We are ICIMOD, a unique intergovernmental institution leading the global effort to protect the pulse ...
With a vast array of partners, we organize our work in what we call Regional ...
Successful interventions can change lives for the better. We hope that the stories of success ...
River Basin and Cryosphere
01 November 2022 to
04 November 2022
Miriam Jackson, Deo Raj Gurung & Kristine Tovmasyan
Organizers Scientific Committee
Through the Cryosphere Initiative, we are collaborating with UNESCO, Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH), the Government of Kazakhstan, and the Central Asian Regional Glaciological Centre in Almaty, Kazakhstan, to organize the conference ‘Cryosphere and related hazards in High Mountain Asia in a changing climate.’
The international conference will bring together over 150 researchers, practitioners, policy and decision-makers, government representatives, youth, and development partners from Central Asia, South Asia and beyond, working in the cryosphere, disaster risk reduction, and climate sectors.
The conference aims to provide a platform to share knowledge, best practices, and ideas for the sustainable development of societies in High Mountain Asia (HMA) in the context of climate change. Discussions will focus on the climate-cryosphere-community nexus, contributing to the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), particularly SDG 6, SDG 11, SDG 13. It will also contribute to SDG 17 by leveraging regional platforms for collaboration and partnership.
This event will be built on presentations and discussions, highlighting research frontiers, research opportunities and gaps, scientific uncertainties, and policy impact on larger populations in HMA.
The conference aims to host about 100-150 participants, including community representatives, government officials, academia, international institutions, development agencies, civil society organizations and youth, from the region and beyond.
The conference will include presentations on the status of knowledge across the HMA region on the impacts of climate change on glaciers, snow, permafrost, glacial lakes, and related hazards, including GLOFs, avalanches, and thawing permafrost.
The conference will have breakout sessions on specific hazards to share management and adaptation practices/options from the HMA region for cross-learning purposes. The discussions, good practices, and learnings will be reported back to the plenary.
The conference will also consist of sessions to ideate how best to engage and support youths and early career researchers for further research in areas of climate-cryosphere-communities nexus, and how best to benefit from citizen science. The final day will focus on a science-policy dialogue on this topic and the ways forward.
181, Zheltoksan Str., InterContinental Hotel
Moderator: Ms Kristine Tovmasyan, UNESCO Almaty.
Conference room: BallroomRegistration (name tag and conference materials distributed)
Panel description: Countries in High Mountain Asia (HMA) are facing many challenges due to changes in the climate and the ensuing effects on the cryosphere. Although there is significant variation in how fast the cryosphere is changing and the effects of these changes in different parts of the HMA, there are many similarities in the nature of the hazards as well as in the different ways communities can adapt to these changes.
In a region that is data-sparse, often low on resources and also facing non-climate related challenges such as poverty and emigration, organizations in the HMA have much to gain by co-operating in monitoring these changes and finding the best ways to adapt.
This panel aims to bring together key personnel from different parts of HMA and find ways to co-operate and share experiences in facing up to the many challenges posed by cryosphere-related hazards.
Co-moderators: Mr Magnus Magnusson, UNESCO Almaty; Arun Shrestha, ICIMOD.
The field trip session is organized by the Central-Asian Regional Glaciological Centre as a category 2 Centre under the auspices of UNESCO and will take place on 2 November 2022. The participants are advised to register for the field trip in advance, as the number of seats is limited. The two routes are planned in the frames of the field trip session:
1. Ulken Almaty River Valley (60 participants), including a visit to the mountain research station “Big Almaty Lake”, located at the altitude of 2500 m above sea level. Departure is from the conference venue (InterContinental Hotel) by 4 buses of 16 people each with an interval of 45 minutes.
2. Kishi Almaty River Valley (120 participants), including a visit to the Talgar Pass (altitude of 3200 m above sea level). Departure is from the conference venue (InterContinental Hotel) by 3 buses of 40 people each with an interval of 1 hour.
Participants are kindly requested to prepare appropriate clothing and footwear as the temperature at the above-mentioned field sites can be around -5º-0ºC, with snow and wind. It is also recommended to bring sunglasses and use sunscreen. It should be taken into account that the conference venue is located at the altitude of 700 m above sea level and there will be significant elevation change during the short period of time. Please take into account your health condition.
Co-moderators: Mr Tomas Saks, Fribourg University; Irfan Rashid, University of Kashmir.
Rapporteur: Khusrav Kabutov, Center for Glaciers Research, Tajikistan National Academy of Sciences (TBC).
Conference room: Ballroom.
Workshop description: The workshop will discuss how to communicate results of scientific work, significance and outcomes to your targeted audience. This session is targeted mainly at early career researchers. It will include tips to crafting key messages and how to identify the communication objective for your work.
Moderator: Chimi Seldon, ICIMOD.
Language of the session: English (no simultaneous translation).
Conference room: Abai.
Co-moderators: Kamal Ram Joshi, DHM Nepal (TBC), Mr Andrey Yakovlev, Uzbekistan (TBC).
Rapporteur: Erlan Azisov, CAIAG (TBC).
Co-moderators: Natalia Kim, UNESCO Almaty; Mr Simon Allen, University of Zurich.
Rapporteur: Zhanar Raimbekova, Al-Farabi Kazakh National University (TBC).
The session is organized by RCOY (Regional COnference of Youth), which is an officially endorsed by YOUNGO (youth constituency of the UNFCCC) event.
Panel description: Effective engagement with policy forums is essential to advancing climate action, protecting the High Mountain Asia cryosphere, and progressing sustainable mountain development for the benefit of mountain communities. It is crucial that both the best available science and local needs and interests be represented in these forums. In this panel, scientific and policy experts will discuss how conference participants can engage with policy at different scales – up to and including UNFCCC and IPCC – to benefit mountain communities, geared toward both near-term and long-term opportunities and impacts.
Moderator: Izabella Koziell, ICIMOD.
Co-moderators: Mr Alessandro Cicoira, University of Zurich; Akhmetkal Medeu, Institute of Geography and Water Security, Kazakhstan (TBC).
Rapporteur: Hofiz Navruzshoev, Center for Glaciers Research, Tajikistan National Academy of Sciences (TBC).
Co-moderators: Gany Bimurzaev, State Monitoring Service of Uzbekistan for Geo-hazard (TBC); Mr Murat Kassenov, Kazselezaschita (TBC).
Rapporteur: Zuura Mamadalieva, UNESCO GLOFCA Project (TBC).
Panel description: Countries in High Mountain Asia (HMA) are facing many challenges due to changes in the climate and the ensuing effects on the cryosphere. Although there is significant variation in how fast the cryosphere is changing and the effects of these changes in different parts of the HMA, there are many similarities in the nature of the hazards as well as in the different ways communities can adapt to these changes. When this conference was first planned in order to bring together key people from Hindu Kush Himalaya and Central Asia who are interested in this topic, including not just scientists but also policy- and decision-makers was a key element in the motivation. Scientists and policy-makers often have very different approaches to working in disaster risk reduction and in their ideas for sustainable development of societies in HMA under the effects of climate change. However, it is vital that policy makers take scientific results into consideration in their planning and also critically important that scientists learn how to communicate with policymakers – the information that is useful to them and how to present it. This panel aims to open up the science-policy discussion so we can learn from experts and improve the dialogue in our own science-policy interactions.
Co-moderators: Ms Kristine Tovmasyan, UNESCO Almaty; Ms Miriam Jackson, ICIMOD.
Co-moderators: Susan Legro, E Co.; Mr Mavlon Hokimalizoda, IFAS (TBC).
Rapporteur: Bakhtibeki Otambekzoda, UNESCO GLOFCA Project (TBC).
Moderator: Takir Balykbayev, Professor, Doctor of Pedagogical Sciences, Director, Central-Asian Regional Glaciological Centre as a category 2 Centre under the auspices of UNESCO.
Conference room: Ablai.
Language of the session: Russian (no simultaneous translation).
14.00-14.05 – Opening remarks by Takir Balykbayev, Professor, Director, Central-Asian Regional Glaciological Centre as a category 2 Centre under the auspices of UNESCO.
14.05-14.30 – Presentation by Igor Severskiy, Professor, Doctor of Geographical Sciences, Academician of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Scientific Supervisor, Central-Asian Regional Glaciological Centre.
14.30-14.45 – Questions & answers.
14.45-15.30 – Statements by the representatives of Central Asian countries on issues of mutual cooperation.
15.30-15.50 – Discussion and adoption of resolution.
15.50-16.00 – Conclusion.
Panel description: Often when visualizing ‘mountain communities’ the image is that of people with low formal education. But mountain communities are diversifying and now consist of members who can navigate different languages and knowledge systems. Academia and policymakers also often ignore that mountain communities have lived with harsh environments and topography for centuries and collected a vast amount of knowledge about living harmoniously with nature and embracing uncertainties. However, the unprecedented changes brought by anthropogenic climate change are posing to be a challenge for the mountain communities to continue their way of life. This session brings together four panelists from the mountain communities of High Mountain Asia to discuss the lived experience of cryospheric changes, how communities are responding to them and how the scientific and policy community can contribute in improving the adaptive capacities of the mountain communities.
Co-moderators: Ms Amina Maharjan, ICIMOD; Deo Raj Gurung, AKAH.
Discussions to promote cross-region networking, exchange, joint research and projects, joint events.
The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) is an intergovernmental knowledge and learning centre working on behalf of the people of the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH). We are based in Kathmandu, Nepal, and work in and for our eight regional member countries – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan. We work to improve the lives and livelihoods of men, women, and children of the HKH and protect mountain environments and cultures. The knowledge we create, and share helps the people of the HKH become more resilient, make the most of new opportunities, and prepare for change. Our work strengthens regional cooperation for conservation and sustainable mountain development.
The Aga Khan Agency for Habitat’s (AKAH) works to ensure that people live in safe, sustainable, and resilient habitats with the opportunity to thrive, whether in a remote mountain village, a town, or a densely populated urban centre. AKAH works with communities to help them prepare for and respond to natural disasters and the effects of climate change. AKAH also works to expand access to services and opportunity for people to improve their life. AKAH helps communities prepare for the worst; provides immediate relief after disaster strikes; and helps build back better – and greener – while planning for a better future. AKAH currently operates in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Syria, Pakistan, and India, and works with over 2,500 communities empowering them with data, world-class planning and best practices in disaster risk reduction and safe, sustainable housing and critical infrastructure to build a better future.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization was created in 1945, as one of specialized UN agencies. The UNESCO Almaty Office (established in 1994) works in four countries – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. It works through and in cooperation with the National Commissions for UNESCO in each country and partner networks in its fields of competence. UNESCO’s mission is to contribute to peace and human development through Education, the Sciences, Culture and Communication.
The Central Asian Regional Glaciological Centre (CARGC) in Almaty, Kazakhstan was established under the auspices of UNESCO to address water resource challenges in Central Asian Region. It focuses on detecting global changes and their impacts on water stress in the region, and studies dynamics of natural processes in a zone of runoff formation. The centre contributes to UNESCO’S strategic programme objectives.
Lead, Natural Sciences Unit
UNESCO Almaty Cluster Office
Department of Geosciences
University of Fribourg
Glaciology and Geomorphodynamics
Department of Geography
University of Zurich
Senior Climate Change Specialist,
Regional Programme Manager – River Basins and Cryosphere Programme,
Programme Coordinator – Cryosphere Initiative
River Basins and Cryosphere Programme
Livelihoods & Migration
Deo Raj Gurung
Programme Coordinator – Preparedness and Safety
Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH)
Jakob Friedrich Steiner