ICIMOD Supports International Conference on Mountain and Climate Change

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Conference delegates during the inaugural session

The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) through its Cryosphere Initiative co-organised the International Conference on Mountain and Climate Change: Resources, Challenges and Opportunities for Better Life and Livelihoods held in Karakoram International University (KIU), Gilgit, 17-19 September 2015.

The conference promoted dialogue on mountain ecosystems with greater emphasis on climate change, freshwater resources and livelihoods including sustainable mountain agriculture. The conference’s aim was to bring together relevant stakeholders who will implement forum goals through their respective fields of work.

ICIMOD experts presented their research during the conference: Dorothea Stumm, senior glaciologist, presented Cryosphere Monitoring in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) Region for Permafrost and Glacier Monitoring, Migration; Giovanna Gioli, livelihoods adaptation specialist, presented Adaptive Capacity and Environmental Change: Evidence from the Upper Indus Basin; and Muhammad Ismail, associate coordinator Karakoram-Pamir Landscape Initiative, Distribution of Yak Outside of China in the HKH Region.

ICIMOD’s Programme Coordinator for Cryosphere Initiative, Pradeep Mool, chaired a session on climate change adaptation and mitigation said the conference was successful in informing the delegates about the impact of climate change on glacier and permafrost and the subsequent impact to the communities downstream.

‘Most presenters recommended to carry out more study in Gilgit-Baltistan for the base line data and link research policy and livelihood, as the region is considered important for snow, glacier and water resources in Pakistan’, Mool said.

ICIMOD delegation with other members

Mool also gave a lecture during the plenary session on cryosphere monitoring and assessment in the Hindu Kush Himalayas and highlighted ICIMOD’s role in the region.

Acknowledging climate change as a threat to global environment, particularly to the HKH region, delegates resolved that the conference recommendations should be taken to the 2015 Paris Climate Conference.

More than 250 national and international delegates including policy makers, scientist and researchers attended the conference which was formally inaugurated by Chief Minister Hafiz Hafeez ur Rehman, Gilgit-Baltistan.

The conference was organised by KIU and supported by Agra Khan Rural Support Programme, Environmental Protection Agency of Gilgit-Baltistan, Ev-K2-CNR, Forests, and Wildlife & Environmental Department of the Government of Gilgit-Baltistan, Mountain Agriculture Research Centre (MARC) of Pakistan Agriculture Research Council, NORHED-SUNREM Project and WWF-Pakistan, and ICIMOD. In conjunction with the conference, ICIMOD also organised a two day workshop on permafrost and glaciers 15 – 16 September 2015.