The Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS) University


Adnan Ahmad Tahir (PhD): Associate Professor, 

The Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS) is a public university in Islamabad, Pakistan that aims to reduce the growing gap between the developed and developing world through useful applications of science and technology. COMSATS focuses on three domains: Research and Discovery, Teaching and Learning, and Outreach and Public Services.

COMSATS has strong research capacity and is one of the leading institutes in Pakistan contributing to research publications. It works on different research projects focusing on glaciers covering the northern region of Pakistan, which is home to three main mountain ranges – the Himalaya, the Hindu Kush and the Karakoram. K-2, the world’s second highest peak and some other lesser-known high peaks – Tirich Mir and Nanga Parbat – are also located in this region.

The University recently completed a research project assessing the dynamics of glaciers in the Hindu Kush region and their links to climate change. Six glaciers were examined focusing on changes in their equilibrium line altitude, snout position, and mass balance.


Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment (IMHE)


Qiao Liu (PhD),

The Institute of Mountain hazards and Environment (IMHE), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Chengdu, is a state-run, non-profit academic institution offering majors in the following subjects: formation and mitigation of mountain hazards; degradation and reconstruction of mountain environment; evaluation, planning and sustainable development of eco-environment; remote-sensing, mapping, GIS; and agroecology.

IMHE is the only integrated mountain science research institution in China and aims to establish itself as the world’s foremost institute of its kind. It works to support mountain development and is endeavouring to establish a framework to support mountain science in the region. IMHE is currently working with international academic publications and information exchange channels to develop a modern theoretical and experimental infrastructure to achieve its goals. Its aim is to support stable economic development to establish itself as a scientific base fully supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology, National Nature Science Foundation, and CAS.

Its cryosphere research activities include field observation to monitor the dynamics of Hailuogou Glacier, Mt Gongga. Field measurements of monsoonal temperate (debris-covered) glaciers have been carried out. These measurements have specifically included ablation/ice surface velocity stakes; automatic weather stations; ice thickness measurement by ground-penetrating radar (GPR); ice surface elevation changes; measurement by the real-time kinematic-global positioning system (RTK-GPS); debris thickness and distribution investigation; and stream gauge of glacier melt water.

It has also conducted permafrost eco-hydrology monitoring and research at the source region of the Yangtze River, Qinghai in the Tibet Plateau.

kabul university

Kabul University


Hedayatullah Arian, 

Established in 1930, Kabul University is the oldest and largest tertiary education institution in Afghanistan. Over the past nine decades, the university has provided education to a large number of Afghans and other foreign nationals. In the past, it attracted many students from neighbouring countries.

Kabul University’s cryosphere research activities is carried out by its Hydrometeorology Department. The department is preparing to initiate long-term cryosphere monitoring in Afghanistan. ICIMOD works with Kabul University and the Water Resources Department (WRD)/Ministry of Energy and Water (MEW) on cryosphere monitoring in the country.

Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology

Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology


Pankaj Chauhan (PhD), 

The Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology in Dehradun, Uttarakhand (UK) India is an autonomous premier research institution of the Department of Science and technology, Government of India. The institute’s Centre for Glaciology will start a coordinated research initiative on Himalayan glaciology to understand factors controlling the effects of climate on glaciers and develop strategies for climate change adaptability for sustained growth of society. In addition, the centre will take up capacity building programmes in this specialized field, which will eventually nurture the independent Indian Institute of Glaciology.

The institute is monitoring glaciers in the Western Himalaya (WH), Central Himalaya (CH and Eastern Himalaya (EH). The regions/basins covered in India are Zanskar valley in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), Lahaul-Spiti in Himachal Pradesh (HP), and Bhagirathi and Alaknanda valleys in Uttarakhand (UK) state. The glaciers covered by this programme are Parkachik and Pensilungpa in J&K; Panchinala in HP; and Gangotri, Dunagiri, Bangni, Dokriani, Chorbari, Pindari and Kafni in UK.

The main activities of the institute include studying geometry of glacier, discharges, mass balance, debris cover, glacial hydrology, isotopic study, sediment and meteorology. The Institute has developed Glacier Lake Inventory (temporal) for 1975–2017 in Eastern Himalaya (EH). It has also established numerous meteorological observatories, automatic weather stations (AWS) at Dunagiri, Dokriani, Chorbari, Pindari and Kafni glaciers, and collected in-situ data. Apart from these glaciers, the institute has been conducting long term monitoring and data collection of Dokriani Glacier in Bhagirathi River basin and Chorabari Glacier in Alaknanda river basin (upper Ganga basin).