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Do we understand what policymakers need from the scientific community?


ICIMOD headquarters, Kathmandu

Date & Time

28 December 2022


About the webinar

For this edition of our biannual CryoDiscussion, we are bringing experts from Central Asia and the HKH region to discuss efforts made in communicating scientific findings to policymakers in the two regions. This event builds on the high-profile conference on the cryosphere and related hazards in High Mountain Asia in a changing climate held in November 2022, where bridging the gap between science and policy was a major discussion point.



  • Highlight the importance of communicating cryosphere research findings to policymakers
  • Understand issues in bridging the gap between science and policy messaging
  • Share pointers for improving the dialogue between scientists and policymakers

During the webinar, we will also hear from the winners of the story competition ‘Stories of climate change from across the Hindu Kush Himalaya’  launched in March this year to highlight the impacts of climate change, particularly in the mountain communities, and to encourage the youth in the region to share their experiences of coping with climate change impacts.



With over a decade’s worth of experience in promoting relevant and quality cryosphere research in the region, ICIMOD has gathered significant information on how rapid changes in the cryosphere are affecting the environment and livelihood of mountain communities, particularly in terms of water availability and increased threats from cryosphere-related hazards.

Science is clear that urgent action is needed to respond to changes in the cryosphere, reduce risks, and help communities, particularly those in the mountains, better adapt to these changes. Communicating what our research says about the changes in the cryosphere to relevant actors in such a way that we contribute to better and more relevant policy is a significant outcome that will ultimately improve the livelihoods of those living in High Mountain Asia.

The CryoDiscussion is a biannual outreach event that brings together regional and international experts to discuss cryosphere issues in the HKH region.


Time (NPT)  Programme  Speaker/facilitator 
14:55–15:00 Registration
15:00–15:05 Opening remarks Arun Bhakta Shrestha, Regional Programme Manager, River Basins and Cryosphere, ICIMOD
15: 05–15:10 Overview of the webinar Chimi Seldon, Communication Officer, ICIMOD
15:10–15:40 Panel discussion: Key issues in bridging the gap between science and policy messaging


Susan Legro, Member, Technical Evaluation Reference Group of the Adaptation Fund (AF-TERG)
Gulomjon Umirzakov, National University of Uzbekistan
Arun Bhakta Shrestha, ICIMOD

Moderator: Miriam Jackson, Programme Coordinator, Cryosphere Initiative, ICIMOD
15:40–16:00 Q&A with panellists

Closing remarks by the panellists

16:00–16:20 Announcement of story competition winners

  • Winner one
  • Winner two
Chimi Seldon, ICIMOD
16:20–16:30 Summary of key messages and closing remarks Miriam Jackson, ICIMOD



Gulomjon Umirzakov
Associate Professor, National University of Uzbekistan

Gulomjon Umirzakov is an Associate Professor in the Department of Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring, National University of Uzbekistan. With a background in hydrology, he has experience in water resource formation and management in Central Asian countries, particularly Uzbekistan. Umirzakov actively participates and contributes to numerous local and international projects related to glacier monitoring, natural hazards, climate change impacts on water resources, and drought patterns.


Susan Legro
Member, Technical Evaluation Reference Group of the Adaptation Fund (AF-TERG)

Susan Legro has more than 25 years of experience with the design, implementation, oversight, and evaluation of projects that address climate change, including work as a Regional Coordinator for GEF-funded projects implemented by UNDP in the Europe and Central Asia region. Her work includes research on the results and impacts of donor-funded projects in sectors such as sustainable energy and cross-cutting capacity development, and her interests include measuring the co-benefits of adaptation projects, effective dissemination of good practice, and post-completion studies.


Arun Bhakta Shrestha
Regional Programme Manager, River Basins and Cryosphere, ICIMOD

Arun Bhakta Shrestha has a PhD in Earth Sciences from the University of New Hampshire, USA, and a Master’s degree in Hydraulic Engineering from Minsk, former USSR. Before joining ICIMOD, Shrestha worked for the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology, Nepal. His main areas of expertise include regional cooperation, water resources management, climate change, glaciers and glacial hazards, glacial lake risk mitigation, atmospheric environment, and hydrological modelling. He is one of the editors of the Hindu Kush Himalaya assessment and one of the coordinating lead authors of the chapter on climate change in the assessment.


Miriam Jackson
Programme Coordinator, Cryosphere Initiative, ICIMOD

At ICIMOD, Miriam Jackson ensures cryosphere activities are of high quality and research outputs are disseminated among researchers, the public, and policymakers. She has a PhD in geophysics from the California Institute of Technology.

She has previously worked for the Norwegian government as a glaciologist and was responsible for the Svartisen Subglacial Laboratory and worked extensively on GLOFs. She is the lead author of the ‘High Mountains’ chapter in the Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate for the IPCC.