Scientists Push Forward on Third Pole Collaboration

29 Oct 2010



Scientists from across the Himalayan region and beyond agreed to continue international collaboration to increase understanding of the environment of the Third Pole region at a workshop which concluded in Kathmandu yesterday. Collaboration includes efforts to establish flagship monitoring stations, developing an accessible platform for sharing data, and launching transboundary scientific expeditions.

The 90 scientists, researchers, and government officials, from 14 countries, were attending the ‘2nd Third Pole Environment (TPE) Workshop’ held from 26 to 28 October at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) in Kathmandu, Nepal. The three-day workshop was a continuation of the 1st TPE workshop held in August 2009 in Beijing and Lhasa in China. The workshop focused on the regional challenges of a changing environment in the ecologically fragile mountain system of the Third Pole region. 

Participants provided an overview of scientific activities over the past year in the Third Pole region, which extends across the mountains of the Hindu Kush-Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau and beyond, summarised the major scientific achievements, explored scientific challenges and new scientific frontiers, proposed further plans for implementation, and shared and updated ongoing tasks. The scientists focused on the six key science questions for understanding the environmental and ecological changes that have occurred on different time scales in the past, as defined during the 1st TPE workshop. These are: the characteristics of water and energy cycles and their main components; ecosystem changes under global warming, especially at high elevations; status of glaciers in the Third Pole region; effect of glacial retreat and mass balance changes upon the water and energy cycle and their environmental impact; impact of anthropogenic output (including the impact of black carbon on the cryosphere of the Himalayan/Tibetan region); and the most appropriate way to adapt to current environmental changes in the region.
The workshop was organised by The Third Pole Environment Programme (TPE) in collaboration with the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD); the Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research (ITP) Chinese Academy of Sciences; the Central Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (CDHM), Tribhuvan University; the Himalayan Cryosphere, Climate and Disaster Research Centre (HiCCDRC), Kathmandu University; the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST), Nepal; and the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology, Government of Nepal. 

For more information contact:

Mr Pradeep Kumar Mool
Integrated Water & Hazard Management (IWHM)

Ms Nira Gurung
Communications Officer