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International Conference on Mountain People Adapting to Change


Adaptation to Change


Kathmandu, Nepal

Date & Time

09 November 2014 to 12 November 2014

Nand Kishore Agrawal, , Jemima Dekki Sherpa, and & Krisha Shrestha

Co-organized by



Conference Vision

As the source of ten of Asia’s major river systems, the Hindu Kush Himalayas provide water, ecosystem services, and livelihoods to more than 210 million people. The region is also a source of water for more than 1.3 billion people – a fifth of the world’s population – living in downstream river basins. Climate change and other changes have already begun to impact ecosystems and communities across the region, as well as those downstream. Traditional adaptation techniques, which have supported people in mountain areas for centuries, are no longer able to keep up with the rapid pace of change.

To effectively support communities in adapting to change, solutions must be developed that look beyond political, sectoral, and national boundaries. It also requires in-depth knowledge of both local conditions and broader global climate change trends. Although new reports, such as ‘Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability’ recently released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), have provided fresh insight, there are still gaps in our knowledge about how climate change is and will affect the Hindu Kush Himalayan region.

The Mountain People Adapting to Change Conference aims to fill some of these knowledge gaps by bringing together over 200 experts and stakeholders from around the globe, including government representatives and high-level dignitaries from the Hindu Kush Himalayas, for discussion and debate on the status of adaptation. The Conference will approach climate change adaptation in the Hindu Kush Himalayas from a holistic perspective, seen in the context of other change processes and in relation to changes in mountain areas around the globe. By drawing together the latest knowledge, policies, and practices on adaptation, the Conference aims to strengthen the interface between science, policy, and practice and improve communication for adaptation to change in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region and downstream.

Conference Objectives

  • Share evidence-based scientific knowledge to improve the understanding of, and action on, adaptation, particularly to climate change
  • Boost awareness and engagement by facilitating dialogue on adaptation in the Hindu Kush Himalayas among ICIMOD’s regional member countries and by bridging the fields of science, policy, and practice
  • Foster partnerships for action by strengthening regional cooperation and partnerships, towards addressing adaptation and vulnerability in the entire HKH region

Conference themes and sub-themes

  • State-of-the-art science on climate change adaptation in the Hindu Kush Himalayas and downstream
  • Holistic adaptation policies bringing together science, technology, and regional and global policy examples
  • Good adaptation practices through community action
  • Communicating climate change adaptation, including engagement with mainstream media

    Conference Sub-themes

    Water availability and demand scenarios;
    Water management;
    Cryosphere and black carbon;
    Ecosystem and community based adaptation approaches;
    Food security, climate smart agriculture;
    Community vulnerability, adaptation, and livelihoods;
    Disaster management;
    Gender and adaptation;
    Technology-based solutions for addressing climate change;
    Communicating climate change and its impacts.

Conference features

  • Marketplace featuring displays and demonstrations of innovative solutions
  • Young scholars from around the world presenting research papers and posters
  • Knowledge café as a platform for dialogue between participants High-level panel discussions and internationally renowned speakers
  • Daily news bulletins to share learning from the conference with a global audience
  • Live streaming of selected sessions
  • Publication of papers in a special issue of a peer-reviewed journal

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