High mountain adaptation partnership: lessons learned in Nepal and Peru

High mountain adaptation partnership: lessons learned in Nepal and Peru

Glacier-dominated mountains play a major role in providing water to large numbers of people. These glacier-dominated areas also pose unique challenges to downstream communities as they adapt to recent and continuing global climate change. Two of the more serious problems in high mountain regions include decreased water supply reliability and increased threats from glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs), or moraine-dammed lakes left behind receding glaciers that can cause enormous downstream devastation if suddenly released by triggers such as an earthquake or overhanging ice.

This report details the lessons learned during the implementation of the High Mountains Adaptation Partnership (HiMAP)(www.highmountains.org) project between March 2012 and June 2015. Located under the broader USAID Climate Change Resilient Development (CCRD) project, the goal of the HiMAP is to strengthen the climate change adaptation capacities of people who live in, or are dependent on, high mountain glacial watersheds and the ecosystem services which they provide. The document is intended to be a resource for USAID Missions, donors, practitioners, and NGOs interested in learning more about the challenges of working in remote and roadless high altitude regions, particularly in view of USAID’s growing portfolio of high mountain climate change adaptation, water management, biodiversity conservation, and livelihood improvement projects throughout the world.

The lessons learned should also be of interest to those seeking to learn more about the new and emerging field of urban mountain development; highland-lowland interactive systems; and science-based, community-driven adaptation and community development projects.

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