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Climate Change, Water Resources and Disasters in Mountainous Regions

Report on the International Conference on Climate Change, Water Resources and Disasters in Mountainous Regions: Building Resilience to Changing Climate, Kathmandu, Nepal, 27-29 November 2013

The conference was organized Jointly by the Society of Hydrologists and Meteorologists Nepal, the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology Government of Nepal, and UNESCO International Hydrological Programme Nepal National Committee, in association with the Department of Irrigation/Adaptation to Global Change in Agricultural Practices, the International Association of Hydrological Sciences and the International Water Management Institute.

The conference was attended by some 275 participants from 24 countries. Invited overview papers were presented including:

  • Challenges related to global changes and water resources by Stefan Uhlenbrook
  • South Asian monsoon systems by Robert Gillies
  • Water Security in the Asian Pacific region by Shabhaz Kahn
  • Climate Change insights from IPCC 5th assessment by Kirk Smith
  • Contribution to High Asian Runoff from Ice and Snow (CHARIS) by Richard Armstrong

My own contribution was on opportunities for high mountain research within a new decade of research, outlining the Panta Rhei initiative with an emphasis on mountain regions. A further 70+ papers focused largely on the Himalaya but extended geographically from Iran to China. Most were concerned with floods, droughts and water supply and many dealt with the implications of climate induced changes in snow and ice resources as affecting the incidence of floods and impact on water supply.

In summary: this was a very effective regional conference.

Gordon Young

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