Reflections and Reviews from Himalayan Mountains

2 Successful Years Of Awareness Generation and Advocacy: A set of quick reflections and reviews in context to socio-economic and environment development in the Himalayan region towards ongoing climate debate, environment issues and development…

Understanding to action

Since 2010, with a larger vision to serve as link between practice, science, policy and decision making towards climatic adaptation and sustainable mountain development Climate Himalaya’s actions were focused towards climate consciousness and advocating for appropriate national and regional actions on knowledge sharing, networking and innovations in environment front. Our advocacy actions during major global and national meets reflected upon the need of knowledge sharing and innovations towards adaptation measures, and considering Himalayan Mountains among the areas of importance and special attention. Access to information and important policy actions by agencies and governments, and considerate use of available resources within institutions in the Himalayan region and pooling such resources in community outreach actions were areas of our major focus. Water resources, livelihood options, disaster management and ecosystem functions remained core areas of action. Our understanding is that there is still an urgent need to connect the research and scientific communities with policy makers in Himalayas, while the available knowledge and information should trickle down up to the people.

Glaciers: climate indicators

One of the study published in Nature, states that Fewer than 120 (0.075%) have had their mass balance (the sum of the annual mass gains and losses of the glacier) directly measured in Himalayan region, and for only 37 of these are there records extending beyond 30 years. Extrapolating this tiny sample of observations to all glaciers and ice caps is a challenging task that inevitably leads to large uncertainties.[…]. Similar is the case with the study data of ICIMOD (2011) in which out of 54000+ glaciers in Himalayas, it studied 10 glaciers and concluded that the rate of ice loss had doubled since the 1980s. Dr. Koji Fujita a Glaciologist at Nagoya University Japan working in Bhutan says that if we take a look at the glacial case here, contribution of glacier melt water in total river water is “presumably” less significant. He says that I tell it “presumably” because we don’t know well about glaciers in the Bhutan Himalayas yet. How many glaciers are there? How much ice is there? How have the glaciers fluctuated? So, current status of glaciers in Bhutan is totally veiled. Another study in nature says that some glaciers in the Karakoram mountain range are growing, despite a warming global climate. http://bit.ly/L7ORU1

Leadership: recognizing mountains

It is said that with 20 percent of world’s population mountain systems support half of the world’s human population through its natural goods and services in the form of water, food, energy and bio-diversity. In this way they contribute to economic development by environment protection and human wellbeing. However, it seems that not many coordinated efforts have gone in highlighting mountain issues and challenges, or our said leaders could not do so during major global forums on environment, climate change, bio-diversity and socioeconomic development. Our interaction with policy makers, researchers and practitioners revealed that there had not been adequate representation of efficient leaders in highlighting mountain agenda on such global forums. This they said is due to lesser efforts in organizational / institutional networking, poor communication and coordinated actions at various levels on the concept of sustainable mountain development and climatic vulnerabilities in the region. Lack of awareness among politicians is another reason to such inactions. http://bit.ly/JRD53Y  

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