Where we work

Click here for HiMAP research on Imja Lake, Nepal.

Click here for the Everest Alliance.

The Himalayan Mountains are world-renowned for their grandeur, as the home to the famous Mt. Everest, and for the unique religions and cultures that thrive in the remote mountain communities that call the Himalayas home.  Because of this great distinction, the Himalayas have always been a source of wonder for global society, which has resulted in extensive tourism development and research in the region.  Yet, the new challenges of a changing climate and the subsequent impacts on the high-mountain communities in the Himalayas pose a threat to the stability of the region.  In an effort to address these risks, the High Mountain Glacial Watershed Program is leading a series of expeditions to the Himalayas in an attempt to improve knowledge of the changes occurring in the Himalayas and to better equip the local communities, national government agencies, and international organizations to adapt to the changing mountain environment.

The catalyst for the development of the HiMAP was the September 2011 Andean-Himalayan Glacial Lake Expedition (see “Workshops” tab at left for more information).  During this expedition, HiMAP (at the time HMGWP) laid the foundation for future work by engaging local communities in a dialogue about their experiences with climate change while simultaneously bringing together 35 international experts from both technical and social science fields.  The expedition formed the base for future work in the region.  In May 2012, follow-on research, community consultations, and reconnaissance were conducted in the Annapurna, Hinku, and Kumbu regions of Nepal.  Additional expeditions are planned for September 2012 and May 2013.

Core projects for the Himalayas include: the rapid reconnaissance of emerging glacial lakes, including modeling of the risk of glacial lake outburst floods; vulnerability and adaptation training with local communities to develop tangible solutions to more effectively adapt to the impacts of climate change in the high mountains; and, a joint project with the United Nations Development Program to develop a solution to reduce the risk of Imja Lake, a dangerous glacial lake in the Khumbu region.  More information about these activities can be found in the “Knowledge Library.”