Contributions Workshop 1.1.D:
Climate change in Mountain regions: Bringing together methodologies and knowledge systems

ID: 219
Workshop & Poster
Contextualizing stakeholder perspectives through hydroclimate assessments: A case study in the Sierra Nevada, western United States
Keywords: snow-fed river systems, local stakeholder knowledge, hydroclimate assessment, agent based modeling

Sterle, Kelley1; Hatchett, Benjamin2; Singletary, Loretta1; Pohll, Greg2
1University of Nevada, Reno, Reno, Nevada, USA; 2Desert Research Institute, Reno, Nevada, USA

Workshop Abstract:

In snow-fed arid land river basins across the western United States, mountain snowpack is a significant source of water supply. Changes in snowpack accumulation and snowmelt timing have significant implications for downstream water users and challenge existing water management institutions based on stationary climate patterns. Examining climate change implications in these basins not only requires a quantitative assessment of climate-induced water supply variability, but also necessitates interaction with local stakeholders to understand feedbacks between the human and water system. The points raised in this workshop exemplify key challenges faced in a collaborative research program developed for and implemented in the Truckee-Carson River System in the western United States that convenes interdisciplinary researchers and key stakeholders to assess climate resiliency. In addition to the varying expertise of our research team, stakeholders representing the diverse water use communities, spatially distributed from mountain headwaters to arid-land terminus, bring unique perspectives as to how to adapt to climate change and how to prioritize research to meet local science information needs. As a participant in this workshop, I will describe a successful example of how we linked four years of qualitative interview data with quantitative hydroclimate data to contextualize local stakeholders’ perspectives on whether recent climate variability resembled the “new climate normal” anticipated for the region. That is, the assessment of recent hydroclimate variability (water years 2015-2018), inclusive of a prolonged drought period and a historic wet year, extended an understanding of local stakeholders’ perceptions of climate change and their subsequent responses. Ongoing analyses seek to tailor research activities to specific river reaches to address spatiotemporal differences in climate information needs. As an interdisciplinary hydrologist, I look forward to contributing to and learning from this discussion of methods that consider local stakeholder knowledge in socio-hydrology research in mountain regions.


ID: 222
Workshop & Poster
Evaluating the Effectiveness of Collaborative Modeling Methodologies to Address Climate Change in Mountain Regions: A Case Study in the Sierra Nevada, Western United States
Keywords: collaborative modeling methodologies, mountain regions, normative iterative interactions, formative/summative evaluations

Singletary, Loretta; Sterle, Kelley
University of Nevada, Reno, United States of America

Workshop Abstract:

Community climate resiliency refers to the capacity of coupled human-natural systems impacted by climate change to respond to disturbances and reorganize as necessary to sustain critical functions. Resilience metrics must have local context, integrate across spatial scales, and address community capacity to adapt to climate stressors, including climate uncertainty. In the context of snow-dependent arid land river systems, climate resilience comprises differential networks of water management interests. While increasingly variable snow-fed water supply may increase stakeholder conflict, it may also spawn unprecedented opportunities to collaborate, particularly in shared river basins where water allocation mechanisms and property rights institutions play a critical role in mitigating historical water disputes. As a workshop participant, I will describe a suite of collaborative modeling (CM) methods employed to assess and enhance the climate resiliency of snow-fed arid lands river systems in the Truckee-Carson River System in the western United States. Funded through a grant from the National Science Foundation Water Sustainability and Climate Program, this 5-year case study demonstrates how CM methods, based on normative iterative interaction, including stakeholder analysis, primary data collection, and facilitated group procedure, can support basin-scale adaptation. I will share the results of formative and summative evaluations that indicate the CM methods: 1) facilitated local climate adaptation to enhance resiliency at the basin scale, 2) consistently engaged stakeholders in setting research agendas and facilitated social learning, 3) provided iterative and structured interaction between stakeholders and researchers, 4) combined diverse, practical knowledge with unbiased science research, and 5) effectively utilized a boundary organization to guide and support effective knowledge co-production. Lessons learned from this case study lend additional insight into the perks and pitfalls inherent to interdisciplinary knowledge co-production and emphasize the importance of evaluation to identify and empirically test best practices involving the selection and application of collaborative modeling methods.


ID: 248
Workshop & Poster
Credible processing of diverse knowledge types
Keywords: legitimate knowledge, stakeholder types, latent interests, shared knowledge representation, qualitative/quantitative

Erdmann, Lorenz
Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI, Germany

Workshop Abstract:

Pertinent debates on climate change in mountain regions rarely account for the different natures of knowledge types and related interests involved. Meanwhile, expert knowledge and unconventional knowledge, such as traditional or lay knowledge, are increasingly competing for credibility and legitimacy. While the current situation of climate change in mountain areas is a matter of fact knowledge, impact assessments, policies and responses bear latent interests often appearing as controversial future assumptions. First, there is a clear need to specify legitimate knowledge and stakeholder types. Second, latent stakes and knowledge claims need to be made explicit and related to one another accounting for their different natures.

My contribution to the workshop will include the application of my expertise on methodological concepts that are able to deal with typical reasons for mismatches between scientific knowledge, human views and responses and thus improve credibility and legitimacy of integrated studies on climate change in mountain regions:

(1) Approaches such as identifying stakeholders via critical systems' thinking, different stakeholder classifications, and participatory foresight (especially scenarios) accounting for diverse perspectives and shedding light on deliberation arenas provide procedures to avoid a number of pitfalls raised in question 2.
(2) While most legitimate knowledge types may contribute to the understanding of climate change in mountain regions, their different natures ask for translations into shared knowledge representations that allow for mutual relationship assessments. Such often qualitative (e.g. narratives) or semi-quantitative (e.g. cross impacts analyses) representations have been mapped to quantitative model variables in participatory formats successfully (question 1).

As an environmental engineer leading the research unit "future alternatives and society" at Fraunhofer ISI, I bring in long professional experience in inter- and transdisciplinary research, including sustainability research, integrated assessment and foresight.

As a mountain passionate, I am eager to apply my expertise to climate change in mountain regions.


Poster Abstract:

Foresight to explore mountain future

List of competences and references, including

- stakeholder identification and analysis

- how to involve stakeholders in participatory foresight

- transformative scenarios and narratives

- sustainability research

- horizon scanning

ID: 268
Workshop & Poster
Adaptation action and research in glaciated mountain systems: Are they enough to meet the challenge of climate change?
Keywords: Climate change, adaptation, systematic review

McDowell, Graham1; Christian, Huggel2; Holger, Frey2; Frances, Wang3; Katherine, Cramer1; Ricciardi, Vincent1
1University of British Columbia, Canada; 2University of Zurich, Switzerland; 3McGill University, Canada

Workshop Abstract:

The challenge of climate change in glaciated mountain systems is significant and cannot be met without adaptation actions and research that engage substantively with:

  1. The rate and magnitude of climate-related changes, which implies a need to understand and address environmental changes without historical precedence;
  2. The inherently social nature of climate change impacts and adaptation, which implies a need to understand and address social conditions that both necessitate and constrain adaptation;
  3. The potentially cascading effects of human adaptation on broader socio-ecological dynamics, which implies a need to understand and address the effects of human adaptation in and beyond high mountain socio-ecological systems.

However, our understanding of the degree to which existing adaptation work is integrating insights from these diverse issue areas is limited, a shortcoming compounded by a lack of consistent and comparable information about adaptation action and research across glaciated mountain areas. In response, this study utilized formal systematic review methods to critically evaluate content reported in peer-reviewed and grey literature documents related to adaptation in mountain areas. Our global progress report identifies increasing adaptation action and research over the last 25 years, yet efforts to integrate diverse knowledges and methodologies to address the interwoven scientific, human, and socio-ecological dimensions of climate change in mountain areas remains scarce. If adaptation action and research do not engage more substantively with these interlinked issues, the challenge of climate change may go unmet, with implications for human well-being and ecological resilience in and beyond mountain areas. This study contributes an integrative framework for the challenge of climate change in glaciated mountains systems; clarifies the state of adaptation action and research vis-à-vis this framework, including the nature, causes, and consequences of existing shortcomings; and provides recommendations for advancing knowledge integration objectives in future adaptation efforts.

ID: 333
Workshop & Poster
Interdisciplinary analysis of perceived precipitation variability and temperature trends in the agricultural Cochabamba region, Bolivia

Jokinen, Johanna C.1; Gurgiser, Wolfgang2; Juen, Irmgard2
1Uppsala University, Sweden; 2University of Innsbruck, Austria

Workshop and Poster Abstract:

Changing climatic conditions pose a major threat to continuity of agricultural production in the Bolivian Cochabamba region, along with the processes of rapid urbanization and soil erosion. Local perceptions of global environmental change are increasingly acknowledged in the scientific discussion. Yet, studies comparing local knowledge with precipitation and temperature data analyses in the Andean mountain regions are scarce. The qualitative analysis of human perceptions is based on 51 semi-structured interviews with small-scale farmers in three peri-urban communities located outside the cities of Cochabamba and Sacaba. The peasants have experienced decreasing amount of precipitation, less regular patterns of rainfalls, and delays in rainy season onset. They also report warmer temperatures and stronger heat during days and colder temperatures at nights. The climatic analyses were conducted by using daily precipitation and temperature records from the station of Cochabamba Airport (1949 to 2016). Trend analyses of the precipitation data show no significant trend on annual scales and over the entire time period (1949 - 2016) but we found some interesting patterns and significant trends (increasing as well as decreasing) for individual months and shorter time periods. Measured min. and max. temperatures are increasing throughout the entire period and in all months. All climatic analyses are expected to be subject to considerable uncertainty due to changed sensors and measurement methods.

ID: 355
Workshop & Poster
Hydrologic change in proglacial catchments – Findings from the Cordillera Blanca, Peru
Keywords: Peru, glacier, hydrology, groundwater

McKenzie, Jeffrey1; Mark, Bryan2; Baraer, Michel3; Somers, Lauren1
1McGill University, Canada; 2The Ohio State University, USA; 3École de Technologie Supérieure, Canada

Workshop and Poster Abstract:

Although more than 370 million people live in watersheds where glaciers provide a minimum of 10% of runoff, questions remain concerning the processes controlling the generation of baseflow in high mountain watersheds. We present research from the Cordillera Blanca, Peru, a mountain range with the highest density of glaciers in the tropics. We have found that dry season runoff is comprised of both groundwater and glacial meltwater , and that groundwater may contribute up to 50-70% of outflow in some tributaries. In order to assess the potential for groundwater to maintain streamflow and offset the impact of glacier recession, we need to understanding the complete hydrologic system in these high elevation watersheds, including glacier meltwater generation, recharge mechanisms, subsurface pathways, storage, and net fluxes to rivers.

Methodologically, we use a broad range of tools, including hydrochemical tracing, field investigations, geophysics, and numerical modeling. Broadly, our results show that low-relief ‘pampa’ valleys are critical for the storage and release of groundwater during the dry season. These valleys, which have a total area of ~65 km2 across the mountain range and in the near surface are comprised of unconsolidated glacial, talus, lacustrine and wetland (bofedales) deposits. A ubiquitous feature of the pampa valleys are springs located at the base of talus deposits and along the valley floor. The inclusion of groundwater is critical for water resources, including hydroelectric generation, domestic water supply, and small and industrial scale irrigation.

ID: 413
Workshop & Poster
Climate services for the alpine region
Keywords: Climate Services, Climate Change in the Alps, Climate Scenarios, Snow, Avalanches

Gobiet, Andreas
ZAMG, Austria

Workshop Abstract:

Coming from the field of regional climate modelling (e.g. as EURO-CORDEX coordinator), A. Gobiet worked on the interface between climate and impact models for several years and is now responsible for the working group on climate services in the Austrian weather service ZAMG. In the field of user-oriented climate services, many factors interact. Not only the "scientific" information sources (e.g. from climate monitoring, and climate and impact modelling activities) are of importance, but equally knowledge about regional vulnerability and regional non-climatic issues. Additionally the topic of communication and two-way interaction with users is very relevant. As a physicist, who moved all the way from climate modeling, via impact modelling to communicating and user-oriented consulting, A. Gobiet brings a broad range of expertize, which may be valuable for answering the two main questions of the workshop.

ID: 469
Workshop & Poster
Struggling for integration: Experiences of joint research in the Cordillera Blanca region, Peru

Keywords: Cordillera Blanca, Peru, data integration

Neuburger, Martina1; Singer, Katrin1; Gurgiser, Wolfgang2; Kaser, Georg2
1University of Hamburg, Germany; 2University of Innsbruck, Austria

Workshop and Poster Abstract:

Starting with the same idea of engaging with society and glaciers under the impact of climate change in the Cordillera Blanca region in Peru, we – human geographers and meteorologists – applied successfully for a research project. Even though working on the same time and spatial scales, the overarching aim of bringing together results on glacier mass balance, the subsequent changes in water availability for irrigation and the societal response to it was challenged by several unexpected dimensions:

  • Uncertainties in dynamics of glacier mass balances as well as of agricultural land use systems made it difficult to integrate results.
  • Necessities and availabilities of qualitative and quantitative data differed considerably.
  • The beforehand defined research focus on glacier run-off and irrigation was challenged by much more complex physical and societal contexts questioning the project aim.

Struggling for integration of human-geographic and meteorological results we adapted methodologies and focuses of our research in order to adequate them on the “field”.

With our contribution we would like to discuss our experiences of joint research as struggle for integration of natural and social science and as dialogue between science, society and nature.


ID: 488
Workshop & Poster
Cryosphere contributions to the Society: a new lens for bridging knowledge, sustainability and resilience in high mountian environments
Keywords: Cryosphere, High Mountains, Society, Service functions, Hindu Kush Himalaya, Resilience, Sustainability

Samyn, Denis;  Wester, Philippus; Sinisalo, Anna; Maharjan, Amina; Inglis, Sam; Shrestha, Arun

Workshop Abstract:

As an essential part of the climate system, the cryosphere is one of the most sensitive and representative indicators of climate change. Through complex feedback processes at different spatial and temporal scales, it also has profound ties with the other spheres of the environment such as the biosphere, the hydrosphere, the geosphere and the human-related anthroposphere.

Despite decades of research on high mountain development and the cryosphere, knowledge building and its applications in both fields have often followed independent, if parallel, tracks. It has become increasingly apparent that an alternative framework may be needed that integrates the plurality, interactivity, intersectionality, and co-production in the cryosphere and of the communities in high mountain environments. While the concept of cryosphere contributions is a comparatively new lens through which to envision the cryosphere and its intersection with the society, this workshop will explore its relevance in the high-mountain environment and its potential for effectively building a bridge between science outputs and society outlooks.

This workshop will also take the opportunity to highlight key findings from a specialized international "Cryo-Forum" held in August 2019 at ICIMOD in Kathmandu, Nepal, with the aim to foster discussions on the emerging topic of cryosphere contributions in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region, and on strategies and pathways towards increasing the resilience of HKH communities.

Poster Abstract:

The contribution of the cryosphere to human societies has been increasingly recognized over the last decades, and has emerged as a new research field at the crossroads between engineering, environmental, sociological and political sciences. This is especially true for the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region, commonly referenced as the “water towers of Asia” for providing water for nearly two billion people across Asia. The HKH region plays in this way an important role in ensuring water, food, energy, and environmental security for the continent, where poverty and vulnerability are high and climate change impacts on the cryosphere and other spheres of the environment are strong.

While the cryosphere provides a whole range of contributions for the communities living in high mountain environment and below, not all of these are well documented. Benefitial contributions such as the supply of water for irrigation and agriculture, and adverse contributions such as flood disasters, are relatively well studied, whereas intangible contributions including spiritual or aesthetic dimensions are poorly constrained.

Terminology, significance and examples of cryosphere contributions in the HKH region will be discussed here, building upon key findings from a dedicated international "Cryo-Forum" held in August 2019 at ICIMOD in Kathmandu, Nepal.


ID: 524
Workshop & Poster
Analyzing the dismantling of technical instruments of a GLOF early warning system by local people: reflections on knowledge encounters

Keywords: Encounters of knowledges, local knowledge, scientific knowledge, high mountains, risk networks

Jurt, Christine1; Vicuña, Luis2; Frey, Holger2; Huggel, Christian2
BFH, Switzerland; 2University of Zurich, Switzerland

Workshop and Poster Abstract:

The analysis of the destruction of an early warning system for outbursts of a glacial lake in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru, by local people lead to a re-thinking of different perspectives that had been underlying the project. The project design was based on an integrative approach including farmers, governmental and non-governmental institutions in Peru as well as international scientists under the framework of international cooperation. Thereby, local actors have been integrated into the project since the beginning.

The narratives of the actors involved – addressing the past, present as well as the future - brought up different elements that were crucial for a deeper understanding of the destruction going beyond ascriptions of vandalism and ignorance: a) the definition of “local actors” b) the involved actors’ risk perception networks c) relationships between representatives of the different knowledge systems in the past up to the future in different situations d) the role of non-human actors and e) the interplay of knowledge, power and interests at different spatial levels.

The sources of information for understanding the different perspectives were chosen according to the actors and the knowledge systems they represent. Nevertheless, it has to be kept in mind that the boundaries between the systems are blurred and the actors might refer to more than one knowledge system depending on the situation and the hierarchies of actors and knowledge systems at play.

ID: 552
Workshop & Poster
The Mountain Legacy Project: Using repeat photography to explore, document, and understand landscape change in the Canadian cordillera

Keywords: Landscape change, repeat photography, regional, visualization software

Sanseverino, Mary; Higgs, Eric; Tricker, James
University of Victoria, Canada

Workshop Abstract:

Based at the University of Victoria’s School of Environmental Studies, researchers with the Mountain Legacy Project (MLP; have spent the past 20 years using repeat photography to explore landscape change in the Canadian cordillera. Working with a vast systematic collection of historical mountain survey photographs – more than 120,000 images – MLP teams determine the photo locations, go to the same place, and accurately rephotograph the images. MLP researchers, drawn from sciences, humanities, arts, and environmental management, then find different ways to “let the photographs speak”. The same historic/modern pair will often tell different “stories”, depending on the questions asked and how they are framed. However, change – whether explicitly or implicitly climate-driven – is common to most.
MLP methodology has provided key input into research from diverse areas such as:
Park/wildland management strategies;
Alpine treeline ecotone change;
Glacial retreat;
Indigenous Peoples on the land;
Flood management issues;
Landscape homogenization in the Canadian Rockies;
Species-habitat models and land cover change;
Mountain place histories;
Wildland fire regime change;
Different ways of knowing mountain weather.
Three features are essential to the success of MLP:
· Reliance on and distribution of carefully curated photographic resources and metadata as a basis for much of the research;
· Building and nurturing strong research partnerships with diverse groups;
· Commitment to developing and releasing software tools that help researchers visualize/quantify/describe change in the photographs in innovative and integrative ways.
Indeed, recent developments in custom software allow for quantitive assessment of landscape features in oblique images, which further unlocks the potential of the MLP images (and other collections) to assess the consequences of climate change in mountain landscapes. We invite collaboration with researchers from diverse backgrounds to work together at creating new conceptual, theoretical, and methodological approaches to addressing urgent mountain issues.

Poster Abstract:

The Mountain Legacy Project: Methodologies and insights from 20 years of repeat photography in the Canadian cordillera
Mary Sanseverino,
James Tricker,
Eric Higgs,
Michael Whitney

For 20 years the Mountain Legacy Project (MLP;, based at the University of Victoria in the School of Environmental Studies, has been using repeat photography to explore change in Canada’s mountain landscapes. Utilizing historical photographs of remarkable fidelity, MLP teams seek to determine the photo locations, go to the same place, and rephotograph the images as accurately as possible. The historic and modern images are then aligned, analyzed, used by MLP for research, and made available to scholars, students, government agencies, the public at large – in fact, anyone interested in exploring Canada’s mountain heights.

With approximately 120,000 historic photos, almost all of which are glass plate negatives, Canada is home to the world’s largest collection of systematic historic mountain imagery. Most of the ranges in BC, Alberta, and the Yukon have extensive coverage. The earliest photographs date back to 1861 and are from the Canada/USA International Boundary Commission survey along the 49th parallel. But the vast majority come from topographic mapping efforts carried out between 1888 and the 1950s.

As of 2018 MLP teams have repeated over 8,000 of these photographs. The image pairs, along with thousands of as yet unrepeated historic photos, are published in searchable format online at Since its inception MLP researchers have developed and improved techniques for acquiring the modern retakes, for curating and analyzing the image pairs, and for publishing the results.

This poster presents an overview of Mountain Legacy process and methodology including the following:

  • initial acquisition of the glass plate negative;
  • image repeats in the field;
  • accessioning and curating all digital artifacts into a specialized database;
  • distribution of curated artifacts to MLP researchers, other research groups, and the public at large;
  • analysis in MLP’s custom-designed software visualization tool (the Image Analysis Toolkit).

The poster will also include a short bibliography of MLP articles, books, and websites.

ID: 568
Workshop & Poster
The role of native knowledge in managing mountain ecosystems (case study: Tang Sayad and Sabzkouh biosphere reserves)

Keywords: pastures, Local Knowledge, Nomads, Biosphere reserve and Participatory Management

Mohammadifar, Bahar; Mortaza, Ashrafi Habibabadi
Akhtar Sepehr CO, Iran, Islamic Republic of

Workshop and Poster Abstract:

Today, several research results are revealing the importance of local knowledge of exploiters such as nomads, who are the main beneficiaries of these pastures, in reviving these areas. This study aimed to identify challenges facing the traditional system of pasture management by nomads, the policies of the current government and pasture management with existing methods in order to provide recommendations and solutions to combine indigenous and formal knowledge in line with sustainable management of pastures. For this purpose, the Bakhtiarinomads, settled in all areas of Tangsayad – Sabzkouh biosphere reserves in different seasons, have been considered as the population of study.Bibliographical and field research was carried out. The research was conducted using a combination of qualitative and quantitative data collection techniques (group discussions, focus groups, semi-structured interviews and structured interviews via a questionnaire). The geographic area of research encompassed the Tangsayad – Sabzkouh biosphere reserves in the provinces of Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari. Overall, results show that some government policies such as settlement of nomads, issuance of rules without prior research in pasture ownership, unsustainable rural development, lack of interest of younger nomadic generations in accepting traditional systems of pasture management and outdated laws are the main challenges ahead of traditional pasture management systems by nomads. In order to solve the problems in pasture management, it is important to consider favourability of indigenous and formal knowledge on the grus knowledge, reviewing and revoking conflicting and contradictory laws and laws of land ownership, completing audits and issuing updated documents, freehold pastures and natural resources laws, producing educational content in the field of indigenous knowledge and enabling the new generation to become familiar with benefits of this knowledge.

ID: 649
Workshop & Poster

Kalusche, Elena1,2; Bittner, Michael1,2
Universität Augsburg; 2Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)

Workshop Abstract:

The consequences of climate change are associated with great uncertainties, especially in the Alps (e.g. KLIWA, 2016). The study of the causes and the estimation of the impact of greenhouse gas emissions, extreme heat, humidity or air pollution are extremely relevant to society. They depend largely on the availability of reliable climate and environmental data. The collection and use of as many relevant measurements as possible in the regions is therefore of particular importance for the assessment of the current state of climate change and the assessment of climate-related risks.

Poster Abstract:

According to CIPRA [International Commission for the Protection of the Alps], climate change in the Alpine region is reflected twice as fast as the global average. For people, nature and the economy in the Alpine region, this means dramatic changes that pose great challenges to politics. Decisive in any planning is the resilience of our knowledge about changes as well as the effectiveness of political measures for climate protection.

The aim of AlpClimNet is therefore to support climate change policy by improving the monitoring and analysis of environmental and climate parameters. For this purpose, existing and available measurements from the ARGE ALP regions are integrated into or made accessible to the IT-infrastructure "AlpEnDAC" (Alpine Environmental Data Analysis Center - of the Virtual Alpine Observatory (VAO) in order to obtain a more closely meshed measurement network. The data base should also be complemented independent model and satellite-based data. The project is funded by ARGE ALP and the Bavarian State Chancellery.

ID: 657
Workshop & Poster
To whom belongs the Golden Ball of Knowledge? Andean Stories meets Scientific Thinking and Practising: a complex, enriching and contradictory encounter

Singer, Katrin
Universität Hamburg, Germany

Workshop Abstract:

The topography of the Andean range is a material, climatic, social and political construction of dynamically interwoven exogenous and endogenous forces. These forces and its ever changing topography, what we widely call nature or land, co-construct the everyday life and practices of the Andean population and vice versa. Thus, land is formed by climate, water and erosion, and it is also the home and the meeting point of very different but closely entangled forms of stories. Land is not only described by stories, but also constructed by them. With the help of stories people try to make sense of the felt, experienced and embodied encounter of past, present and future realities. Thereby the told stories are as different and contradictory as the narrators themselves and are a highly valuable archive of life.

I am interested in highlighting the complexity in the construction of land, knowledge and embodied practices in a small Andean watershed which is called like the river Auqui, that runs down the valley. In this watershed a lot of multiscalar and multiepistemic stories are coming together. Complex power relations claiming to search for truth and universality in those stories, which leads to a hierarchization with the effect that some are positioned as narratives of truth, e.g. strategies to adapt on climate change, and others as legends and are therefore labelled as not true, as fiction.

Bringing these different epistemological stories and related practices into dialogue, allows us in the sense of Donna Haraway, to think in ‘tentacularity’ about the land and the waterways. This form of thinking tries to break epistemic boundaries instead of renewing it due to our own research purposes. In sketchy form I take unsteady steps in my research to learn to think more in tentacularity and to confront and reflect legacies of Colonial Modernities.


ID: 127
Specific Research Poster
The Impacts of Climate-induced Changes and Related Disasters on Socioeconomic Conditions and Livelihood Sources of the Mountain Communities in Gilgit-Baltsitan, Pakistan

Keywords: Climate-induced changes, natural disasters, socioeconomic vulnerabilities, resilience, adaptive capacity, community-based adaptation, and ecosystem-based adaptation

Aaliya, Aaliya
Rural Support Program Network, Pakistan

Poster Abstract:

Mountain regions in Gilgit-Baltistan are among the most fragile environments in the face of climate threats although they are rich repositories and providers of ecosystem services and goods. Over the past years, the poor and marginalized communities living across mountain regions have been facing pressing challenges due to climate-induced changes and related disasters. To better understand how climate change impacts socioeconomic conditions of mountain communities and their livelihood sources in Gilgit-Baltistan, I conducted fieldwork in the summer of 2017 in one of the mountainous villages located in Gojal, known as Passu. I conducted 35 household surveys and 15 in-depth interviews among the residents of Passu village in order to collect their observations and past experiences about their own socioeconomic vulnerability led by climate-induced changes and related disasters. The interviews and household surveys responses’ confirmed that climate-induced changes and their impacts have already been felt by the residents of Passu village. Their perspectives reflect that with time, residents of Passu village have reduced their reliance on climate-sensitive sectors such as agriculture and are more engaged in different professions to generate income. Some of the residents have adopted internal migration as an adaptation strategy in order to reduce their socioeconomic marginalization. In addition, governmental and non-governmental organizations have implemented different projects to assess and monitor multiple hazards that might associate with glacial lake outburst flood events. Although climate-induced changes and related disasters vary substantially across regions and agro-ecological zones in Gilgit-Baltistan, my research shows that vulnerability to the effects of climate change remains in those mountainous villages where the majority of the population is still dependent on agriculture and tend to have a poor adaptive capacity and weak institutional structures.

ID: 208
Specific Research Poster
AgroClim Huaraz: water availability and water demand of small-scale farmers in the Peruvian Andes

Maussion, Fabien1Gurgiser, Wolfgang1;  Calanca, Pierluigi2; Klein, Cornelia4; Neuburger, Martina3
1University of Innsbruck, Austria; 2Agroscope, Switzerland; 3University of Hamburg, Germany; 4Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Wallingford, UK

Poster Abstract:

Human perceptions of climate change are formed by a bunch of factors whereas most of them – e.g. knowledge system, age or political ideology – are not directly related to weather phenomena but influence how we categorize them and how local knowledge about climate change is formed. Despite this subjective nature of perceptions and local knowledge, they are the basis of many societal and political reactions which can be problematic if they do not match with “reality”. From this perspective, it seems highly desirable to survey, question and better understand (our) human perceptions and local knowledge of climate change to dismantle and understand reasons for potentially misleading opinions and reactions. Doing this requires additional, (as far as possible) independent reference information. For our work in rural and data sparse mountain areas in the Cordillera Blanca in Peru, where we found such contradictions between reported climatic treats for agriculture and measurement data, we think the way to generate reference information are physical based modelling approaches. Although such approaches may contain subjective elements too and are subject to uncertainties themselves, especially in complex topography or when input data are sparse, they help to increase the level of understanding of the local climate and its impacts. The increased level of process understanding in turn enables plausibility checks of reported phenomena, potential changes and their impacts.

Referring to the workshop (1.1.D) question 1 which information source should be integrated in climate change analysis, we argue that up‑to‑date climate change detection and impact analysis in data sparse mountain regions require the combination of local knowledge and scientific (modelling) approaches to generate reliable assessments. Such assessments can also contribute to a better understanding of mismatches in (scientific) concepts and reasons for potential biases in human perceptions and local knowledge on climate change (question 2).


ID: 299
Specific Research Poster
Knowing Climate Change in the Trans-Himalayan Region of Nepal: Perspective from Local Narratives
Keywords: Climate change, knowledge, adaptation, Trans-Himalaya, Nepal

Poudel, Jiban Mani
Tribhuvan University, Nepal

Poster Abstract:

Despite considerable scientific studies, little research has been done about local knowledge, perceptions and responses to changes in the environment in the Trans-Himalayan region of Nepal in the context of a wider global climate change. In this context, this study explores the local way of understanding of and responses on climate change in Nhāson, a small valley located in the central mountain region of Nepal in which local people largely rely on agriculture, herding and trade for livelihood. In the process of knowing climate change in local context, I have documented local narratives that have been observed and experienced by the people of Nhāson inhabiting in the places and engaging in their everyday activities and practices to cope with the change. Both ethnographic approach, a hallmark of anthropology, and proxy scientific data were used to garner information. The local narratives are used to understand knowledge of the people of trans-Himalayan region of Nepal on changes in climatic variables that produced by global warming, and their responses to it for adaptation, and the scientific data is used to supplement local saying about the changes in environmental phenomena visually at local real world. It reveals that local narratives tell that global warming is strikingly affecting to the hydrological and environmental process in mountain regions of Nepal that is gradually disturbing and breaking up socio-ecological system and affecting communities who did not partake in the process of creating such anomalies.


ID: 672
Specific Research Poster
Can we measure and simulate Puspa rains?

Zauner, Cornelia1; Gurgiser, Wolfgang1; Maussion, Fabien1; Wohlfart, Georg1; Calanca, Pierluigi2; Neuburger, Martina3 
University of Innsbruck, Austria1; Agroscope, Switzerland2; University of Hamburg, Germany3

Poster Abstract:

When we want to compare human perceptions of climate change with measurements or model output we need to make sure that we can measure/simulate the relevant phenomena at appropriate scales.

During past research in the Cordillera Blanca (Peru) in an area close to the city of Huaraz, so called Puspa events and reports on their changing frequency attracted our interest. The term Puspa is used by local farmers to describe long lasting, light rainfall events important for moistening the soil toward the end of the dry season in August. For the last decades, farmers reported decreasing frequency of such events with negative implication for rainfed agriculture. A first comparison of these perceptions with daily precipitation data has not shown any hints for changing precipitation in August. Though the mismatch between the available (point measurement data with coarse temporal resolution) and required information (spatially distributed precipitation data preferably with hourly resolution) does not allow a critical examination of the human perceptions yet.

To overcome this limitation, we are investigating the capability of the currently most advanced measurement and modelling approaches to reproduce one single Puspa event in August 2018. If we succeed with simulating this and similar events, it would allow us to produce data sets for the last decades and to more thoroughly investigate potential climatic changes at scales relevant for human perception and activities.


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