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Water, ice, society, and ecosystems in the Hindu Kush Himalaya

An Outlook

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Press Release

Executive Summary

Chapter 1

Water, ice, society, and ecosystems in the Hindu Kush Himalaya: An introduction

Chapter 2

Consequences of climate change for the cryosphere in the Hindu Kush Himalaya

Chapter 3

Consequences of cryospheric change for water resources and hazards in the Hindu Kush Himalaya

Chapter 4

Effects of a changing cryosphere on biodiversity and ecosystem services, and response options in the Hindu Kush Himalaya

Chapter 5

Cryospheric change, adaptation, and sustainable development in the mountain societies of the Hindu Kush Himalaya
Published by
International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development
GPO Box 3226, Kathmandu, Nepal
978-92-9115-759-4 (print)
978-92-9115-758-7 (online)
ICIMOD. (2023). Water, ice, society, and ecosystems in the Hindu Kush Himalaya: An outlook. ( P. Wester, S. Chaudhary, N. Chettri, M. Jackson, A. Maharjan, S. Nepal, & J. F. Steiner [Eds.]). ICIMOD.


This Water, ice, society, and ecosystems in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HI-WISE) assessment report provides a partial update to the first HKH assessment report, focusing on the interlinkages between cryosphere, water, ecosystems, and societies in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH). The vision, encouragement, and support of the former Director General of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), David Molden, and the former Deputy Director General, Eklabya Sharma, to produce this report is deeply appreciated, as is the continued support and guidance of the current Director General, Pema Gyamtsho, and Deputy Director General, Izabella Koziell. 

We are deeply grateful and wish to acknowledge the network that made this HI-WISE assessment report possible. The commitment, rigour and expertise shown by the Chapter Lead Authors and Authors, all freely contributing their time, is highly appreciated. As is customary in assessment reports, both the Chapter Lead Authors and the Authors are listed in alphabetical order and all authors agree to the full content of the chapter they contributed to. We deeply appreciate the time, rigour, and professionalism of the external expert reviewers, which has contributed significantly to both the content and credibility of this report. While not being exhaustive, we wish to acknowledge the following individuals, institutions, and governments for making this HI-WISE assessment report possible: 

Chapter Lead Authors: Sunita Chaudhary, Nakul Chettri, Miriam Jackson, Amina Maharjan, Santosh Nepal, Jakob Steiner, and Philippus Wester. 

Chapter Authors: Biraj Adhikari, Simon Allen, Mohd. Farooq Azam, Prashant Baral, Rasmus Benestad, Sanjeev Bhuchar, Hester Biemans, Fanny Brun, Rachana Chettri, Zhu Dan, Madhav Dhakal, Narayan Prasad Gaire, Sonu Khanal, Dongfeng Li, Arthur Lutz, Graham McDowell, Sher Muhammad, Avash Pandey, Binaya Pasakhala, Saurav Pradhananga, Randall Ritzema, Finu Shrestha, Milan Shrestha, Jakob Steiner, Markus Stoffel, Rupert Stuart-Smith, Amrit Thapa, Lang Wang, and Xiaoming Wang. 

External Reviewers: Anamika Barua, Tobias Bolch, Ram Prasad Chaudhary, Purnamita Dasgupta, Walter Immerzeel, Sarala Khaling, David Molden, Marcus Nuesser, Christopher Scott, Christian Siderius, Pasang Sherpa, Roopam Shukla, Mark Snethlage, Daniel Viviroli, Patrick Wagnon, Sonam Wangchuk, and Yan Zhaoli. 

Language Editors: Rachana Chettri, Nagraj Adve, Carmen Wickramagamage, and Kundan Shrestha 

Design: Mohd Abdul Fahad and Sudip Kumar Maharjan 

Secretariat: Bhawana Syangden and Rekha Khatri Thapa 

For Chapter 4, we would like to thank Babar Khan and Samuel Thomas for reviewing and providing inputs, and Yi Shaoliang for reviewing the references. For Chapter 5, we would like to thank Anu Kumari Lama for reviewing and providing inputs on the Tourism section. We are also grateful to Shiwei Liu for preparing Figures 5.1 and 5.6 and Tao Wang for Figure 5.5. 

Funding support for the assessment process leading to the production of this report was provided by the governments of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Norway, Pakistan, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, through core funding to ICIMOD. In particular, the earmarked core support of Switzerland to the Hindu Kush Himalaya Monitoring and Assessment Programme (HIMAP) from 2018 to 2022, under which this report was produced, is highly appreciated. 

Authors and reviewers participating in the HI-WISE assessment are affiliated with numerous institutions inside and outside the HKH region. Their institutions have contributed to the assessment through the in-kind support of their staff. We wish to acknowledge the contributions of the following institutions, without implying an endorsement of the outcomes of the assessment by these institutions: Arizona State University, USA; Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment, Regional Office Eastern Himalaya, India; Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China; Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska, USA; Free University Amsterdam, the Netherlands; FutureWater, the Netherlands; Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, India; Indian Institute of Technology Indore, India; Institute of Economic Growth, India; International Water Management Institute, Nepal; National University of Singapore, Singapore; Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Norway; Peking University, China; Pennsylvania State University, USA; Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany; The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China; The State Key Lab of Cryospheric Science, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Science, Lanzhou, China; Tribhuvan University, Nepal; Uncharted Waters, Australia; University of Alaska Fairbanks, USA; University of British Columbia, Canada; University of Calgary, Canada; University of Bern, Switzerland; University of Graz, Austria; University of Geneva, Switzerland; University of Grenoble Alpes, France; University of Heidelberg, Germany; University of Oxford, United Kingdom; University of St Andrews, Scotland; University of Zurich, Switzerland; Utrecht University, the Netherlands; Wageningen University and Research, the Netherlands.
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International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)

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