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ICIMOD’s global advocacy campaign

Without immediate emissions reductions, dramatic losses of mountain glaciers around the world will be locked in.

We know that the HKH cryosphere, water, ecosystems, and societies are deeply interlinked. We also know that the impact of climate change on glaciers, snow, and water resources is clear and supported by robust science. The need to draw global attention to these impacts, especially on mountain societies and ecosystems, is pressing.

With the climate crisis already devastating communities across the Hindu Kush Himalaya, and waters held in these mountains critical for the food and water security of two billion people in Asia, ICIMOD has launched a global advocacy campaign to build the public and political will for faster action and greater climate ambition.

The Centre launched the campaign #SaveOurSnow on 29 May 2023, during celebrations to mark the 70th anniversary of the first ascent of Mount Everest.

At Namche Bazar, Tenzing Chogyal Sherpa, a glaciologist at ICIMOD, stood with his grandfather, Kanchha Sherpa, the last survivor of the first ascent, and urged action to save Earth’s frozen zones.

Helen Clark, the former Prime Minister of New Zealand, the descendants of Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary, joined thousands to sign the #SaveOurSnow declaration. Influential athletes including Kilian Jornet, Reinhold Messner, Rebecca Stephens and Kenton Cool backed the campaign, and over 300 global media organisations, including The Times, Sky News and the BBC, covered the campaign.

#SaveOurSnow brings together three key communities that are closest to Earth’s cryosphere, and most deeply impacted by the loss of its snow and ice – mountain communities, athletes, and scientists – to forge an unusual lobbying bloc too powerful to ignore.

ICIMOD is inviting everyone, everywhere, to back the campaign #SaveOurSnow.
A chance to win $1000 for your logo design. We are looking to create a visual identity for ICIMOD’s global advocacy campaign, SAVE OUR SNOW, targeted at mountain communities, the global outdoor/athlete community, and scientists as they are the most impacted by and aware of temperature rise in Earth’s frozen regions, especially the mountains of High Mountain Asia. Details: #DesignCompetition #LogoDesign #SaveOurSnow #FightFor1Point5
From scaling icy peaks to navigating changing landscapes, the #Sherpas are facing unprecedented challenges. Their story is one of grit, adaptation, and the urgent need for #ClimateAction. Read more: #SherpaVoices #ClimateAction #HimalayanBeauty #ClimateChange #ForTheHKH #SaveOurSnow @theeconomist @chogyal92
#Lateristoolate for the people and nature supported by the mountains of the Hindu Kush Himalaya. You cannot negotiate with the melting point of ice. World leaders must act to #SaveOurSnow #FightFor1Point5 @cop28uaeofficial
Ice loss this year has left scientists ‘gobsmacked’. Find out why. State of Cryosphere Report. Download. Read. Share. #FightFor1Point5 #SaveOurSnow
ICIMOD Director General Pema Gyamtsho, along with glaciologist Tenzing Chogyal Sherpa, biodiversity expert Sunita Chaudhary, and governance analyst Pradyumna Rana, is participating in the final day of the inaugural #OnePlanetPolarSummit. During this summit, our delegation have been making it clear that it is imperative leaders focus on high-mountain Asia, given its extraordinary exposure to cryosphere losses that are already locked in. Scientists are calling for the #cryosphere to be at the forefront of discussions, decisions and the agenda at #COP28. #FightFor1Point5 #SaveOurSnow @1planetsummit @ICIMODDG @chogyal92 @pradyumnajb @cop28uaeofficial
“Recent ICIMOD reports have revealed that the #HKH region has already witnessed 65% faster melting of #glaciers than the previous decade leading to an increased frequency of water-induced #hazards and #DisasterRisks.” – Pem Kandel, ICIMOD #ClimateAction #SaveOurSnow #FightFor1Point5 #HKH2UAE
“There is an urgent need to address the upstream-downstream linkages to effectively address impacts of #ClimateChange, #biodiversity loss and #pollution.” - Babar Khan, @_icimod #ClimateAction #SaveOurSnow #FightFor1Point5 #HKH2UAE @unep
“Regional cooperation and global finance are vital for urgent, near-term adaptation, and losses and damage” - @iz_koz, @_icimod #ClimateAction #SaveOurSnow #FightFor1Point5 #HKH2UAE @unep
“ICIMOD, as an intergovernmental institution, has made outstanding achievements in generating science-based knowledge, information, evidence and innovation for the #mountain societies and #ecosystems over the last four decades.” - Hon. Minister Birendra Prasad Mahato, Ministry of Forests and Environment, Nepal ICIMOD at the Fifth Forum of Ministers and Environment Authorities of Asia, 3-5 October 2023, Colombo, Sri Lanka. #ClimateAction #SaveOurSnow #FightFor1Point5 #HKH2UAE @unep @unitednationsescap
We are in a state of denial. Science has shown us that the earth is warming at unprecedented rates, and the hydrosphere, #cryosphere, and biosphere are severely disrupted. Snowline retreating. #Glaciers melting. Weather patterns changing. #DisasterRisks increasing. Deep in our hearts, all of us know that these are happening because of our own doing. Yet, while we keep talking of planetary boundaries, we keep flying thousands of planes in the air and plying millions of cars on the road. We keep on building new and bigger structures on the earth’s surface and longer and deeper tunnels beneath. We keep exploiting biological resources and extracting natural resources beyond their regenerative capacities. All scientific reports and assessments point out that we are reaching a tipping point and unless we act now, we are not likely to be able to reverse the course of the planet from spiralling towards an irreversible state which can no longer sustain lifeforms. #ClimateAction #SaveOurSnow #FightFor1Point5 #HKH2UAE #CryosphereHKH
2 billion people rely on waters held in these #mountains for their food & #WaterSecurity. We must shout louder. We must provide tangible evidence. We must advocate for urgent & rapid change. @iz_koz #ClimateAction #SaveOurSnow #FightFor1Point5 #HKH2UAE #CryosphereHKH
As the sun sets on @unitednations Secretary General’s first-ever #ClimateAmbitionSummit in New York, in Kathmandu, ministers, ambassadors and scientists from the eight countries of the #HinduKushHimalaya have gathered to urgently discuss the #climate & #cryosphere crisis. @antonioguterres #ClimateAction #SaveOurSnow #FightFor1Point5 #HKH2UAE #CryosphereHKH
An important new study shows how global heating is exacerbating the danger of avalanches during the climbing season in the Himalayas. Scientists, including Himalayan Universities Consortium fellow Jakob Steiner, say shifts in monsoon patterns and supercharged storm systems are disrupting the once predictable climbing season, with the fast-warming Indian Ocean unleashing cyclones of greater frequency and ferocity. These are ‘’causing excessive snowfall and even causing loss of lives,” says @_icimod scientist Arun Shreshta. Steiner says the study was conducted in order to build a clearer picture of the exact link between climate and the increase in avalanche fatalities. The hydrologist said, “There are so many other things happening, so it is difficult to say it is just climate change. But its footprint can be seen. ‘’We are doing this work because we eventually want to do the attribution work,” he told @neelimav for @guardian #SaveOurSnow #protectourwinters
Nowhere is safe from the rising tide of #plastic pollution: even earth’s highest mountain. This time last week – as local communities, climbers and dignitaries made their way to #Everest to mark the 70th anniversary of the first ascent, and ICIMOD launched our new #SaveOurSnow campaign – a video showing mountains of plastic, amid other rubbish, left at Base Camp went viral. But could ours be the generation that turns the tide on plastic? As negotiators leave Paris, having agreed to craft a draft of an internationally legally binding treaty to end plastic pollution, and the 50th anniversary of #WorldEnvironmentDay calls for collective action to beat it, there’s every reason for hope. And there’s every reason for action: the plastic industry is not only the fastest growing source of industrial greenhouse gases in the world, but plastic waste hugely aggravates the existing problems of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution in the Hindu Kush Himalaya. Read the full Message from our Deputy Director Deneral, Izabella Koziell through the link in our bio. #BeatPlasticPollution #WED2023 #EnvironmentDay #Everest70
The #HinduKushHimalaya is home to the world’s highest peaks and contains the largest volume of ice on earth after the polar regions. However, despite servicing a quarter of the world’s population, the impacts of #ClimateChange on the region are under-documented. We are calling on everyone who cares about the region to highlight the impacts of climate change by sharing your stories and photographs from the #mountains over the years. #FightFor1Point5 #Everest70 #Everest #ActNow #SaveOurSnow
❄️ 2,000 SIGNATURES ❄️ Thank you to everyone, from #Lima to #Dhaka, from #Herat to #Guangzhou, who’s signed our declaration to #SaveOurSnow Including and especially Kanchha Sherpa, the last surviving member of the first successful ascent, pictured here with his grandson and ICIMOD glaciologist Tenzing Chogyal Sherpa in Namche Bazaar ahead of celebrations to mark the 70th anniversary of a Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary’s achievement. #Everest and #mountains across the #HinduKushHimalayas are facing unprecedented and largely irreversible change. Choices made now will decide all our futures. SIGN our declaration RAISE your voice SHARE this post #Everest70 #FightFor1Point5
“In the next 70 years, two-thirds of #glaciers will disappear if we do not take urgent action to #SaveOurSnow. Breaching the 1.5 degree threshold will unleash catastrophe across the #HinduKushHimalayas. We should ask our leaders to take action.” - @kilianjornet 📸@julien_rai Sign the Declaration through the link in our bio. #FightFor1Point5 #Everest70 #Everest #ActNow
"We’re already seeing the catastrophic impacts of #ClimateChange right across the #HinduKushHimalaya today. We have droughts, #floods, and #heatwaves that are coming to us with increasing severity and frequency. If we breach the 1.5 degree threshold, this is only going to bring multiple new risks to the lives and #livelihoods of 2 billion people who rely on the #water and the resources that flow from this critical #mountain region. It's almost too late. We must make real our commitments to decarbonize, and we must do this right now." - @iz_koz Deputy Director General, ICIMOD Sign the Declaration to #SaveOurSnow 👉 #Everest70 #Everest #FightFor1Point5 #EverestDay
70 years ago today, Nepali climber Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and New Zealander Edmund Hillary became the first men to successfully reach the top of the world: #Everest #Sagarmatha #Chomolungma Today, the descendants of the first summiteers, @helenclarknz, the former Prime Minister of New Zealand and the last survivor of the first ascent, Kanchha Sherpa, are gathering at the foothills of the mountain to mark #Norgay and #Hillary’s historic achievement. But today, those at Namche Bazaar, are also looking ahead: and, calling from the top of the world for #ClimateAction – because Everest, and all the #mountains of the #HinduKushHimalaya, are now undergoing unprecedented and largely irreversible changes due to global temperature rises. Two thirds of #glaciers here are set to vanish by 2100 on current emissions trajectories, with devastating consequences for the 2 billion who live downstream. On the anniversary of the first ascent ICIMOD, the leading institute for the study of the Hindu Kush Himalaya, in association with Mountain Research Initiative (MRI), the @nepal_mountaineering (NMA) and @unmountainsmatter, has launched an urgent cry for global action to #SaveOurSnow and #FightFor1Point5 Photo credit: Edmund Hillary/ @rgs_ibg via @everest_today Today #Everest70 #EverestDay
“Even before we’ve hit the 1.5 degree threshold of the #ParisAgreement, the dangerous impacts of #GlobalWarming are already being felt throughout the #HinduKushHimalaya. (HKH) We need urgent, global action.” - Dr Pema Gyamtsho, Director General, ICIMOD Today marks 70 years since Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay first scaled #Everest. In these 70 years the rise in global temperatures is jeopardising Everest and the #HKH region that extends 3,500km across eight countries, from Afghanistan in the west to Myanmar in the east. Choices made now will decide the future for billions. There’s no time left - only if we #ActNow can we save our snow and the societies and ecosystems they safeguard. Sign the Declaration to #SaveOurSnow through the link in our bio #FightFor1Point5 #Everest70 #EverestDay
“Everest is changing, fast. Over the last years I have witnessed with my own eyes how Himalayan #mountains are being affected by #ClimateChange in unprecedented speed. The melting of its #glaciers is making mountains more dangerous for climbers but most importantly is putting in risk the lives of billions of people that depend on its resources.” - @kilianjornet, Athlete Sign the declaration to #SaveOurSnow through the link in our bio. #Everest70 #FightFor1Point5
THANK YOU The #SaveOurSnow declaration has hit more than 1,000 signatures in the first 48 hours, from all over the world and a huge spectrum of society – from mountain communities, to diplomats, legendary climbers to eminent earth scientists. Please add your name to strengthen our call for action to protect #Everest | #Sagarmatha | #Chomolungma, the #HinduKushHimalaya and all the world’s ice and snow. First signatories include Rt Hon @helenclarknz, the former Prime Minister of New Zealand, descendants of Everest’s first summiteers, Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary, and ICIMOD glaciologist Tenzing Chogyal Sherpa and his grandfather, the last surviving member of the first successful ascent, Kanchha Sherpa, who are all in Namche Bazaar to mark Monday’s 70th anniversary of the first summit. They’re joined by alpine legends Sir Chris Bonington, @kentoncool, Ed Dogulas, @kilianjornet, @reinholdmessner_official, Rebecca Stephens, Malcolm G Wood, Samuel Sidiqi, the first Afghan to summit Everest, Naila Kiani, the first Pakistani woman to summit six 8,000m+ mountains. Large numbers of ambassadors and civil servants and hundreds of earth scientists from the #HinduKushHimalaya region and beyond have also signed the declaration, including prominent figures from the IPCC, @unfccc, and mountain bodies such as Mountain Research Initiative (MRI), @unmountainsmatter, the Nepal Mountaineering-Association and allied organisations such as @unep and @unescokathmandu. Thank you to all our partners and supporters and to Himalayan Trust, The Tenzing Norgay Sherpa Foundation, Khumbu Pasang lhamu Rural Municipality and @Action for Nepal. #1.5degreesistoohot #SaveOurSnow #Everest70
“As we commemorate the 70th anniversary of the first ascent to Mt #Everest, we are also reminded about the great heights we still need to scale when it comes to addressing #ClimateChange. On behalf of the Mountain Research Initiative (MRI), we strongly support the urgent plea from #mountain communities, climbers, and scientists for immediate global action to address climate change. We encourage our mountain research community to join us in amplifying the effort by signing the declaration and sharing first-hand stories showcasing the transformations in our changing mountains. Let’s support the call to protect Earth’s mountains, snow, and ice.” - Dr. Carolina Adler Executive Director, Mountain Research Initiative Sign the Declaration to #SaveOurSnow through the link in our bio. #Everest70
Everest is changing – fast. Please join the likes of @kilianjornet, @kentoncool, @reinholdmessner_official & sign our declaration – calling for governments to make real on their commitments to limit warming to 1.5 degrees. The rise in global temperatures in the 70 years since the first ascent of #Everest is jeopardising the #HinduKushHimalaya region that extends 3,500km across 8 countries, from #Afghanistan in the west to #Myanmar in the east. We want everyone who cares about Everest & the region – from world leaders & climbers to local communities & scientists – to help us highlight the plight of the #HKH. Choices made now will decide the future for billions. There’s no time left - only if we act now can we #SaveOurSnow & the societies & ecosystems they safeguard. Link in bio. SIGN. SHARE. SPREAD THE WORD #Everest70
Monday marks 70 years since the first successful ascent of #Everest. 🚨But the world’s tallest mountain, #Chomolungma, “Mother, Goddess of the World” in Tibetan, and #Sagarmatha, “Head above the Clouds” in Nepali – is undergoing unprecedented and largely irreversible change due to #GlobalWarming. With the @wmo_omm predicting global temperatures to exceed 1.5 degrees of warming, we’re launching an urgent declaration calling on world leaders and businesses to #SaveOurSnow. SIGN. LIKE. SHARE. Sign the declaration through link in our bio
🚨ATTENTION: The #HinduKushHimalaya region is undergoing unprecedented and largely irreversible change driven by #GlobalWarming. If we do not take urgent action to #SaveOurSnow, two-thirds of #glaciers in the region will disappear before the end of this century. There is no time left. We invite you to lend your voice and show your support for the planet. Sign. Share. Spread the word Sign the declaration through the link in bio.

A climate warrior's mission to raise awareness

Bhutanese climate advocate Jamyang Jamtscho Wangchuk cycles from Bhutan, the world’s first carbon negative country, to the UNCOP28 in the United Arab Emirates, one of the largest oil producers in the world, carrying a bottle of meltwater from glaciers here.

BEFORE - Taboche and Khumbu Valley

Taboche peak (6367 m) as seen by Erwin Schneider from the east, 1950s. The photo was taken from above the Nangkartshung monastery Taboche, and its neighbour Jobo Laptsan (6440 m, centre, the mountain that looks as though it is bent and pointing north, preside over the lower Khumbu valley. At their base is the path to Everest base camp. Tsholo Tso is a moraine dammed lake at the foot of Jobo Laptsan The moraine seen as a white, glacial-l feature, is blocking the lake. (Photo: Erwin Schneider)

AFTER - Taboche and Khumbu Valley

Taboche and Khumbu Valley seen from the same point in 2007 by Alton Byers. The clean debris-free glaciers and ice nestled below the Tabocha summit have been reduced considerably by recent warming trends. The ice in the small glaciers below the ridges to the right (north) has suffered the most, perhaps because of its lower altitude, below 6000 metres Comparison of satellite images of Sagarmatha (Everest) National Park taken in the 1970s, and in recent years shows that hundreds of these small glaciers have disappeared. (Photo: Alton Byers)
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