High Asia Centre of Excellence (HACE)
The High Asia Centre of Excellence (HACE) is a long matured project designed to contribute to an adequate economic, environmental and cultural management of the High Asia region from the side of the indigenous communities, so being a practical application to achieve a more balanced development in those marginal and marginalized high-altitude areas of Central and South Asia by acting from the heart of these territories.
HACE Project has been created in response to the call made by 191 States in Río de Janeiro: "We invite States to strengthen cooperative action with effective involvement and sharing of experience of all relevant stakeholders, by strengthening existing arrangements, agreements and Centres of Excellence for sustainable mountain development, as well as exploring new arrangements and agreements, as appropriate" (“The Future We Want”, Río+20, United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, UNCSD 2012).
The HACE project is a derived product from the World Yak Herders Association project (WYHA), whose first phase "Community Dialogues in High Asia" was recently implemented by YURTA Association with a funding from FAO (Sept. 2016 – Dec. 2017). It comes as a logical consequence of the WYHA project ́s main outcomes, offered in response to the more urgent demands from the indigenous communities during the implementation time of the community dialogue in the High Asia region.
HACE has been initially designed as a Centre of Excellence to be mainly managed by rural indigenous communities. It uses a multi-disciplinary and multi-participatory approach to be applied in some emblematic high-altitude areas, operating in four directions (working areas), and therefore divided in four specific departments:
- Agro-pastoralism, operated by the World Yak Herders Association (WYHA), for innovative initiatives on yak herding (sustainable practices)
- Education, operated by the High Asia University (HAU), for a multi-level adapted education
- Environment, operated by the High Asia Interpretation Centre (HAIC), for eco-cultural dissemination and environmental education
- Rural Employment, operated by the Office of Initiatives on Sustainable Rural Employment (OISRE), for initiatives on community-based tourism, cultural Promotion, and innovations in sustainable employment.