Adaptation in the Himalayas

The greater Himalayan region, known as “the roof of the world,” boasts the largest concentration of glaciers and permafrost outside the polar regions. It feeds water into Asia’s ten largest rivers, supporting over 1.3 billion livelihoods and playing a crucial role in global atmospheric circulation, biodiversity, agriculture, and hydropower.

According to the IPCC AR6 report, the Hindu Kush Himalayan region has seen reduced snow cover and glacier retreat since the 1970s, with projections indicating further declines in snow-covered areas and glacier volumes throughout the 21st century. Rising temperatures, notably 0.6 degrees Celsius per decade in Nepal, surpass the global average of 0.74 degrees Celsius over the past century. Extreme weather events such as hailstorms, floods, landslides, and droughts are increasingly affecting communities, prompting climate-induced migrations.

CANSA’s efforts include ecosystem preservation, restoration, and showcasing local climate solutions through community voices in the Himalayan region, aiming for a sustainable future.

Videos

These videos capture local climate solutions through the voices of local communities in the Himalayan region and are used as part of our adaptation work in the South Asian region. The videos showcase good examples of empowered communities and how local governments can use these examples in their climate action plans and DRR, and to empower local communities to act to combat climate impacts. National governments in the region can report these in their National Adaptation Plans and Nationally Determined Contributions under their commitments to the Paris Agreement. They seek to inspire other vulnerable countries similarly impacted, and to remind the rich countries responsible for the climate crisis that they need to pay reparations and support poorer countries in their adaptation efforts and pay for the loss and damage.

REPORT

Climate Change: A Himalayan Odyssey

This paper reiterates the climate change risks in light of the IPCC AR6 report, and aims to explore how regional cooperation among countries in the Himalayas to address climate change can happen; with both cooperation among states and among non-state actors. By examining the shared impacts across various sectors and the existing and past regional cooperation to such impacts, this paper concludes the limitations on previous measures and provides various recommendations on avenues for future regional cooperation.

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Early Warning Systems in Nepal

At least 175 lives are lost every year due to floods in Nepal. The economic losses to the Himalayan country due to floods are pegged at $140 million and damage to assets is at 1.4% of GDP.

For those living in Nangapur village in Nepal, living with floods is an everyday reality. The Karnali, a major river in Nepal, deluges hundreds of villages in Nepal, and people in the lower Karnali basin area, can’t sleep in the monsoon, due to fear of the gushing waters washing them away with their homes.

Ever since the installation of early warning systems along all river basins the situation has considerably improved – many lives have been saved and loss and damage to property reduced.

Alternative livelihoods combat climate change in the Himalayas

Climate change has badly affected agriculture-based livelihoods in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand of India. Agriculture is becoming increasingly difficult in the Himalayan slopes, but farmers are responding with the spirit of resilience and enterprise.

Local communities have resorted to alternate livelihoods and combat future impacts of climate change. These include quail farming, mushroom cultivation, bee-keeping, and choosing climate-resilient species, as a means of income livelihood to people, and reverse the trend of migration from the hills.

Local water conservation restores livelihood in Himalayan villages

Depleting water resources in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand in India, are causing agriculture and drinking water problem and aggravating forest fires.

Climate change is causing depleting and drying up of water sources. Recharging the water sources -lakes, springs – in the simplest and low-cost method by building trenches that hold and recharge the water aquifers has been adopted. It has solved water shortages for drinking and agriculture and also reduced forest fires. The locals from Pata village have also planted trees that hold water.