The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and The Mountain Institute
invite you to:
A Roundtable Discussion:
The Environmental and Social Consequences of Glacial Decline:
Why flatlanders need to care about high-altitude changes
Wedneday, October 26th 2011, 3:00 to 5:00 PM
6th Floor Moynihan Board Room, The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20004
Climate change is impacting mountain environments – and the people who live there – in very dramatic ways. Glaciers are melting, forests are disappearing and mountain water systems are eroding. These changes have consequences for mountain communities as well as potentially devastating consequences for downstream communities.
Scientists from the Himalayas, Andes and Appalachians trekked recently to Nepal’s Imja Lake, a new and unstable body of water formed by melting glaciers in the shadow of Mt. Everest. The expedition reached a number of conclusions that have wide-ranging implications for those living in mountain communities and for policymakers and the public at large. They include the need for greater focus on community-based research and adaptation efforts in high-altitude regions; recognition that greenhouse gas sequestration and mitigation are no longer sufficient for protecting fragile ecosystems; a sense of urgency in drawing on lessons learned from decades of development in the world’s major mountain systems; and a more sustained effort in pooling and applying the knowledge, research and analytical skills of scientists from around the globe. Equally important, the expedition concluded that more attention must be given to the experience of mountain people themselves, who have too often been neglected in the fight against consequences of climate change.
This Roundtable will be organized into three parts: (i) a general overview of climate change impacts on high mountain systems and downstream consequences; (ii) a muddy-boots account of the expedition to Imja Lake and lessons learned; and (iii) a discussion of broader policy implications for driving much-needed climate change adaptation strategies, with particular emphasis on involving local communities in the management of follow-up projects.
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and affiliation. Note: Due to heightened security, entrance to the building will be restricted; photo identification is required. Please allow additional time to pass through security. For questions, please contact Rosie Stone: email@example.com or 202-234-4050, ext 103.