Regional Policy Workshop on Adaptation Outlook for the Hindu Kush Himalaya

   TwitCount

The Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) are crucially important region for the world. These mountains serve as the ‘Water Towers of Asia’, providing water to over 1.3 billion people, and a number of other services, including food, biodiversity, and energy. The warming trend in the HKH is higher than the global average, and is a cause for grave concern. To help meet the emerging challenges in the HKH, a pioneering programme – Himalayan Climate Change Adaptation Programme (HICAP), supported jointly by the Governments of Norway and Sweden was created to address critical knowledge gaps in climate and hydrology, and ecosystems, and thus better understand the future impacts of climate change on natural resources, ecosystem services, and the communities depending on them. 

As part of this effort, HICAP seeks to develop an overview of the existing adaptation policy measures in the HKH, and the extent to which they address the needs of mountain landscapes and people. It hopes to identify critical gaps that must be addressed to meet current and future risks from climate change and other drivers of change. One of the core objectives of this work is to promote an HKH-wide regional understanding of the needs and gaps. The ultimate goal is to foster dialogue on mountain ecosystems in the context of climate change and adaptation, and to get HKH countries to work together jointly at the regional and global levels on these issues. 

This workshop – organized jointly by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), UN Environment (UNEP), and GRID-Arendal – will build the foundation for a region-wide assessment of existing adaptation policies for different sectors, going on to assess critical policy gaps and opportunities. The assessment, planned for completion by May 2017, and proposed to be launched at UNFCCC COP 23, will be built on the following:

  • Expert feedback from policy experts invited to this workshop, and 
  • Existing information and data related to climate change and adaptation in mountain regions with a particular focus on relevant policies and institutions. 

This assessment forms part of the series of Adaptation Outlooks ("Mountain Adaptation Outlook Series") for mountain regions, provided by UN Environment, GRID-Arendal and regional mountain centres of excellence. These assessments have taken place in the Balkans/Dinaric Arc, (East) Africa, Andes, Central Asia, and the South Caucasus, through the UN Environment project “Climate change action in developing countries with fragile mountainous ecosystems from a sub-regional perspective” funded by the Government of Austria. 

Objective

A background document is being drafted by GRID-Arendal, ICIMOD and UN Environment involving designated experts working on climate change adaptation and mountain ecosystem, as preparatory work for the assessment for the HKH. This background document will be shared with invited experts – designated government officials and international experts – prior to the workshop. The goal of the workshop is to receive consolidated inputs and comments, refine them, and validate the findings of the background document. This will be carried out through a participatory and transparent review process, aiming to collect further comments and inputs, including preparation of a first draft of recommendations. 

The stakeholders’ workshop aims to: 

  • Take stock of past and current interventions (including in the frame of relevant institutions and frameworks), in particular, at the regional/transboundary level to promote climate change adaptation in the HKH, with a particular focus on policy aspects. 
  • Provide a gap/need analysis to promote further regional dialogue for climate change adaptation for the HKH capitalizing on past efforts. 
  • Identify recommendations/priority areas for future intervention in terms of policy development in identified key sectors – water, food resources, forests, and biodiversity and energy, and assess their feasibility, state of development, and potential contribution to solve the problem (including institutional capacity).

The two-day event will comprise of interactive plenary discussions and group work. The event will also entertain participation of stakeholders from other mountain regions to foster an inter-regional exchange between different mountain regions.