HIMALAYAK, a project in High Asia´s animal fibre sovereignty
HIMALAYAK is a two-phases project elaborated with the conclusions of the report “Following the thread of Yak” , by the same author, and submitted to IFAD in 2019. The project aims to contribute increasing the welfare of traditional pastoral and agro-pastoral communities living in High Asia by community-managed economic initiatives and it is designed to develop yak-fibre derived products in accordance to their eco-friendly traditional practices.
Himalayak is an innovative project derived from the High Asia concept, although applied at a sub-regional scale, specifically on the Himalaya area. The project focuses in a yak-derived product whose industry is clearly underdeveloped in this region in comparison to other yak-keeping areas, namely Tibet and Western Mongolia. It proposes the establishment of a common brand of high-quality and diversified goods composed totally or partly of yak fibre to become a well-respected business with international projection and the particularity of creating products completely designed and manufactured through a supply/value chain controlled by yak-keeping communities and their urban-based descendants and relatives.
The project implementation areas includes high-mountain zones of Nepal, in a first phase, besides Bhutan and India in the second phase. These three countries share great socio-cultural similarities and unique environmental conditions in their mountain areas, justified by the Himalaya Biodiversity Hotspot (HBH), and also keep good political relations with each other. Additionally, Nepal maintains good relations with China, for a neccesary extra supply of yak wool, and contains the largest and highest section of the Himalayan range hosting a significant yak population. Consequently, it provides the ideal location for establishing the Himalayak Central Hub or HCH, which will operate as the headquarters of the project since its beginning until its completion.
The HIMALAYAK project has been proposed as a practical conclusion of the report "Following the thread of yak", submitted to IFAD in 2019.