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Seminar on capacity building for fieldwork and community interaction in Humla District, Nepal




ICIMOD Headquarters, Kathmandu

Date & Time

30 August 2023

About the seminar

We are organising a one-day seminar on building the regional capacity for effective observations of changes in permafrost for increasing readiness and effective response to permafrost-related risks. We have invited participants from our key partners in Nepal – Kathmandu University, Tribhuvan University and the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology.

Participants will learn about micro-weather stations, climate data, field-based permafrost observations, and permafrost modelling. As a follow-up to the seminar, a field campaign to Humla District is scheduled from 5 to 18 September 2023.

The field expedition will be comprised of experts from ICIMOD and our partner Tribhuvan University. The team will visit different permafrost sites in Limi Valley in Humla District to learn about how permafrost is affected by climate change and its consequences for ecosystems and livelihoods. Participants will also interact with members of local communities to inform them about the purpose of the field activities and preliminary results from instruments installed by the Cryosphere Intervention team members in 2021 and 2022.


  • Educate participants about permafrost and climate change impacts and adaptation related to mountain permafrost in the HKH
  • Discuss ongoing approaches and methods for permafrost monitoring in the HKH
  • Demonstrate the use of ground temperature sensors and micro-weather stations and train participants in the installation of climate stations
  • Instruct participants to place ground temperature sensors and collect data from sensors employed in the field
  • Build communication between ICIMOD and interested institutions to collaborate on future permafrost monitoring and analysis


Expected outputs and outcomes
  • Communicate climate change impacts and adaptation related to mountain permafrost in the HKH
  • Engagement and co-ordination with regional institutions to identify key knowledge gaps and explore areas and opportunities for future collaboration
  • Communication of strategy, approaches, and methods for ongoing permafrost monitoring in the HKH



Permafrost is ground that remains frozen for at least two years in a row. It is found in cold regions around the world, including mountain regions of the HKH. Permafrost thawing is a major concern because it can lead to a number of problems: mass wasting events, changes in ecosystems and hydrology, and damage to infrastructure. Regular monitoring of permafrost areas is essential to detect changes in permafrost regimes and to mitigate the risks associated with permafrost thawing. New technologies are being developed that can improve our ability to monitor permafrost. These technologies can be used to collect more detailed information about permafrost conditions, which can help us to better understand the risks associated with permafrost thawing. There is a growing awareness of the risks of permafrost thawing, and scientific collaboration is increasing. However, more research is needed on adaptation options for mountain regions in Asia. Local authorities and young researchers need to be involved in this research to help build capacity on a regional scale.



Wednesday, 30 August 2023

Time Programme
09:30–10:00 Registration
10:00–10:30 Introduction- Miriam Jackson, Senior Cryosphere Specialist, ICIMOD

  • Background, past work, and events
  • Purpose and format of seminar
  • Introduction of participants
10:30–11:00 The Kailash Sacred Landscape Conservation and Development Initiative (KSLCDI) – review of ICIMOD work in Humla – Binaya Pasakhala, Governance and Institutions Analyst, ICIMOD
11:00–11:30  Permafrost science – a general overview on concepts and models (I) – Prashant Baral, Cryosphere Analyst, ICIMOD
11:30–12:00  Tea break
12:00–12:30 Planned permafrost research in Nepal – Kathmandu University
12:30–13:00 Hands on session

HOBO software, HOBO sensors and micro-weather station, Installation of software in participants’ laptops – Prashant Baral, ICIMOD and Sunwi Maskey, Cryosphere Research Associate, ICIMOD

13:00–13:15  Permafrost hazards on the Tibetan Plateau – Silian Pan, Young ICIMOD Profession programme (YIPP)
13:15–13:30  Summary and discussion of morning – Sunwi Maskey, ICIMOD
13:30–14:30 Lunch
14:30–15:00 Permafrost science – a general overview on concepts and models (II). Demonstration of permafrost probability distribution model – Prashant Baral, ICIMOD
15:00–15:15  Upcoming permafrost work in Humla – Sunwi Maskey, ICIMOD
15:15–15:30  Upcoming glacier work in Humla – Dibas Shrestha, Assistant Professor, CDHM- TU
15:30–16:00  Tea break
16:00–16:15  Climate change and permafrost in the HKH – summary of recent HIWISE report and HKH permafrost review paper –Prashant Baral, ICIMOD
16:15–16:45  Guidelines for placement of ground surface temperature (GST) loggers – Prashant Baral and Sunwi Maskey, ICIMOD
16:45–17:00  Closing remarks