Action for Mountain adaptation: solutions beyond the boundaries of science, policy, and practice

Around 90 per cent of almost a billion mountain people in the world today live in developing and transitioning countries, such as those in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region. Many live in poverty, and a third of mountain dwellers are vulnerable to food insecurity and acute hunger, often due to climatic stressors (such as droughts, floods, and landslides) coupled with economic, political, demographic, and social changes. These vulnerabilities to changes, which are largely outside of mountain communities’ control, require a multifaceted approach to adaptation that addresses the needs and changing realities of mountain communities and the underlying causes of their vulnerability. The ‘international conference on Mountain People Adapting to Change: Solutions beyond boundaries bridging science, policy, and practice’, held in Kathmandu from 9 to12 November 2014, sought to break down the boundaries between science, policy, and practice in adaptation to climatic and other changes in the mountains and downstream areas of the Hindu Kush Himalayas. The purpose of the conference was to find holistic approaches to adaptation that extend beyond political, sectoral, and national boundaries, and that bridge mountain and non-mountain interfaces. Organized by ICIMOD in partnership with the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Environment, Nepal, the conference brought together over 300 policy makers, development practitioners, climate experts, researchers, and journalists working in the area of climate change and adaptation. It provided a platform for the sharing of information and fostered rich discussions between policy makers, researchers, and practitioners.