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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.

 

AREAS OF WORK

Geographic coverage of work

10
Major rivers basins
1.9
Upstream/downstream population (in Billion)
25,614
Glacial lakes in 5 basins studied
87,340
Total glacier extent (in Sq. Km.)

What’s happening with water and climate in the Hindu Kush Himalaya?

With accelerated impacts of climate change being felt in the mountain systems of the HKH, the effect of water and climate is also being felt on communities. We are working with communities and governments to deliver and pilot actionable solutions that can provide adaption options to some of these impacts.

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Did you know that the HKH stores more snow and ice than anywhere on Earth besides the poles? Water from these glaciated and snow pack regions is used by communities in their everyday water needs. ICIMOD is working to contribute to a better understanding on this dependence.

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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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chitral alex indus basin
Indus Basin Initiative
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Koshi basin
Koshi Basin Initiative
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swarma
Strengthening Water Resources Management in Afghanistan (SWaRMA)
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Himaldoc

Publications

Cryosphere monitoring approach modelling
Cryosphere
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The Hunza River in front of the Passu cones
Indus Basin Initiative
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About-Koshi-Basin-Initiative
Koshi Basin Initiative
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Swarma Publication
Strengthening Water Resources Management in Afghanistan (SWaRMA)
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Clusters

Datasets and science application

Koshi Basin Information System
Koshi Basin Information System
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HKH Climate and Hydrology Visualization and Access Portal (HI−CHAP)
HKH Climate and Hydrology Visualization and Access Portal (HI−CHAP)
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Regional Flood Information System
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Glacier Dynamics in Bhutan Himalaya
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COLLABORATING ACROSS DISCIPLINES

Strengthening regional cooperation

Strengthening Regional Cooperation Across Transboundary River Basins and Landscapes in the Hindu Kush Himalaya

Bridging Boundaries: Strengthening Regional Cooperation Across Transboundary River Basins
Bridging Boundaries: Strengthening Regional Cooperation across Transboundary River Basins and Landscapes in the Hindu Kush Himalaya, November 15–16, 2018
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International Forum on the Cryosphere and Society, August 28-30, 2019
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Fourth Indus Basin Knowledge Forum: Pathways to impactful research, August 23-24, 2019
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Inception Workshop Koshi Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Knowledge Hub, December 11-12, 2018
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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

News and features

Around the HKH

Events around the HKH

Our involvement

Water

For mountains and people

Water is a vital resource for communities that call the HKH their home. But it also has impacts in the form of hazards and affects communities yearly through disasters like floods. See how ICIMOD is working to address this.

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Spring and Solar Pumps

People in the Hindu Kush Himalaya face economic and institutional water scarcity in areas where water is plentiful, but inaccessible. The inaccessibility is caused by a lack of rural electrification or irrigation infrastructure in the plains and because springs are increasingly drying up in the Himalayan mid-hills.

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Community Based Flood Early Warning System

Community Based Flood Early Warning System

CBFEWS is an integrated system of tools and plans managed by and for communities, providing real-time flood warnings to reduce flood risks.

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WE EMBRACE DIVERSITY

Meet the team

Both internally and externally, our multicultural staff and partners are our greatest asset. They provide us with a broad perspective across disciplines and offer us localized knowledge like no other.

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icimod team

Partners and supports

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Photograph #1

A street performer around Bath Abbey.

Photograph #2

A street performer around Bath Abbey.

Photograph #3

A street performer around Bath Abbey.

Photograph #4

A street performer around Bath Abbey.

in the news

Media coverage

We collaborate with partner agencies across the HKH to foster regional cooperation, synchronize data sources, share innovative solutions, and direct global attention to the region. Learn more about our work and their impacts.

Regional Programmes

Knowledge into action

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

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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River Basins and Cryosphere
River Basins and Cryosphere
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Transboundary Landscapes
Transboundary Landscapes
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Adaptation and Resilience Building
Adaptation and Resilience Building
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