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Melting Himalayas: Regional challenges and local impacts of climate change on mountain ecosystems and livelihoods

This report looks at the future consequences of climate change in the greater Himalayan region. Experts predict that global climate change will lead to major shifts in the strength and timing of climate systems affecting the region, and expect this to intensify in mountain areas.

The authors focus on changes in glaciers, permafrost and avalanches, as well as the implications for water supplies, ecosystems and hazards such as glacier lake outbursts and how these threaten regional populations.

The authors emphasise that because the poor and marginalised are likely to suffer the earliest and most, identifying changes in the environment likely to affect them is of utmost importance.

The authors highlight the need to work on policies and strategies — in land use, water management, disaster management, energy consumption and human health — in order to improve the adaptive capacities of communities at risk. They argue that community-led adaptive strategies and capacities, as well as substantial efforts to reverse the human drivers of climate change, are needed.

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