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How can we fund adaptation efforts to address cascading climate risks in the HKH and other mountain regions?




Cryosphere Pavilion, COP27 Blue Zone, Egypt

Date & Time

09 November 2022


Deepshikha Sharma & Katy Harris

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About the event

Mountain regions, including those of the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH), face significant challenges due to climate change. In the HKH, for example, a 2 °C rise and beyond will result in the loss of half the volume of the region’s glaciers and destabilise Asia’s river systems, with enormous downstream consequences for billions of people – a quarter of the planet’s population.

Many of these climate risks are cascading – climate change impact in one country can cascade across one or more national borders to affect people’s lives and livelihoods in another country, similar to what we experienced with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Even though the importance of adaptation has been recognised at national and global levels, cascading climate risks have been undervalued. Adaptation efforts and finance mechanisms are largely focused on the national level when adaptation action should acknowledge the connectivity of our global systems.

Furthermore, as noted in the cross-chapter paper on ‘Mountains’ in the IPCC AR6, adaptation responses in the mountains are primarily incremental and focus on early warning systems and the diversification of livelihood strategies in agriculture, pastoralism, and tourism. However, the feasibility and long-term effectiveness of these measures in addressing climaterelated impacts, losses, and damage are limited.

So, how can we better support the HKH and other mountain regions in responding to cascading climate risks? What financial mechanisms are available to address these adaptation needs?



Time (Egypt) Programme 
Moderator: Deepshikha Sharma, Climate and Environment Specialist, ICIMOD
14:30–14:40 Welcome remarks and setting the scene, including polls

Deepshikha Sharma, Climate and Environment Specialist, ICIMOD

14:40–14:50 What are cascading climate risks and the challenges in addressing them?

Katy Harris, Director, Adaptation without Borders

14:50–15:00 What is a significant and concrete cascading climate risk in the HKH?

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

15:00–15:35 Panel discussion: Challenges and opportunities around climate financing

  • Michelle Guertin, Head of Business Development and Resource Mobilisation, ICIMOD (joining online)
  • Katy Harris, Director, Adaptation without Borders
  • Mikko Ollikainen, Manager, Adaptation Fund Board Secretariat
  • Anupa Rimal Lamichhane, Regional Manager Asia-Pacific, Green Climate Fund
  • Chizuru Aoki, Lead Environmental Specialist, Global Environment Facility
15:35–15:40 Closing remarks – Katy Harris, Director, Adaptation without Borders
15:40–15:45 Vote of thanks – Deepshikha Sharma, Climate and Environment Specialist, ICIMOD