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The Hindu Kush Himalaya is the pulse of the planet. Being at the top of the world, changes happen here before they happen anywhere else and the beat of this place vibrates across the globe. We are ICIMOD. Together with our partners, we protect the pulse.
It is clear that the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis are very high for the people of the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH). As this crisis unfolds, it might seem difficult to imagine how we can move towards prosperity in the mountains. But that is just what we need to do amidst the suffering; we need to imagine together, and work towards building a more resilient and prosperous HKH.
In this open issue, a MountainDevelopment paper presents effective ways of supporting girls’ education in rural Nepal.
The Poverty and Vulnerability Assessment Tool (PVAT) dataset was developed to capture the micro-level perspective of people’s experiences with poverty and vulnerability and to monitor poverty and vulnerability trends on the ground.
To share the preliminary findings of the assessment and gather feedback, IRENA and ICIMOD jointly organized a consultative workshop on “Renewable energy solutions for enterprise development in the Hindu Kush Himalaya” on 20 November 2019 in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Gilbert, A; Sinisalo, A; Gurung, TR; Fujita, K; Maharjan, SB; Sherpa, TC; Fukuda, T (2020). ‘The influence of water percolation through crevasses on the thermal regime of a Himalayan mountain glacier.’ In The Cryosphere 14: 1273-1288 DOI: 10.5194/tc-14-1273-2020. In cold and arid climates, small glaciers with cold accumulation zones are often thought to be entirely cold based. However, scattering in ground-penetrating radar measurements on the Rikha Samba Glacier in the Nepal Himalaya suggest a large amount of temperate ice that seems to be influenced by the presence of crevassed areas. We used a coupled thermo-mechanical model forced by a firn model accounting for firn heating to interpret the observed thermal regime. Using a simple energy conservation approach, we show that the addition of water percolation and refreezing in crevassed areas explains these observations. Model experiments show that both steady and transient thermal regimes are significantly affected by latent heat release in crevassed areas. This makes half of the glacier base temperate, resulting in an ice dynamic mainly controlled by basal friction instead of ice deformation. The timescale of thermal regime change, in response to atmospheric warming, is also greatly diminished, with a potential switch from cold to temperate basal ice in 50–60 years in the upper part of the glacier instead of the 100–150 years that it would take without the effect of the crevasses. This study highlights the crucial role of water percolation through the crevasses on the thermal regime of glaciers and validates a simple method to account for it in glacier thermo-mechanical models. Gul, J; Muhammad, S; Liu, S-y; Ullah, S; Ahmad, S; Hayat, H; Tahir, AA (2020). ‘Spatio-temporal changes in the six major glaciers of the Chitral River Basin (Hindukush Region of Pakistan) between 2001 and 2018.’ In Journal of Mountain Science 17: 572-587 DOI: 10.1007/s11629-019-5728-9. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-019-5728-9 Glaciers in the northern Pakistan are a distinctive source of freshwater for irrigation, drinking, and industrial use. These glaciers are under a direct global warming impact as indicated in many previous studies. In this study, we estimated the glacier dynamics in terms of Equilibrium Line Altitude, mass balance, and the snout position variation using remote-sensing data between 2001 and 2018. We investigated six glaciers situated in the Chitral region. No obvious relationship was found between the glacier variation trends and the available gauged climatic data possibly due to the presence of debris cover in ablation zones of all the studied glaciers which provides insulation and reduces the immediate climatic effects. Naeem, S; Zhang, Y; Tian, J; Qamer, FM; Latif, A; Paul, PK (2020). ‘Quantifying the Impacts of Anthropogenic Activities and Climate Variations on Vegetation Productivity Changes in China from 1985 to 2015.’ In Remote Sensing 12: 1113. https://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/12/7/1113 Nepal, M; Rai, RK; Khadayat, MS; Somanathan, E (2020). ‘Value of Cleaner Neighborhoods: Application of Hedonic Price Model in Low Income Context.’ In World Development 131: 104965 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2020.104965. Municipal solid waste management is a challenging issue in developing countries. This study examines the effects of municipal solid waste collection services at the neighbourhood level on housing property values using the hedonic price model. We use a sub-sample of nationally representative household survey data from urban areas as well as primary data collected from one of the metropolitan cities in Nepal. Our results suggest that city residents place a high price premium (between 25% and 57%) on cleaner neighbourhoods and less (−11%) on open drains. These numbers indicate that better waste management will bring high returns to home owners and to the municipality in cities where the tax base includes the assessed value of property. Bhuju, DR; Adhikari, K; Barshila, SR; Shrestha, L; Upadhyay, S (2019). Livelihood strategy under climate change stress: Assessing climate vulnerability and preparing an adaptation framework with Communities in Kangchenjunga Conservation Area, Nepal. Kathmndu, Nepal, Resources Himalaya Foundation and International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development.