUC Secretariat, and the status of and challenges related to managing seed, conference and mobility exchange grants. The Steering Group members discussed the upcoming International Conference and Annual Meeting proposed for October. The group went over the procedures to award and administer the ICIMOD Mountain Chair title and HUC's fund raising strategies.
The second half of the meeting was devoted to an inception of the HUC Grant by The World Bank under its South Asia Water Initiative (SAWI). Apart from discussing the seed and seedling grants and activities to broaden and strengthen HUC network, a detailed proposal for the first HUC Academy on Disaster Risk Reduction and Water Management was also discussed. The HUC online portal, plans for linking HUC libraries through ICIMOD's Himaldoc platform and the HUC information kit were also discussed.
Dr Eklabya Sharma, Deputy Director General of ICIMOD, outlined the major decisions arrived at the end of the daylong deliberations, some of which are as follows:
- - Form a small task force to come up with a position paper on HUC membership issues;
- - Circulate a Call for Application for the ICIMOD Mountain Chair among HUC full members; and
- - Strengthen the HUC Secretariat in administering seed and seedling grants, exchange/mobility/conference grants, and other training activities within the framework of the World Bank SAWI grant.
In conclusion, Dr Sharma thanked the fellow Steering Group members for contributing to a highly productive meeting. He commended on the overall progress and momentum HUC has gained and the synergy between HUC members, the Secretariat, and the Steering Group members. He urged all to keep up the momentum and the good work.