Partners’ Workshop for the Himalayan Climate Change Adaptation Programme

Teams from the Himalayan Climate Change Adaptation Programme (HICAP) – a pioneering collaboration between Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research-Oslo (CICERO), ICIMOD, and UNEP/GRID-Arendal supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs aimed at contributing to enhanced resilience of mountain communities in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region – met with operational partners in Kathmandu, Nepal, 14–15 August 2012 to review progress and plan activities for 2013. This multi-faceted research and policy-oriented programme integrates seven components: climate change scenarios, water availability and demand scenarios, ecosystem services, food security, vulnerability and adaptation, women in adaptation, and communications and outreach. An important aspect of the programme is gender integration in all components, as women often bear a disproportionate burden from climatic and other changes and are on the frontline of adaptation. 

The programme focuses on four river sub-basins in China, Nepal, India, and Pakistan: the Upper Brahmaputra, eastern Brahmaputra, Koshi, and Upper Indus. The operational work in the countries is carried out by over 10 national partner organizations and institutions. The workshop offered a rare opportunity for the partners to meet face to face and share progress and challenges. 

The partners’ workshop was followed by a two-day team building and planning workshop among the three promoting partners, CICERO, ICIMOD, and UNEP/GRID-Arendal – an invaluable exercise in a programme of this complexity. The team planned the activities, deliverables, and targets that will be required from each component in the coming year to meet the programme’s expected outcomes by 2015. Much energy was devoted to planning cross-cutting work among the programme’s components – as integration is vital to the programme’s success. Cross-component initiatives for joint implementation in the next one to two years will include studies on the water-ecosystem-food-energy nexus, rapid photographic and ‘life story’ assessments examining gender, food security, and adaptation through multiple lenses, and place-based case studies on farming systems complemented by ethnographic research. Studies on disaster risk reduction and on migration and remittances are also planned to follow up on the Vulnerability and Adaptive Capacity Assessment surveys conducted in the project’s four target sub-basins.