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Cryosphere monitoring and analysis in Pakistan


AAA & SG 1


Islamabad, Pakistan

Date & Time

23 July 2024 to 25 July 2024


About the training

The training on glacier, snow, and permafrost monitoring in Islamabad, Pakistan aims to enhance the capabilities of participants from our partner institutions and universities in Pakistan, enabling them to conduct glacier, snow, and permafrost monitoring and research independently. The sessions will introduce attendees to methods and tools for collecting and analysing glacier, snow, and permafrost data.

This training builds upon the success of our previous sessions held in 2019, 2020, and 2022, reaffirming our commitment to advancing cryosphere research and monitoring in the region.

The training is organised by ICIMOD in collaboration with the Climate Energy & Water Research Institute (CEWRI) – Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC), and the National Centre of Excellence in Geology (NCEG).

Targeted participants

Participants will include faculty members, students, and early-career researchers from partner agencies and research institutions, and will ensure balanced representation, and gender diversity.

Training content

The training is designed for 30-35 participants and sessions will cover:

  • Introduction to the cryosphere components: snow, glacier, and permafrost, and their dynamics
  • Familiarisation with available remote sensing datasets, acquisition, and processing for mapping and monitoring changes in glaciers, permafrost, and snow
  • Hands-on exercises on different methods to analyse changes in glaciers, permafrost, and snow
  • Snow monitoring and assessment
  • Permafrost distribution mapping, identifying parameters and deploying sensors for permafrost monitoring

Expected outcomes

On completion of the training, attendees should have:

  1. A deeper understanding of the components of the cryosphere and their importance concerning water resources, hazards, and ecosystems
  2. Get better exposure to the state-of-the-art tools and approaches available for cryosphere monitoring.
  3. Improved practical skill development through hands-on exercises, application of theoretical knowledge, and familiarization with tools and software.


The cryosphere, primarily glaciers, snow, and permafrost in High Mountain Asia, provides water for approximately one-fifth of the world’s population. Monitoring cryosphere components in the region is crucial for assessing meltwater, especially during the dry season, and for improved assessment of cryosphere-related hazards (e.g. ice and snow avalanches, landslides, debris flow). However, long-term glacier, snow, and permafrost monitoring activities are sparse in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH), including the Karakoram region. The large spatial coverage of the cryosphere in the HKH makes it essential to understand how the cryosphere is changing in response to climate change. Therefore, field-based monitoring approaches, complemented by remote sensing observations, are critical to better understand the current and future state of the cryosphere in the region.

Planned follow-up training

The training is planned and designed based on the learnings and participant feedback from previous trainings. We will follow up with participants regarding further support for higher studies with a major in cryosphere research, building on past experience, and their research on cryosphere monitoring in the region. In addition, we will ask participants to fill out a post-training survey that will help improve and tailor future capacity-building trainings.