An Integrative and Joint Approach to Climate Impacts, Hydrological Risks and Adaptation in the Indian Himalayan Region

  • Christian HuggelEmail author
  • Simon Allen
  • Susanne Wymann von Dach
  • A. P. Dimri
  • Suraj Mal
  • Andreas Linbauer
  • Nadine Salzmann
  • Tobias Bolch


Climate change has enormous impacts on the cryosphere In the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) which have been increasingly documented over the past years. The effects of cryosphere change on people, ecosystems and economic sectors is less clear but bears important risks. Adaptation to changing conditions and risks is a priority for the region. Here we draw on experiences of Indo-Swiss collaborations in the field of climate change, cryosphere, risks and adaptation in the IHR. First, we provide a synthesis of the climate and cryosphere in the IHR, and related impacts on downstream communities and systems. Second, we analyze the associated risks from a conceptual and adaptation perspective. We then introduce concepts of co-production of knowledge as an approach to an inclusive and sustainable adaptation process which includes the development of future scenarios with a wide range of stakeholders. We visualize this approach using examples of the water resource sector.


Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) Cryosphere Climate change Risks Adaptation Co-production of knowledge 



Part of the experiences and outcomes described here were the results of the Indian Himalayan Climate Adaptation Program (IHCAP), an initiative of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Indian Department of Science and Technology (DST), in collaboration with the University of Geneva, Meteodat Zurich and several Indian research institutions and universities. Some of the ideas and text in this chapter have emerged from fruitful collaboration with various Swiss and Indian colleagues during previous joint-activities. An earlier version of Fig. 26.4 has been drafted by Fabian Drenkhan (University of Zurich).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Huggel
    • 1
    Email author
  • Simon Allen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Susanne Wymann von Dach
    • 3
  • A. P. Dimri
    • 4
  • Suraj Mal
    • 5
    • 6
  • Andreas Linbauer
    • 1
    • 7
  • Nadine Salzmann
    • 1
    • 7
  • Tobias Bolch
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Institute for Environmental SciencesUniversity of GenevaGenevaSwitzerland
  3. 3.Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)University of BernBernSwitzerland
  4. 4.School of Environmental SciencesJawaharlal Nehru UniversityNew DelhiIndia
  5. 5.Department of Geography, Shaheed Bhagat Singh CollegeUniversity of DelhiNew DelhiIndia
  6. 6.CEN Center for Earth System Research and SustainabilityInstitute of Geography, University of HamburgHamburgGermany
  7. 7.Department of GeoscienceUniversity of FribourgFribourgSwitzerland

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