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Regional Programmes

At a glance

Programme goal

Enhanced resilience of the HKH to ensure that our mountains and river systems continue to sustain millions of people living downstream

Programme locations
Arun Bhakta Shrestha

Arun Bhakta Shrestha arrow

Programme Manager

Our focus

Healthy rivers, mountains, and glaciers

Increasingly skewed and rapid development, along with climate change, has raised challenges in meeting water, food, and energy demands in the HKH region. Protecting our rivers, mountains, and glaciers is crucial to our securing our future.

The HKH is aptly called the water tower of Asia because it is the source of 10 major Asian rivers. It is also known as the Third Pole as it stores the highest volume of snow cover, glaciers, and permafrost outside the polar regions. It is indispensable to livelihoods, development, and sustenance of approximately 1.9 billion people – approximately a quarter of the world’s population – living downstream.

River Basins and Cryosphere aims to understand and protect our mountain systems and the services they provide. We adopt an integrated approach that transcends scale, borders, modalities, and disciplines. We help communities manage water resources and disaster risks, prioritize the sustainable use of water and land resources to enhance livelihoods, and understand the role of the cryosphere contributions. We seek to secure our water sources, and our future.

Initiatives

Strategic areas of focus

River Basins and Cryosphere has identified particular river basins of the HKH, along with a focus on the cryosphere, to raise awareness on the dynamic interplay between climate change and its impacts on the rivers and landscapes of the region.

cryosphere
Cryosphere
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indus basin
Indus Basin Programme
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Koshi basin
Koshi Basin Programme
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swarma
Strengthening Water Resources Management in Afghanistan
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Hi risk India
HI-RISK
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Did you know that the HKH stores more snow and ice than anywhere on Earth besides the poles? River Basins and Cryosphere works to protect these very vital resources.

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Success stories

Our lasting impact

Read about how our approach to the sustainable management of water resources in the HKH region is helping create meaningful impact.

Science and  mapping at the top of the world
Science and mapping at the top of the world
Science-based regional collaboration through the Upper Indus network 
Science-based regional collaboration through the Upper Indus network 
Nurturing collaborative cryospheric work
Nurturing collaborative cryospheric work
Supporting sustainable hydropower development in Nepal
Supporting sustainable hydropower development in Nepal

Events around the HKH

Our involvement

Report

Participatory assessment

This synthesis report summarizes findings from a participatory assessment of socio-economic drivers, conditions, and climatic and environmental stresses leading to different levels of vulnerabilities in the HKH region. The study sites included high-mountain, mid-hill, and downstream regions of the Indus, Upper Ganga, Gandaki, and Teesta – a tributary of the Brahmaputra River – basins.

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News and features

Around the HKH

Regional Programmes

Knowledge into action

Our programmes are oriented towards integrating knowledge and turning research into action.

River Basins and Cryosphere
River Basins and Cryosphere
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Mountain Knowledge and Action Networks
Mountain Knowledge and Action Networks
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Mountain Environment Regional Information System
Mountain Environment Regional Information System
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Atmosphere
Atmosphere
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Transboundary Landscapes
Transboundary Landscapes
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Adaptation and Resilience Building
Adaptation and Resilience Building
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