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).
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 local associations of yak herders (sustainable practices) and other agro-pastoralits
- Education, operated by local versions of 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, for initiatives related to community-based tourism, cultural promotion, and innovations in sustainable employment.
Selected locations to establish HACE