Towards Resilient Cryosphere Services in the HKH

The cryosphere is often seen as a purely natural scientific research object or as a source of disasters although it also has huge, positive socioeconomic impacts in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH). The benefit that the cryosphere provides to human society has been termed cryosphere service. Although highly relevant to mountain people and downstream communities, cryosphere services is a relatively young research field. It integrates cryosphere monitoring and research with socioeconomic impacts and the cryosphere-related needs of different user groups. This globally growing field includes supply, accommodation, social culture, and living environment services, all relevant for the livelihoods and wellbeing of people in the region. 

Although there is a clear “demand” for the services of the cryosphere in the HKH, cryosphere services still remain largely unrecognized and ill-defined. Regional collaboration is fundamental for improving knowledge and understanding of the state of the cryosphere and its importance to society. Thus, there is urgent need to open a dialogue between scientists, users, and decision makers to achieve a deeper understanding of the role of cryosphere services and its resilience in order to meet the needs of the user groups and to ensure the sustainability of cryosphere services in the HKH.

Target audience
This event is targeted at scientists representing various relevant disciplines, user groups, decision makers, and representatives of governmental institutions relevant to cryosphere monitoring and services. 

Themes/questions to be discussed
  • Cryosphere Service in the HKH
    Comments from the users after the key note
  • From research to service
    What are the linkages between cryosphere research and monitoring, and socioeconomic and cultural science? How do we best respond to the needs of communities and improve dialogue with stakeholders?
  • Regional collaboration in cryosphere monitoring and services
    How can we strengthen regional collaboration? What is going well? Where is more collaboration required? 
  • From service to decision making
    How can cryosphere services be used to raise decision makers’ and public’s awareness of environmental protection and climate change in the HKH?
  • Towards resilience
    What is required for sustainable cryosphere services in the HKH? What is the way forward?
Expected contribution to the main conference
This satellite event is relevant for the themes of the main conference, especially the Climate change and disaster risk reduction and Water, food, energy security, and sustainable ecosystems.  Expected outcome is a concept note/recommendation how to strengthen the regional collaboration on resilient cryosphere services in the HKH. 

2.5-hour event 
  1. Key note on the concept of cryosphere services 
  2. Group discussion for cryosphere services with users and with representation from gender 
  3. Summary/recommendation formulation