Himalayan Climate Change Adaptation Programme (HICAP)

The Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region is highly dynamic, with many socioeconomic and environmental drivers of change at play, including climate change. The impacts of these changes challenge the resilience of natural and human capacities and the environment. The increased incidence of extreme weather events and magnitude of associated natural disasters, believed to be related to climate change, are exacting high economic and social costs. The Himalayan region and the downstream areas that depend on its water supply and ecosystem services, including the Indo-Gangetic plain – ‘the grain basket of South Asia’ – are particularly vulnerable to these changes.

HICAP is a pioneering collaboration among three organizations – CICERO, ICIMOD, and GRID-Arendal – aimed at contributing to enhanced resilience of mountain communities, particularly women, through improved understanding of vulnerabilities, opportunities, and potentials for adaptation. Women in the region have important responsibilities as stewards of natural and household resources and are therefore well positioned to contribute to adaptation strategies; but they are more vulnerable than men to climate change as they face more social, economic, and political barriers limiting their coping capacity. 

HICAP will generate knowledge of climate change impacts on natural resources, ecosystem services, and the communities depending on them, contributing to policy and practice for enhanced adaptation. 

The programme is organized around seven interlinked components:  

HICAP has the following aims:

  • to increase understanding of uncertainties influencing climate change scenarios and water availability and demand projections for parts of major river basins,and to encourage use of the knowledge thus created;
  • to enhance capacities to assess, monitor, communicate, prepare for, and undertake actions to respond to challenges and opportunities from impacts 
    of climate change and other drivers of change;
  • to make concrete and actionable proposals on strategies and policies (with particular reference to women and the poor) for uptake by stakeholders, including policy makers.


September 2011 – December 2017

Geographical coverage

Five sub-basins of major Himalayan river systems: two sub-basins of the Brahmaputra and one each of the Indus, Ganges, and Salween-Mekong

Nand Kishor Agrawal, ICIMOD
Björn Alfthan, GRID-Arendal
Bob van Oort, CICERO