Cryosphere and related hazards in High Mountain Asia in a changing climate

UN Building, Kazakhstan
From: 15.09.2022 to: 18.09.2022

The Cryosphere Initiative, with UNESCOAga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH), the Government of Kazakhstan, and the Central Asian Regional Glaciological Centre in Almaty, Kazakhstan, are organizing the conference ‘Cryosphere and related hazards in High Mountain Asia in a changing climate.’

The international conference will bring together over 150 researchers, practitioners, policy and decision-makers, government representatives, youth, and development partners from Central Asia, South Asia and beyond, working in the cryosphere, disaster risk reduction, and climate sectors.

The conference aims to provide a platform to share knowledge, best practices, and ideas for the sustainable development of societies in High Mountain Asia (HMA) in the context of climate change. Discussions will focus on the climate-cryosphere-community nexus, contributing to the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), particularly SDG 6SDG 11SDG 13. It will also contribute to  SDG 17 by leveraging regional platforms for collaboration and partnership.

This event will be built on presentations and discussions, highlighting research frontiers, research opportunities and gaps, scientific uncertainties, and policy impact on larger populations in HMA.

Expected outcomes

  • Increased dialogue and understanding of the impacts of climate change on the cryosphere of High Mountain Asia
  • Shared understanding of knowledge gaps and research priorities
  • Opportunities for new partnerships and networks, especially between stakeholders from Central and South Asia
  • Networking opportunities for students and early career researchers
  • Policy brief and a report on the conference themes


The conference aims to host about 100-150 participants, including community representatives, government officials, academia, international institutions, development agencies, civil society organizations and youth, from the region and beyond.

The conference will include presentations on the status of knowledge across the HMA region on the impacts of climate change on glaciers, snow, permafrost, glacial lakes, and related hazards, including GLOFs, avalanches, and thawing permafrost.

The conference will have breakout sessions on specific hazards to share management and adaptation practices/options from the HMA region for cross-learning purposes. The discussions, good practices, and learnings will be reported back to the plenary.

The conference will also consist of sessions to ideate how best to engage and support youths and early career researchers for further research in areas of climate-cryosphere-communities nexus, and how best to benefit from citizen science. The final day will focus on a science-policy dialogue on this topic and the ways forward.

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