The Need: It is evident that the Hindu Kush Himalayan region is in a state of crisis, affecting the population vulnerable under various climatic and environmental changes. The region lacks coordinated and comprehensive research about the scale and extent of such worsening changes, whereas the library of any such research on various aspects, wherever available, remains a great deal academic and policy implementations on various scientific and developmental fronts are largely disjointed.
It is felt that the research done in an uncoordinated manner is the reason why knowledge is not shared effectively in the region. There are sheer knowledge gap and lack of understanding on various mountain and climate linked issues, while no adequate shared understanding and action plan are in place for the regional problems as a whole, and no map of potential risks. It has also been observed that there is either missing or disconnected leadership among various stakeholders in Himalayas. Despite financial investment the results are deficient in making a difference due to inadequate planning, poor implementation quality and outreach actions.
Vision of Climate Himalaya: To serve as a link between practice, science, policy and decision making towards climate change and sustainable mountain development.
Mission: To work on knowledge networking through innovative means to develop adaptation actions in Himalayan region.
Closing Knowledge Gap: The Climate Himalaya initiative works towards the need of closing the knowledge gap in the Himalayan region by developing a knowledge sharing platform, strengthening the capacities of people and organizations, generating awareness and developing leadership. We work on a broader framework of fostering ‘knowledge’, ‘innovation’ and climate ‘adaptation’.
Scope of Work: Countries of Work: India, Bhutan, Nepal and Pakistan (initially) China and Bangladesh (in future) through partner’s and various stakeholder’s involvement.
Thematic Areas: Ecosystem, Water, Forest and Livelihood
Focal Actions: Awareness generation, Advocacy, Knowledge networking, Capacity building and Research.
CHI Work: The initiative envisions a systematic reform in the present environmental governance system in Himalayan mountains, working closely with volunteers and partners in building an interactive platform, scientific and practitioners’ database and a leadership network. It also keeps the mountain people updated about various climate adaptation and mitigation processes in the region. As our first phase of activities we are working on knowledge sharing, networking and outreach activities. A brief note of various completed and ongoing actions are given below.
1. Development of Knowledge Platform
The Climate Himalaya team developed a knowledge sharing portal in year 2010, which by now has over 5000 articles in 80 different categories and over 300 downloadable publications on climate change and mountain development issues, collected from various sources.
The viewership of Climate Himalaya’s (CHI) portal by now is over 3, 12,000, and it has a regular readership of 550+ per day mostly from South Asia and also from other parts of the world. Our readers mostly consist of internet users in Government, CSOs/NGOs, Research institutions, Universities, donors, bi-lateral and multi-lateral organizations. The CHI portal is used mostly by individuals and agencies in policy planning, scientific research, capacity building programme among others.
2. Mountain 2020 Campaign (M-20)
A policy advocacy campaign that will develop a compendium of people’s voices, available knowledge, practices and rationale for much needed interventions towards climate proofing and adaptation. We have completed the author’s columns under this campaign that covered various climate change issues from Himalayan region and around the world. A total of seven Youth Speakers, eight Guest and Expert speakers wrote about 80+ policy, action and research based articles exclusively at Climate Himalaya’s Knowledge portal under its M-20 Campaign.
In this campaign we regularly send daily and weekly updates to our members, while manage a network group of about 500+ members.
3. Outreach Activities
Since June 2010, we had on-spot outreach activities in Australia, Bangkok, Bhutan, India, Nepal and UK, while raised mountain voice in various national, regional and global networks. A few networks include; Asia Pacific Adaptation Network, Mountain forum global, Mountain Partnership, UN solution Exchange, European Journalism Centre, IUCN Biodiversity Media Alliance, Earth Journalism Centre, Eldis Knowledge Network, weAdapt platform, etc.
4. Other Activities
Celebrated the day with TERI in Delhi in 2010 and covered events in our knowledge portal specifically on this event from Nepal, US, Uganda, Croatia, Pakistan, Iran, Italy and Peru. The initiative is active partner to UNEP supported Asia Pacific Adaptation Network and was media partner to Climate 2011 conference that held in Germany.
We ran an opinion poll and a debate on sustainable mountain development and launched a Himalaya focused policy advocacy campaign (M-20) in context to CoP17, RIO +20 and International Decade of Bio-diversity 2011-2020.
5. Mountain Trail during UN Climate Change Conferences
The Cancun MountainTrails2010 and CoP 17 DurbanTrails2011 were the activities we covered during both International Climate Change conference of UNFCCC.
6. Mountain Voice Launched
A multimedia information communication series that has been launched by Climate Himalaya during May 2012. The ‘Mountain Voice‘ is an initiative of Climate Himalaya that captures the experiences, thoughts and opinions of people, practitioners, policy makers and researchers on various climate linked issues in the Himalayan region of South Asia. In this the team interacts with people to capture their voices to understand the current situation and by uploading them for the viewers worldwide.
The objective of ‘Mountain Voice’ is to generate awareness about region at various levels, so that Himalayan mountains are recognized among the important places, those need attention of the world leaders towards climate adaptation and development. Through this series we are also trying to ensure that the climate linked science and adaptation measures are communicated to the communities through videos, audio-visuals and other interactive media and also that the voices of mountain people from the countries like Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan is shared with the world. It includes video clips, webcam talks, conversations, presentation, among others.
7. Discussion Forum
The CHI team has been running a discussion forum since Feb 2012 that now has 4 major discussion topics of ‘Mountain Perspective’, Development of framework for Government and Business partnership, water resources and mountain communities-a business model, State Action Plan on Climate Change (SAPCC) India and over exploitation of mountain bio-diversity and its protection.
All our activities mentioned did not involve direct financing from donors or network partners, but we worked it through common vision of mountain development and climate adaptation with agencies like Zee News, Times Foundation, Third Pole/Chinadialogue, Aaranyak, Save the Seeds Movement, Asia Pacific Adaptation Network, UNFCCC’s Nairobi work programme, WeADAPT, Forest Carbon Asia, to name a few.
We shared our common vision and work on awareness generation, sustainable mountain development, knowledge networking, natural resource management, knowledge sharing, capacity building and leadership development. We got financial support to attend meetings and conferences during our outreach activities as individual from Climate Himalaya.