Humla is second largest district (area 6134 km2) situated at north-western part of Nepal. In all indicators of poverty and food insecurity, Humla is far behind the average district of Nepal. Harsh environmental conditions and remote geographical locations have exacerbated living conditions of the people in Humla. On the other hand, Humla scores relatively high, i.e., 56th of the 75 districts in the natural resources endowment index. However, the continued exploitation of the natural resources with the increasing population have already shown the signs of environment degradation making people difficult to sustain their living as well as put some species of plants and animals in endangered list. Likewise, in many of the other indicators, the district falls below 70th among 75 districts.
Therefore, Development Fund Norway in joint collaboration with Nepal Institute of Development Studies (NIDS) initiated a programme named "Humla Development Initiative (HDI)" in 2005 with the main goal of enhancing food security and sustainable development of Humla. HDI aims to improve the livelihood of Humli people by empowering them in sustainable farming, community biodiversity management, promotion of appropriate technology and renewable energy, and through increasing options for income generation. NIDS phased out its operation in Humla and handed over its programme, materials and staff to Simikot based local NGO named Self Help Initiative Promotion Centre Nepal (SHIP-Nepal) effective from 1 July 2011.
In 2008, Local Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research and Development (LIBIRD) joined HDI to complement the programme with its community based biodiversity (CBM) programme which was also funded by Development Fund Norway. At present, LIBIRD is implementing HDI in Simikot, Chhipra, Saya and Gothi VDCs in southeastern belt of Humla while SHIP Nepal is implementing HDI in Dandafaya, Syanda, Khagalgaun and Muchu in western belt of Humla.