Indian Himalayas Climate Adaptation Programme

Climate change and the Indian Himalayas

Current scientific evidence suggests instability in the Himalayan ecosystem as result of climate change impacts and increased uncertainty. Vulnerability is also increased as a result of cascading effects of changes in composition and distribution of natural resources – water, forest and agro-biodiversity. In response, the Indian Himalayas Climate Adaptation Programme (IHCAP) is a project under Global Programme Climate Change (GPCC) of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). In India it is anchored under the Framework of Science and Technology Agreement of November 2003 between the Swiss Federal Council and the Government of India and is being implemented as a bilateral cooperation programme with Department of Science & Technology (DST).

Project goals

The IHCAP builds on capacity and knowledge enhancement related to three pillars:

  • Scientific and technical knowledge cooperation between Indian and Swiss scientific institutions.
  • Strengthening Institutions for adaptation measures among vulnerable communities.
  • Mainstreaming adaptation policies for improved action in the Indian Himalayan Region.

Capacity Building

The Capacity Building Programme on Himalayan Glaciology aims at enhancing the human and institutional capacities of Indian students and researchers, comprises three levels, and is conducted every year. Level I provides a basic course in the field of glaciology and related topics. Level II includes field work training followed by an advanced course building on the base of the Level I topics. Finally 2-5 participants will be selected for proposed research under the DST Climate Change programme jointly supervised by Indian and Swiss faculty.

Integrated Vulnerability and Hazard and Risk Assessment for Kullu

Starting from baseline data studies on climate and changes in the cryosphere, the involved institutions conduct wide-ranging studies within the overall framework of integrated vulnerability and hazard and risk assessment in the Kullu district, Himachal Pradesh. Applied scales range from district to village level, and can be expanded to other mountain communities in the Indian Himalaya Region.

Himalayas, adaptation, capacity building, risk assessment
2012 – 2015
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC/DEZA)
  • Meteodat GMBH
  • Universitiy of Fribourg
  • Universitiy of Bern
  • Universitiy of Geneva
  • Himachal Pradesh Council for Science and Technology
  • Himachal Pradesh Centre for Climate Change (HPCCC)
  • GB Pant Institute for Himalayan Environment and Development (GBPIHED
  • IHCAP 2016 Climate vulnerability, hazards and risks: an integrated pilot study in Kullu district, Himachal Pradesh pdf Synthesis Report, Indian Himalayas Climate Adaptation Programme
  • Muccione, V., Salzmann, N. and Huggel, C. 2016 Scientific knowledge and knowledge needs in climate adaptation policy pdf Mountain Research and Development 36, 364 – 375. doi:10.1659/MRD-JOURNAL-D-15-00016.1
  • Schauwecker, S., Rohrer, M., Huggel, C., Kulkarni, A., Ramanathan, A. L., Salzmann, N., Stoffel, M. and Brock, B. 2015 Remotely sensed debris thickness mapping of Bara Shigri Glacier, Indian Himalaya pdf Journal of Glaciology 61, 675 – 688. doi:10.3189/2015JoG14J102
  • Allen, S. K., Rastner, P., Arora, M., Huggel, C. and Stoffel, M. 2015 Lake outburst and debris flow disaster at Kedarnath, June 2013: hydrometeorological triggering and topographic predisposition pdf Landslides. doi:10.1007/s10346-015-0584-3
  • Linsbauer, A., Frey, H., Haeberli, W., Machguth, H., Azam, M. F. and Allen, S. 2015 Modelling glacier-bed overdeepenings and possible future lakes for the glaciers in the Himalaya-Karakoram region pdf Annals of Glaciology 57, 119 – 130. doi:10.3189/2016AoG71A627
  • Frey, H., Machguth, H., Huss, M., Huggel, C., Bajracharya, S., Bolch, T., Kulkarni, A., Linsbauer, A., Salzmann, N. and Stoffel, M. 2014 Estimating the volume of glaciers in the Himalayan–Karakoram region using different methods pdf The Cryosphere 8, 2313 – 2333. doi:10.5194/tc-8-2313-2014