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Hindu Kush Himalayas

  • 09 Feb 2024
  • 4 min read

Source: DTE

Why in News?

The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) has issued a warning, calling for "bold action" and "urgent finance" to prevent the collapse of nature in High Mountain Asia.

What is the Hindu Kush Himalaya?

  • About: Stretching over 3500 kilometres and across eight countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Nepal, Myanmar and Pakistan, HKH is one of the largest volumes of ice and snow outside of the Arctic and Antarctica.
    • 4 of the world’s 36 global biodiversity hotspots are in this region.
      • Himalaya, Indo-Burma, Mountains of Southwest China, and Mountains of Central Asia
  • Water Tower of Asia: It is called the ‘Water Tower of Asia’. At least 12 rivers fan out in every direction across the Asian continent from HKH:
    • The Indus, Ganga and Brahmaputra towards the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal
    • Syr Darya and Amu Darya towards the now-dead Aral Sea
    • The Tarim toward the Taklamakan
    • The Yellow river towards the Gulf of Bohai
    • The Yangtze towards the East China Sea
    • The Mekong towards the South China Sea
    • The Chindwin, Salween and Irrawaddy towards the Andaman Sea
  • Concern:
    • Escalating Climate Threat: The rate of warming in the HKH region is estimated to be nearly double the average rate observed across the Northern Hemisphere.
    • Ecosystem Degradation: Reports indicate that 70- 80% of the region's original habitat has already been lost, and that loss may increase to 80–87% by 2100.
    • Human Vulnerability: Approximately 241 million individuals reside in the HKH region, with a significant portion facing food insecurity and malnutrition.


High Mountain Asia comprises mountain ranges such as the Tian Shan, Kunlun Shan, Pamir, Karakoram, Hindu Kush, Tibetan Plateau and the Himalayas.

What is the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development?

  • About: ICIMOD is a regional intergovernmental organisation established in 1983 and working towards a greener, more inclusive, and climate resilient Hindu Kush Himalaya.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Questions (PYQ)


Q. When you travel in Himalayas, you will see the following: (2012)

  1. Deep gorges
  2. U-turn river courses
  3. Parallel mountain ranges
  4. Steep gradients causing land sliding

Which of the above can be said to be the evidence for Himalayas being young fold mountains?

(a) 1 and 2 only 
(b) 1, 2 and 4 only 
(c) 3 and 4 only 
(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

Ans: (d)


Q.1 Briefly mention the alignment of major mountain ranges of the world and explain their impact on local weather conditions, with examples. (2021)

Q.2 How will the melting of Himalayan glaciers have a far-reaching impact on the water resources of India? (2020)

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