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Profiling the region and its climate vulnerability in international forums
To address the climate crisis in our HKH mountains, we need more global attention, more targeted policies, and more data. To that end, we engage in a range of activities on the global stage and in the production of globally significant reports. We coordinated and hosted the Second Lead Author Meeting for the Intergovernmental Panel Climate Change (IPCC)’s Working Group II Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) and two of our staff served as Coordinating Lead Author for two chapters in the Special Report on Cryosphere and Oceans in a Changing Climate (SROCC), five as Contributing Authors and one as Review Editor. For the AR6, one of our colleagues is co-Lead of the Cross Chapter Paper on Mountains, two colleagues are Lead Author for two chapters and two are Contributing Authors.
We also organised several sessions and co-hosted a formal side event during the 25th UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP25) at the UN Climate Change Conference in Madrid, Spain. We co-sponsored and co-funded the Cryosphere Pavilion at COP 25 and organized the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) Focus Day in the Pavilion on 11 December 2019, International Mountain Day. A High-Level Panel on the HKH Call to Action: The Voice of the Mountains brought together Ministers from Bhutan, Nepal and Pakistan along with Executive Director Center for Indigenous Peoples’ Research and Development to reflect upon HKH Call to Action and the way forward. Other key events that we organised at the Cryosphere Pavilion included “Even 1.5 degrees is too hot for the HKH cryosphere”, at which key findings from the HKH Assessment and the IPCC SROCC were presented and “Solutions to scale up climate action in the Hindu Kush Himalaya”.
ICIMOD also co-hosted a formal side event with the Government of Austria, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the Alpine Convention on 11 December 2019 on elevating regional cooperation and monitoring climate change adaptation in mountains.
Working with the Permanent Mission of Nepal to the United Nations, we co-hosted a side event entitled, “Impacts of Climate Change on the Mountains” at the 2019 High-Level Political Forum at the United Nations Headquarters in New York in July 2019. Our Director General made remarks to the assembly, making an official UN record of the HKH Assessment and Ambassador Luis Alfonso de Alba, the UN Secretary General’s special envoy for the Climate Action Summit welcomed the coming together of mountain countries to strengthen their collective voice and emphasized the importance of nature-based solutions and the global urgency of focusing on carbon neutrality by 2050.
Beyond these significant global events and efforts, our DG represent, us in leadership positions as Chair of the Association of International Research and Development Centers for Agriculture (AIRCA), Editor-in-Chief of the Mountain Research and Development (MRD) journal, on the Steering Committee of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition; the DDG is a very active member of the International Mountain Society (IMS), and ICIMOD colleagues act as Focal Persons for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF).
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Outstanding scholars from member institutions of the Himalayan University Consortium