Theme:

Climate Change Adaptation in Mountains

Mountains cover roughly one quarter of the Earth’s land surface but host an impressive array of natural resources – 25% of terrestrial biodiversity, 60% of all biosphere reserves, freshwater supplies for lowland irrigation and domestic use, and important raw materials such as minerals and timber. They provide essential ecosystem services for livelihoods as well as opportunities for recreation and tourism.

Mountains are also currently home to about 1 billion people. And both the people and the mountains are particularly vulnerable to climate change.

Rising temperatures and changing precipitation patterns are disrupting water flows and affecting ecosystems, creating and worsening natural hazards and threatening livelihoods across the globe. But mountain ecosystems are more sensitive to climate change compared to other terrestrial ecosystems, and mountain dwellers have less income on average compared to people living downstream. As a result, the effects of climate change in the mountains fall disproportionately on both ecosystems and people.

This theme aims to support a community of practice for those working on and interested in climate change adaptation in mountains. It provides a space for knowledge and experience sharing and discussions, with the aim of supporting and connecting international actors working in this space. It is hosted by the Adaptation at Altitude (AaA) programme, funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), which aims to enhance knowledge and support knowledge transfer and exchange to increase the climate change resilience and adaptation capacities of mountain communities and ecosystems. 

New solutions database for adaptation in mountains

As part of this work the [email protected] team have developed (and will continue to build) a global database of CCA solutions for mountain regions: 

Explore the Adaptation at Altitude Solutions Portal>

 

Get involved:

  • Use the category buttons below to explore knowledge shared by peers working on climate change adaptation in mountains.
  • Scroll down to 'Members' to see who else is working on climate change adaptation in mountains.
  • To stay up-to-date with the latest articles, case studies and discussions happening in this space click "Join" below.
  • To share your projects, reports from the field and other insights click on 'Share' in the menu bar above or contact Christina Daszkiewicz.
  • To explore ongoing conversations, make an announcement or start a discussion, visit the CCA in Mountains discussion forum.

Join the Theme Climate Change Adaptation in Mountains

Join to share content with Network Members.

Photo by Ales Krivec on Unsplash

Photo by Ales Krivec on Unsplash

Contacts

Category:

Mountain Communities

Mountains can be harsh places to live. The vulnerability of mountain communities is exacerbated by additional factors such as isolation from public services. This category brings together work relevant to understanding and promoting community resilience, including community-based adaptation, community-driven development, and urban mountain development. See the themes on community-based adaptation and vulnerability for related work and resources.

cryosphere hub
Event

Upscaling adaptation solutions for vulnerable mountain regions through international cooperation

09/11/2021 - 16:00 to 17:00

Following a teaser showcase of the “Last Glaciers” documentary and inspirational talk by the documentary's director, this event will feature a series of talks and panel discussion exploring what is being done to support and upscale adaptation in mountainous regions internationally.

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hkh glasgow
Event

Promoting ambitious climate action for the Hindu Kush Himalaya

09/11/2021 - 10:00 to 18:00

This focus day on HKH, which was live streamed from the Cryosphere Pavilion at COP26, explored the scaling up of investment in mountain-specific climate priorities and low carbon development, the dissemination of high-impact solutions that can deliver climate action in the HKH region, and shared policy and youth perspectives on climate action. Watch the recordings of each session. 

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flyer
Event

A FRAGILE FUTURE: Can mountain communities adapt to climate change?

08/11/2021 - 16:15 to 17:45

This hybrid online and in-person event presented the latest cryosphere science about the impacts and risks of climate change, and explored good adaptation solutions and experiences, especially in mountain areas, with a focus on developing countries. (Recording available.)

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Ruwenzori mountains
Event

Adaptation at Altitude: Solutions and Climate Action in East African Mountains

26/09/2021 - 17:00 to 18:00

This event video recording and summary explores what communities, governments and the East African Community are doing to adapt to climate change and promote transboundary cooperation. 

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Mountains
Article

Vibrant Mountain Communities Regional Development in Mountains: Realizing Potentials, Tackling Disparities

This report draws on experiences from different mountain regions to shed light on three main levers for transformation in mountain areas: inclusive planning and decision-making, equitable access to quality public services, and collaborations to spark innovation.

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The Andes
Article

Adaptation to Glacio-Hydrological Change in High Mountains

This dissertation explores how adaptation is studied in mountain systems as well as what we know about and might do to address growing adaptation needs in high mountain communities.

 

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Two people walking on a mountain in Hindu Kush Himalaya. View with a peak behind and a blue sky.
Article

The Hindu Kush Himalaya Assessment: Mountains, Climate Change, Sustainability and People

This open access volume is the first comprehensive assessment of the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region. 

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tree planting on hillside Moroccan village
Case Study

Scaling up Community-based Adaptation in Morocco's High Atlas Tifnout Valley

The Tifnout Valley's unique approach to climate change adaptation scales up the successes of individual projects through the coordinated efforts of local associations across an entire landscape.

 
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The view of Majhi community after the earthquake in 2015
Case Study

Impacts of Climate Change on the indigenous Majhi community in Nepal

This study looks at the impacts of climate change on the indigenous Majhi people in Sindhupalchowk district in Nepal, and provides important details for the design of future projects.

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Sajama
Case Study

Adaptación al Cambio Climático en Comunidades Andinas dependientes de Glaciares Tropicales

El proyecto propuso analizar los niveles de vulnerabilidad de la población al cambio climático en dos lugares afectados por el deshielo de glaciares en el Andes.

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cover
Case Study

High Mountains Adaptation Partnership: Lessons Learned in Nepal and Peru

The following report details the lessons learned during the implementation of the High Mountains Adaptation Partnership (HiMAP) (www.highmountains.org) project between March 2012 and June 2015.

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Climate knowledge in Nepal's mountainous regions
Case Study

Climate knowledge in Nepal's mountainous regions

In May 2012, the Nepal Climate Change Knowledge Management Center (NCCKMC) organized a Climate Change Awareness program in Simkot, Humla.

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Morocco
Case Study

Local Development Solutions for People, Nature and Resilient Communities

The Community-Based Adaptation project in Morocco “Land and Water protection, conservation farming and climate risk management to increase the resilience of the El Mouddaa High Altitude mountain ecosystem and reinforcement of the adaptive capacities of the local community, in the face of increasingly erratic and violent rainstorms and more and more frequent droughts” has been chosen as one of the winners of the 2012 Equator Prize (UNDP).

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Moutain women
Article

Mountain Women - Key Drivers of Change

This article focuses on understanding the functioning of mountain ecosystems in the context of livelihoods and women.

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Community mapping exercise in Lesotho: Photo Anna Taylor
Article

Climate adaptation in the mountains of Lesotho

Anecdotal evidence collected from community members in the Highlands of Lesotho indicate a keen awareness of longer term changes in the local climate and the need to adapt in response to these.

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Vietnamese community in an upland area
Case Study

Building Community Resilience to Disasters in Upland Areas of Vietnam (BCRD)

The highland areas of Vietnam are particularly vulnerable to the consequences of climate change. This study describes a far-reaching prevention program in the Kon Tum province undertaken in 2007.

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Category:

Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services

Mountains are complex and fragile environments. They heavily influence regional climate systems, are often rich in highly specialised species and numerous natural resources, and provide various ecosystem services. This category illustrates the importance of mountain landscapes and biodiversity, and the ecosystem services they provide. It features good practice examples of how these landscapes, biodiversity and services are being protected. Find more information on ecosystem-based approaches here.

Fotografía de portada: Roxibel Pelayo
Case Study

Protocolo para el monitoreo de fenología y polinización en cumbres de la red GLORIA-Andes Venezuela

Esta publicación presenta un protocolo para el monitoreo de fenología y polinización en cumbres de la red GLORIA-Andes Venezuela.

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Fotografía: Ezequiel Aráoz
Article

Hacia una agenda de investigación para el monitoreo integrado de ecosistemas andinos: aportes para la sostenibilidad en escenarios de cambio ambiental

Esta publicacion es un resumen del Conversatorio sobre “Hacia una agenda de investigación para el monitoreo integrado de ecosistemas andinos: aportes para la sostenibilidad en escenarios de cambio ambiental”.

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Farmers in the Andes. Credit: Christian Vinces - Shutterstock.com
Article

First Latin-American edition of IPROMO: Sustainable Management of Socio-Ecosystems in the Andes

This article describes the first course of the IPROMO Mountains Training Programme held in Spanish. The course was organised by CONDESAN with the support of two initiatives financed by the Swiss Agency for Cooperation and Development (SDC).

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EVO case study Peru
Case Study

Mountain EVO Case Study - Huamantanga district, Peru

Living with change in Huamantanga, Peru- one of the research project Mountain-EVOs case studies

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Mountain-EVO
Article

MOUNTAIN-EVO: Adaptive governance of mountain ecosystem services for poverty alleviation enabled by environmental virtual observatories

This project is about how to govern mountatin ecosystems for poverty alleviation enabled by environmental virtual observatories.

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mountain-evo
Case Study

Mountain EVO Case Study: Upper Kaligandaki basin, Mustang, Nepal

This Mountain-EVO case study focuses on the Upper Kaligandaki basin in Nepal due to its relative accessibility and the strategic links with local development actors. 

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Restoration of Páramo native vegetation near Papallacta, Ecuador.
Case Study

Protecting high mountain wetlands in Ecuador

Between 2009 and 2013, CARE worked as a strategic partner for the government of Ecuador as part of a Latin American regional project – Adaptation in Communities Facing Rapid Glacier Retreat.

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Category:

Water Stress and Hazards

Mountains often act as water towers for the low-lying regions surrounding them. In particular, the slow melt of glaciers perched at high altitudes provides a precious, steady source of water. However, the extensive lakes it collects in also present a hazard. The loss of glaciers and changes in climate are contributing to water stress. This category brings together work around water stress and water-related hazards in mountains. See the Transforming Development and Disaster Risk theme for more on reducing disaster risk.

Vista al presente: Estado actual del glaciar del Pico Humboldt. © José Manuel Romero. p.22 de la publicación.
Article

Los Andes Después del Hielo: El Último Glaciar de Venezuela | The Andes after ice: The last Venezuelan Glacier

Esta publicacion trata del proyecto ‘El Último Glaciar de Venezuela’, una iniciativa que estudia el retroceso glaciar y la dinámica de formación de un nuevo ecosistema en la Sierra Nevada de Mérida, Venezuela. | This publication discusses glacial retreat and the dynamics of formation of a new ecosystem in the Sierra Nevada de Mérida, Venezuela. Contains a video documentary.

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logo
Article

Himalayan Adaptation, Water and Resilience (HI-AWARE) Research on Glacier and Snowpack Dependent River Basins for Improving Livelihoods

HI-AWARE conducts research and pilot interventions, capacity building and policy engagement on climate resilience and adaptation in the Indus, Ganges, and Brahmaputra river basins.

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screenshot of publication
Case Study

Hazard Assessment of Glacial Lake Outburst Flood and Potential of ICTs for Coping: A Case of Tiptala Glacial Lake, Taplejung, Nepal

This poster is one of the posters featured at the 9th International Conference on Community-Based Adaptation (CBA9) which took place in Nairobi, Kenya, from April 24-30 2015.

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The Greater Himalayan Region ©indiawaterportal.org
Case Study

Adaptation strategies to climate induced water stress and hazards in the Greater Himalayan Region

This project contributes to improved understanding of the consequences of climate change for the livelihoods of mountain people and downstream communities, particularly regarding access to water resources and vulnerability to water-induced hazards.

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Titicaca
Article

Building Capacity in two vulnerable semi-arid Mountain Regions in Bolivia

The project will focus mainly on human subsistence systems by assessing food security and human health in Bolivia.

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Nepalese Mountains
Case Study

Nepalese Glaciers (Videos)

This programme focuses on the impact of climate change on the glacial ecosystem in the Himalayas and its people.

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Road in mountain region in Bolivia
Case Study

Building Capacity in Vulnerable Mountain Regions

Climate change effects can also provoke an emergence and expansion of vector transmissible diseases such as Malaria and Chagas. To evaluate this situation and find possible preventive measures, two vulnerable semi-arid mountainous regions in Bolivia were selected as case studies: the Lake Titicaca region and the region of Vallegrande.

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Category:

Data and Knowledge for CCA in Mountains

Access to relevant and useable knowledge and data is essential for planning and monitoring adaptation interventions. This is especially the case in mountains, where complex environments and sensitivity to climate change pose significant challenges to climate change adaptation efforts. In this category you can find initiatives acting to improve access to knowledge and data for adaptation planning. For broader information on climate science and climate services see the Using Climate Information theme.

Market in the Andes
Article

Políticas de Cambio Climático y las Estrategias de Adaptación de los Andes: una mirada multisectorial desde las montañas

Esta publicacion es un resumen del Conversatorio sobre “Políticas de Cambio Climático y las Estrategias de Adaptación en los Andes: una mirada multisectorial desde las montañas”. Read this article in English here.

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Mount Washington Observatory
Article

Toward a definition of Essential Mountain Climate Variables

This article introduces Essential Mountain Climate Variables (EMCVs) which could be used to increase the utility of mountainous environmental data to both fundamental science and decision making.

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geo mountains
Article

Global Network for Observations and Information in Mountain Environments

GEO Mountains seeks to identify, collate and make accessible transboundary and inter- and transdisciplinary data and information – from a variety of providers – pertaining to environmental, ecological, and societal change in mountainous regions globally.

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Mountain range in Kazakhstan
Article

Mountain Observatories: Status and Prospects for Enhancing and Connecting a Global Community

This paper reviews the trends and challenges of socioenvironmental monitoring in the mountains and proposes principles and ways of supporting, developing and connecting mountain observatories

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Climate Change policies in the Andes
Article

Current state of climate change policies and adaptation strategies in the Andes: A multi-sectoral view from the mountains

A new regional study on the current state of climate change policies and adaptation strategies in the Andes shows the achievements in seven Andean countries, and raises future prospects. 

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Local girls look at the view in Ausangate, Perú
Article

Adaptation to Climate Change in the Andes: gaps in understanding and opportunities for knowledge management

This regional study aims to identify the knowledge gaps and working priorities for climate change adaptation in the Andes.

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regional exchange and collaboration
Article

A global database of CCA solutions for mountain regions

This article describes how the Adaptation at Altitude Solutions Portal for climate change adaptation (and related) in mountain regions has been and will continue to be developed.

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Mountains in Nepal
Article

Adaptation action and research in glaciated mountain systems: Are they enough to meet the challenge of climate change?

This paper evaluates adaptation action and research in light of the challenge posed by climate change in glaciated mountain systems. 

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Mountains in Nepal
Article

IPCC Special Report on Ocean and Cryosphere - High Mountain Areas

This IPCC chapter assesses new evidence on recent and projected changes in the mountain cryosphere as well as associated impacts, risks and adaptation measures related to natural and human systems.

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Category:

Agriculture in Mountains

For mountain communities who rely on land and natural resources for their livelihoods, agriculture has been the main source of income. This category aims to present good practices of adaptation strategies for climate-smart agriculture at altitude. These also include mountain resources management that have an impact on agriculture, such as water management and irrigation. For more information on water management in mountains, see also the water stress and hazards category. Find more content on climate smart agriculture in the adaptation and mitigation synergies theme.

irrigation in nepal
Case Study

Framework for effectiveness and resilience of small- and medium-scale irrigation systems in Nepal

This paper synthesises the findings from a CDKN-funded project and is intended for policy-makers and implementers working in Nepal’s irrigation sector under uncertain conditions.

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mountain agriculture
Article

The Mitigation of Climate Change in Agriculture (MICCA) project in the South Uluguru Mountains, Tanzania

This article will provide an overview of the MICCA Tanzania project initiative, which mainly focuses on the promotion of conservation agriculture and agroforestry at the community level and has a lifespan of 3 years.

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Members

Latest Discussions

Julia Barrott

Online event, Friday 5 November - Andean Forest Programme: Building community wellbeing and sustainability

“On behalf of colleagues at Helvetas Perú: The Andean forests are a little known treasure and a hotspot of biodiversity...”

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Julia Barrott

COP26 events series: Focus on the cryosphere (mountains included!)

“The cryosphere – namely the frozen components of the Earth system (glaciers, snow and permafrost) – is one of our key...”

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Julia Barrott

Online event, September 26: Solutions and Action in East African Mountains (Africa Climate Week)

“On behalf of colleagues in UNEP , ARCOS and GRID-Arendal : East Africa's last glaciers will most likely disappear this...”

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Julia Barrott

Join Regional Dialogues on Comprehensive High Mountain Management!

“Join a series of Regional Dialogues for the Management of High Mountain Ecosystems! Join on September (09/16), October...”

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Christina Daszkiewicz

Online Conference: Climate Change, Health, and Mountain Ecosystems and their Governance in the Andes+ (July 7-8, 2020)

“Dear colleagues, CONDESAN , the Mountain Research Initiative (MRI) and the University of Zurich are pleased to invite...”

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