Date: January - June 2021
Greetings from ICIMOD!
On behalf of all of us in the Cryosphere Initiative, we hope you and yours are doing well during these uncertain times.
I am very pleased to share our latest bulletin summarizing our activities from January to June 2021.
Our year started with a glimpse of hope as we started to reopen the office and plan fieldwork. We were about to depart for our first round of fieldwork for 2021 at the end of April but suddenly found ourselves once again entering strict lockdown and having to cancel the planned fieldwork.
However, I am happy to share that the team remains undaunted and has achieved much despite the uncertain times. As I write this, a small team of researchers completed their fieldwork in Langtang Valley, Nepal, where they carried out annual discharge measurements, and our remote sensing specialist Sher Muhammad has joined partners in Pakistan to carry out fieldwork there. We share our progress continually on our website and social media handles (Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn) through #cryospherewednesday. Please do check them regularly.
For this issue, our “Researcher in the spotlight” is Qiao Liu, who is a professor at the Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment (IMHE), Chinese Academy of Sciences. He is a glaciologist by profession and focuses his research on debris-covered glaciers and mountain hazards. He has been with the institute for over 15 years, and he also works closely with ICIMOD.
We recently completed the data collection from Langtang Valley for our project on disaster preparedness for mountain communities with Tribhuvan University’s Institute of Crisis Management (ICMS). A nice blog about interacting with community members and the lessons learnt by some of the students is included in this edition.
Earlier in the year, we prepared a comprehensive analysis of the massive Chamoli flood, as the frequency of these kinds of disasters appears to be increasing in the region. Members of the Cryosphere Initiative as well as other scientists at ICIMOD are bringing their expertise together to provide answers on why and how such disasters are occurring, in the hope that our scientific analysis can be used in reducing destruction and saving lives.
To continue the discussion on climate and cryosphere changes and their impacts on communities, we have planned webinars and capacity-building opportunities during the second half of 2021. We hope that you will enjoy going through our updates and continue to follow our work.
Thank you for your continued support. If you have any comments and suggestions, do write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the spotlight, we speak with Qiao Liu, who is a professor at the Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment (IMHE), Chinese Academy of Sciences. He is a glaciologist by profession and focuses his research on debris-covered glaciers and mountain hazards. He has been with the institute for over 15 years, and he also works closely with ICIMOD.
Experiences from documenting disaster preparedness of mountain communities in Langtang, Nepal
As the 12 of us, students in crisis management studies at the Institute of Crisis Management Studies (ICMS), embarked on what would be our first field expedition to interact with communities in Langtang Valley, we were all quietly anxious: How would our academic knowledge stand up in the real world?
Located around 51 kilometres north of Kathmandu Valley, Langtang is home to the Langtang National Park and renowned for its great natural beauty, biodiversity, and mountain communities. But the valley is also known for frequent natural disasters, the most recent one being the earthquake-triggered avalanche in 2015 that caused significant devastation. Six years on, people are now starting to resettle in the areas that were not affected by the disaster.
Our task was to collect data through surveys and interactions with community members…