Climate Change Impacts on Snow, Glacier and Water Resources: Multidisciplinary Network for Adaptation Strategies

When, local time: 
Thursday, 6 November 2014 - 9:00am to Friday, 7 November 2014 - 6:00pm
Where: 
Germany, Koblenz
Type of Event: 
Category 7-Seminar and Workshop
Contact: 
Mr. Bruno Freire de Souza - b.freiredesouza@unesco.org

This workshop will emphasize the importance of cooperation between the scientific community, governance in all levels and other stakeholders – as local communities - for the sustainable management of mountainous ecosystems, with special concern to snow, glacier and water resources. The aim of the session is to connect scientific research, policy development and action, and identify recommendations to enhance the interface between science and policy to develop sustainable adaptation strategies.

Glaciers are an inherent component of the culture, landscape, and environment in high mountain regions. They represent a unique source of freshwater for agricultural, industrial and domestic use, as well as an important economic component of tourism and hydro-electric power production.

The main river system of the mountainous regions is dependent on the melting of snow and glaciers in their headwaters. These river systems sustain the lives and livelihoods of the people and the economic development in the region. However glaciers worldwide are experiencing a rapid decline in mass. Changes in glaciers in the mountains will have significant effects on the large regional populations.

It is therefore crucial to assess and monitor all aspects of the water resources in the highly important headwaters of the rivers of mountainous and, in particular, to monitor the changes in and consequent impacts on river regimes of the melting of snow, glacier ice and permafrost.

The session will emphasize the importance of scientific cooperation and the cooperation among different sectors of the society and government, and connect scientific research, policy development and action, and identify recommendations to enhance the interface between science and policy to develop sustainable adaptation strategies. The session will also present case studies which will consider geographic hotspots of particular concern such as melting glaciers in mountains. Finally the session will contribute to enhanced resilience to global change, particularly climate change, through improved understanding of vulnerabilities, opportunities and potentials for adaptation. It will consequently contribute to the development of strategies and policies based on scientific/evidence-based knowledge in major mountain regions of Africa, Asia, Europe, and Americas.