Central Asian Experts Identify Challenges to Adaptation in Mountain Regions

14 November 2011: Experts from Azerbaijan, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Mongolia and Tajikistan recently convened to explore how best to address evidence of climate change impacts on mountain regions in international discussions. Delegates noted the importance of Tajikistan as a source of water for Central Asia, China and the Russian Republic, with 8,000 glaciers and extensive high altitude lakes. 

The meeting on "Climate Change: Impacts, Adaptation and Development in Mountain Regions," took place from 9-11 November 2011, in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, and was organized by the Mountain Partnership Secretariat, the University of Central Asia, and the Government of Tajikistan, with support of the World Bank Development Grant Facility. Delegates highlighted impacts on agriculture, stressing that the climate change negotiations do not adequately consider mountain ecosystems and populations.

Meeting participants identified priority challenges related to: branding and better communicating the global importance of Central Asian mountains; advocating for mountain countries to act as one; consideration of a variety of renewable energy sources including the advantages and disadvantages of hydropower; sustainable use and management of water resources; collection of monitoring data and strengthening networks; efforts to combat forest degradation; identifying appropriate financial mechanisms for climate adaptation; improvement of grazing areas; and risk prevention of natural disasters. Participants outlined strategic actions to address each of these challenges.

Delegates visited local climate adaptation sites, particularly related to small-scale renewable energy activities. They also visited sites where fruit trees are being used to stabilize mountain slopes that are prone to mudslides. The Mountain Partnership Secretariat is housed at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO).

The meeting is part of a series of three regional meetings on adaptation and development in mountain regions hosted by the Mountain Partnership Secretariat. The meeting for the Latin American region was held in Chile in October 2011, and the meeting for the African region will be held in Mbale, Uganda, from 16-18 November 2011. [Mountain Partnership Meeting Website] [Mountain Partnership Press Release]