The Cryosphere Initiative at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), along with its partners, focuses on understanding the importance of the cryosphere for downstream communities in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH). It aims to share data and knowledge co-produced in the region through its Regional Cryosphere Knowledge Hub.
To develop and implement sustainable cryosphere monitoring in the region, the initiative and its implementing partners in Nepal and Bhutan have established a Cryosphere Monitoring Programme (CMP) to assess cryosphere water resources, cryosphere-related disaster risks, and scenarios for future water availability.
One major cryosphere service is the cryosphere’s role as a climate indicator. “Changing glaciers are very visible indicators of climate change” said Miriam Jackson, the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE). “We cannot directly see how carbon dioxide has increased, or how the temperature has been increasing but we can see what is happening to a glacier” she said.
Assessment and monitoring of land cover dynamics are essential for the sustainable management of natural resources, environmental protection, biodiversity conservation, and developing sustainable livelihoods, particularly for the rural communities in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan region