Human – Dimensions of Sustainable Development

Ecological conservation will remain a never ending battle if humans are not included in the conservation equation. The threat to biodiversity conservation cannot be mitigated by keeping humans and their developmental needs out of the forests or national parks. Humans belong to the animal kingdom and are a very important part of nature.

A wining day for achieving sustainable development goals will be when humans accept the fact that we must co-exist with nature to exist on this planet. This is especially relevant for those of us living in the HKH region, where people depend on nature for food, shelter, spirituality, and economic development. Here there is no life without nature. Life in these mountains is a based on a fundamental principle of interdependence and mutual respect between nature and humans, one of give and take. The quality of this interdependence dictates the strength of ecological and social resilience which are critical for adaptation to changing natural resources especially in the wake of global climate. For these predominantly agrarian communities conserving biodiversity is the only viable chance to sustain their resilience and secure basic necessities including to secure food, water, energy, and spirituality.

We believe, that there is a strong need to deepen our understanding of human-nature interdependence. Such knowledge could be a gold mine for solutions to setting off ecologically sensitive, socially acceptable, and economically viable development interventions.


  • Human-Nature Interdependence: solutions for harmonious co-existence
  • Food, Water, and Energy Security
  • Biodiversity conservation in mountain ecosystems to secure water, energy, and livelihoods
  • Spirituality and nature conservation
  • Gender
  • Poverty
  • Governance and policy