Promoting science-based community-driven approaches to climate change adaptation in glaciated mountain ranges: HiMAP
By Alton Byers, Daene C. McKinney, Shailendra Thakali and Marcelo Somos-Valenzuela
This article in the journal Geography explains the work of the USAID-funded High Mountains Adaptation Partnership (HiMAP) project in Nepal from its formation in 2012 up to August 2014.
HiMAP aims to create the conditions necessary for communities who live in or are dependent upon glacial watersheds to become more resilient to the impacts of climate change.
The project area included the Sagarmatha (Mount Everest) National Park and buffer zone in Khumbu. It notes that such glacier-dominated areas will pose unique challenges to highland and downstream communities as they adapt to climate change, particularly given the threats of glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs).
The article, with graphics and illustrations, discusses the impacts of climate change on glaciers in Nepal; previous research on glaciers in Peru and how their experience in reducing flood risks could be applied; and explains how field work and other parts of the HiMAP program has been carried out. This included developing the Local Adaptation Plan of Action (LAPA) process with various communities.
In Khombu, six priority climate-induced hazards were identified and ranked in order of importance. These are: GLOFs, landslides, heavy snowfall, windstorms, forest fires and floods. HiMAP helped identify adaptation activites to address each.
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