The Himalayan region

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Transcript The Himalayan region

Regional Glacial Lake Outburst Floods
[GLOF] Risk Reduction Initiative in the
-- a UNDP-ECHO Initiative –
Rajeev Issar
Bureau for Crisis Prevention & Recovery [BCPR]
South & South-West Asia
Regional GLOF Project -Hindu Kush Himalayas (HKH) region –
The Himalayan region -Straddling across Asia – spanning 8 countries and many
downstream ones
Largest areas covered by glaciers and permafrost – nature’s
renewable storehouse of freshwater
Intrinsically linked to global atmospheric circulation,
hydrological cycle, bio-diversity and water resources
Susceptible to hydro-meteorological, geological and climateinduced hazards
15K glaciers – 9 major river systems – 1.3b people
Outside polar regions, maximum impact of CC on Himalayas -higher warming than global average and glacial retreat @ 30-60
meters per decade
Likely increase in incidence of climate-induced hazards
Glacial lakes --
Himalayan glaciers -Himalayan glaciers retreating/melting at an alarming rate –
faster than glaciers in other regions
Dyurgerov and Meier, 2005
Glaciers and GLOFs -Bhutan: 677 glaciers – 2,674 lakes – 24 dangerous
Nepal: 3,252 glaciers – 2,323 lakes – 26 dangerous
India: 2,554 glaciers – 156 lakes – 16 dangerous
Pakistan: 5,218 glaciers – 2,420 lakes – 52 dangerous
Past Events:
21 events affected Nepal in recent past at an average of one
event every 2-5 years
ii. Bhutan has a history of GLOFs in 50s, 60s and in 1994 in
Luggye Tsho
iii. GLOF events in Ladakh, India though landslide-induced
dam outburst more frequent [viz. Parechu, Himachal]
iv. Six incidents in Pakistan during 2008-2009 in Hunza
Characteristics of GLOF hazard -Enhanced rate of glacial retreat
Behavioral variations in glacial retreat/advance and formation
of lakes within the Himalayan region
Increasing numbers and frequency of GLOF incidents –
perceptible increase since second half of 20th century
Inadequate understanding of physical dimensions of hazard
Inherent instability of glacial moraine
‘dams’ can cause sudden outburst
releasing millions of cubic meters of
water and rocks/debris in a few hours
Varying causes and multiple triggers
Project outline -Objective: Strengthen GLOF risk reduction efforts in the Himalayan region
[India, Pakistan, Bhutan and Nepal] through non-structural and communitybased interventions
Identify current needs, limitations and competencies in reducing
GLOF risks in HKH region and enhance understanding of socioeconomic risks associated with GLOFs
Initiate and establish a regional network to facilitate knowledge
networking of stakeholders to develop holistic approaches for GLOF
risk mitigation
iii. Promote community-based approaches for GLOF risk mitigation
Promote inter-organizational and regional coordination and adopt
a multi-stakeholder approach
vi. Support national governments and nodal institutions to develop
interventions to mitigate future GLOF/flash flood risks
The Methodology -Work closely with national and local administrations
A knowledge-driven approach -- technical inputs from
ICIMOD, Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, SAARC
DMC, TERI, IRI Columbia, TARU, NARC, WWF, Wadia Inst.,
GB Pant Inst., NIDM, Tribhuvan University, CNR (Bhutan),
HIPA, SASE, University of Sussex, ADPC etc.
Association of practitioners’ from DM, CC, development
planning, environmental management, NGOs/CBOs
Interaction with communities, elected representatives and
traditional community institutions
Test piloting of community interventions
Constitution of Core Working Groups in each project country
Gender and disability identified as cross-cutting issues
Key Outputs -Preparatory Assessment Reports focusing on (i) socio-economic
impact of GLOF/flash flood incidents, (ii) identification of risk
mitigation and preparedness measures adopted and (iii) identify
capacity needs and gaps at community and local administration level
Identification and implementation of community pilots
Knowledge networking and information sharing --- a dedicated
Organization of a local-level and national Consultations and
Regional Workshop with participation of identified stakeholders
A partnership approach – involving governments, technical agencies,
scientific/academic institutions, civil society organizations, elected
representatives, communities, media etc.
Greater experience sharing and coordination at regional level
Harmonization of ‘structural’ and ‘non-structural’ mitigation
measures and approaches
Knowledge networking -‘Melting’ of knowledge domains
Active participation of knowledge networks – DRM Asia, Solution Exchange
(India and Bhutan), DP-Net (Nepal), Pamirtimes (Pakistan), CPR Net, Energy
& Environment Net, DIPECHO-ICIMOD network
Collating resources, experiences, research findings and knowledge products
on GLOFs and risk mitigation approaches through ‘Queries’, E-discussion,
monthly updates (over 3K practitioners), dedicated webpage, email groups
Widening the ‘knowledge net’ -- Inputs from Institute of Geography and
Earth Sciences, University of Aberystwyth (Sussex), Kyoto University,
Carleton University, Canada , RISKRED, Office of Emergency Services
Commissioner, Victoria (Canada), University of Bonn, RMIT University
(Melbourne, Australia), UNESCO, Centre for International Climate and
Environmental Research (Oslo, Norway), IFRC, WHO and individual experts
Participation even from countries like Tanzania and Ghana
Linkages for building upon technical expertise of national, regional and
international organizations established
Harnessing media outreach
Exchange –
India (2000)
Exchange –
Bhutan (800)
Energy &
ment Net
Pamir times
– Pakistan
Value addition -Addressing an emerging hazard – focusing attention of
UNDP COs and administrations
Generating knowledge and research on processes of climate
change and their impact on hazard and risk profiles in the
Strengthening DRM portfolios
Project poised at intersection of climate change and disaster
risk reduction
Facilitating greater synergies with knowledge institutions on
climate change adaptation, risk management and DRR
practice area
Bringing technical knowledge to bear upon risk mitigation
Challenges and constraints -Vast geographical spread, limited resources and time-frame
An emerging hazard --- little understanding or past experience of
efficacy of community-based approaches
Diverse nature of communities with varying traditional practices and
DRM orientation
Inaccessible/inhospitable terrain and severe winters restricting
community participation due to scattered habitations
Technical challenge in the form of devising appropriate EWSs
Harmonizing two approaches as technology and resources crucial for
high-end structural interventions and local administrative/
community preparedness on the other
Linking up-stream and down-stream activities
Looking ahead -Regional Coordination: Close cause and effect relationship between
hazards and risks in Himalayan region and cross-border impacts --–
underscore need for a synergistic approach
Research and study: Promote research on emerging hazards, their physical
dimensions, disaster cycle, nature, causes, triggers and impacts – better
understanding of changing profile of climatic hazards and the virtual redefinition of hazards, risks and vulnerabilities as traditionally recognized
Knowledge networking: Need to promote greater information sharing
between countries with shared Himalayan eco-system --- greater
collaboration between knowledge generated and CCA/DRR approaches
Integrated approach: Need for an integrated climate risk management
approach addressing all climate-induced hazards – hazard-specific
research to complement the process
Policy frameworks: Need to formulate policy instruments and frameworks
at national, regional and local levels
Looking ahead -Harmonize CCA and DRR: Linkages with natural/water resource and
environment management, and land-use planning as essential
components of climate risk management strategies --i.
make them feasible, sustainable and ‘visible’ and connect to
communities’ livelihood patterns as 45 million people practice hill
agriculture and CC enhances their vulnerability
essential for safeguarding socio-economic and development assets
iii. address changing hydrological cycle
Early warning systems: devise EWSs for real-time and communityoriented warning dissemination to address peculiar challenges of
mountainous regions -– lesser response time but greater response
A multi-stakeholder approach: Involve different sectors and stakeholders –
need to involve administrations (national to local), scientific, academic,
and research institutions, technical agencies, civil society, communities
and their traditional institutions, elected representatives and media
Thank You