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WORKSHOP

Developing a strategy to monitor permafrost changes in the Hindu Kush Himalaya

Venue

ICIMOD Knowledge Park, Godavari

Date & Time

14 June 2022 to 17 June 2022

Contact

Miriam Jackson

monitor permafrost changes

 

About the workshop

We are organising a three-day workshop that will help us develop a draft strategy to monitor permafrost in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region and define ICIMOD’s role in the process. This workshop will also contribute to developing a framework for regional cooperation to monitor permafrost changes and its consequences in High Mountain Asia.

Furthermore, the workshop will define a working group focused on generating and imparting the permafrost know-how for the HKH and conceptualise an integrated approach for comprehensive monitoring of permafrost in the region. The workshop is being organised as a follow-up to the permafrost forum held online in September 2021.

 

Objectives

  • Share existing knowledge related to permafrost in the HKH and benefit from knowledge on permafrost related issues beyond the region
  • Discuss approaches and methods for permafrost monitoring in the HKH and how different institutions can contribute to the monitoring
  • Discuss key knowledge gaps in permafrost monitoring
  • Formulate a strategy for monitoring permafrost and study the effects of permafrost change that will feed into the MTAP-V Action Area on Cryosphere
  • Build communication between ICIMOD and interested institutions to collaborate on future permafrost monitoring and analysis and form a working group
  • Discuss policy landscape corresponding to climate change impacts and adaptation linked to permafrost change

 

Expected outputs and outcomes

  • Formulation of permafrost activity in the Cryosphere Action Area under MTAP-V and other relevant action areas such as river basins and natural hazards
  • Formation of the permafrost working group for the HKH to communicate and collaborate on permafrost work
  • Defined objectives and an action plan for the permafrost working group
  • Identified key knowledge gaps, and strategy, approaches, and methods for future permafrost monitoring in the HKH discussed during the workshop

 

Background

Permafrost is a major component of the cryosphere and is present over much of High Mountain Asia, but despite its widespread abundance in the HKH, direct field-based monitoring of permafrost is limited, and existing observations are primarily dependent on remote sensing methods. Most in situ observations are focused on the Tibetan Plateau while permafrost in the high mountains remain uninvestigated.

Hence, there is a necessity for a regional approach for permafrost monitoring in the HKH. High mountain areas, much of which is underlain by permafrost, cross several political boundaries. Design and implementation of a sustainable transboundary network for integral assessment of permafrost environment in the HKH is essential to understand spatial and temporal variations in permafrost characteristics and their potential significance.

Climate warming has increased permafrost thawing in the HKH. Impacts of thawing permafrost on livelihoods and ecosystem services are visible but little understood. Recent observations indicate that permafrost warming has also possibly increased the probability of mass movements and compound extreme events in this region. The Chamoli disaster in Uttarakhand in 2021 was probably linked to changes in permafrost. Hence, assessing the consequences of thawing permafrost through systematic observations directed towards understanding permafrost distribution and dynamics is necessary and needs immediate attention.

 

Agenda

Time (NPT)

Programme

17:00 – 18:00

Informal discussion: what do we want to get out of the workshop?

18:30

Dinner, Hotel View Bhrikuti

Time (NPT)

Programme

8:30 – 9:00

Commute to Godavari Knowledge Park

09:00 – 9:30 

Opening and welcome remarks: Pema Gyamtsho, Director General, ICIMOD

9:30 – 10:30

Introduction

  • Background, past work, and events 
  • Purpose and format of workshop 
  • Introduction participants 

Miriam Jackson, Programme Coordinator, Cryosphere Initiative, ICIMOD

Dorothea Stumm, Permafrost Consultant, Switzerland

10:30 – 11:00 

Group photo and tea break

11:00 – 12:30

Participants presentation on permafrost monitoring

12:30 – 13:30

Lunch

13:30 – 15:00 

Participants presentation on permafrost monitoring

15:00 – 15:30 

Tea break  

15:30 – 16:00

Participants presentation on permafrost monitoring

16:00 – 17:00 

Hybrid discussions with external participants

Rapporteur: Prashant Baral, ICIMOD

17:00 – 17:15

Transport to Hotel View Bhrikuti

18:30

Reception dinner at Hotel View Bhrikuti

Time (NPT)

Programme

8:30 – 9:00

Commute to Hotel View Bhrikuti

09:00 – 10:00 

Group discussions: identify goals for the strategy

10:00 – 10:30 

Group presentations 

10:30 – 10:45

Tea break

10:45 – 11:45

Plenary discussion and summary

Rapporteur:  Amrit Thapa, ICIMOD

11:45 – 12:15

Policy brief on permafrost monitoring – key questions

Rapporteur: Prashant Baral, ICIMOD

12:15 – 12:45

Policy brief – group discussions

12:45 – 13:30

Lunch

13:30 – 14:30

Tour of Godavari Knowledge Park

14:30 – 15:00

Policy brief – discussion in plenary

Rapporteur: Prashant Baral, ICIMOD

15:00 – 15:30

Discussion: How to achieve goals of the strategy and best resource use:

Rapporteur: Sharad Joshi, ICIMOD

15:30 – 15:45

Tea break

15:45 – 16:15

Discussion: Prioritise goals of the strategy

Rapporteur: Sharad Joshi, ICIMOD

16:15 – 17:00

Writeshop: Draft outline of strategy

Rapporteur: Tika Gurung, ICIMOD

17:00 – 17:15

Commute to Hotel View Bhrikuti

18:30

Dinner at Hotel View Bhrikuti

Time (NPT)

Programme

8:30 – 9:00

Commute to Hotel View Bhrikuti

9:00 – 10:30

Writeshop on monitoring strategy

10:30 – 10:45

Tea break

10:45 – 11:30

Writeshop on monitoring strategy

11:30 – 12:00

Roles and communication for future collaboration

Rapporteur:  Amrit Thapa, ICIMOD

12:00 – 12:30

Working group for permafrost monitoring in the HKH

12:30 – 13:30

Lunch

13:30 – 15:00

Hybrid discussions and feedback

Rapporteur: Tika Gurung, ICIMOD

15:00 – 15:30

Tea break

15:30 – 16:40

The way ahead:

Workshop participants + others from ICIMOD

Rapporteur: Prashant Baral, ICIMOD

16:40 – 17:00 

Closing remarks – Arun Shrestha, Regional Programme Manager, River basins and cryosphere programme, ICIMOD