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News from the High Mountains Adaptation Partnership (formerly High Mountain Glacier Watershed Program).
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Spring Greetings from HiMAP 

Catching up with your colleagues in the High Mountains Adaptation Partnership

Please enjoy a selection of pages that have recently been posted to HighMountains.org. We'd love to feature your work as well. If you get in touch soon, we’ll send out an update featuring your research and publications. Meanwhile, explore what your colleagues have been up to and send us your comments.

The Everest Alliance Climbs Another Step

Twenty leading climbers, scientists, and conservationists with a passion for the Mt. Everest region gathered February 9, 2014, to discuss the inception of a new organization called the Everest Alliance. Between them, the group had well over 50 summit assents, nearly a century of cumulative experience of working with the Nepalese government and/or development and conservation, and unlimited affection for the Khumbu and its people. The group gathered at the American Alpine Club’s headquarters in Golden, Colorado to decide whether there was a need for an Everest Alliance and if so, how to proceed from here. 

To read their conclusions, click here. To learn even more, join the Everest Alliance Working Group, a by-invitation-only Google Group. Contact jharlin@mountain.org for an invitation; please include a brief note about your personal experience in the Khumbu or elsewhere around Everest. This is an effort of the HiMAP CoP and you’re all welcome to participate. Also view the prototype EverestAlliance.org, where you can read a number of provocative background articles including TMI's history on Everest.


Whither the HiMAP Community of Practice?

In the previous newsletter we highlighted all the papers that were presented at the Glacial Flooding and Disaster Risk Management Conference in Huaraz, Peru, last July.

The conference also featured a session on developing the HiMAP Community of Practice. We broke into small groups to discuss current strengths and weaknesses of our CoP and how we could improve it. Each breakout group then reported to the entire gathering.

This discussion generated approximately 100 observations and/or suggestions. However, it might be easier to start with the following distillation down to a dozen of the major themes, emphasizing those that seemed to come up most frequently, whether it was in the conference room or while talking on the trail. Please read and comment. After all, the CoP’s future is in your hands.
 

The Glacial Lake Handbook is published!

We’re excited to announce that the Glacial Lake Handbook is now available. This new book from HiMAP, written by César Portocarrero Rodríguez, presents lessons learned by Peruvian engineers who have worked for more than 70 years on glacial lake management methods, mostly in Peru’s highest mountain range, the Cordillera Blanca. It’s a milestone work that should be useful to glacial lake managers worldwide. Read more and download the PDF here.

Repeat Photography Online Learning Experience

Our next HiMAP “online learning experience” will cover repeat photography for documenting change in the mountain environment. We have several HiMAP members who are very experienced in this process, including Alton Byers and Rodney Garrard.

If you’ve used this technique and are willing to share your experiences, please get in touch as soon as possible. We’re looking for all uses of repeat photography, from documenting long-term change (on the scale of decades) to rapid changes, including annual phenology. If you have a history of using repeat photography, would like to learn more about it, have suggestions on whom to include, or have any questions you’d like to ask the experts, please send a note to jharlin@mountain.org

Vote online NOW for TMI to win a 30,000 euro grant from the European Outdoor Conservation Association. It’s quick and EASY!

The Mountain Institute is competing in an online vote and would welcome your support for their project, “Kanchenjunga to Makalu: conserving Himalayan landscapes.” Your vote could make a big difference in supporting the landscape corridor between Kanchenjunga and Makalu, which contains some of Nepal’s best “off the beaten track” trekking and rich biodiversity. Extreme poverty and a lack of economic alternatives are forcing local communities to overharvest commercially valuable medicinal plants, overgraze grasslands, and illegally fell timber for Tibetan markets. Read more and vote by clicking here (it’s really fast and easy!)
Voting runs from 17th to 31st March 2014.
HiMAP member Ulyana Nadia Horodyskyj, a PhD candidate in geological and environmental sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder has launched an innovative crowd-funding campaign on RocketHub to help support her upcoming research as part of the American Climber Scientist Mt. Everest/Lhotse Snow Science Expedition. Check out her campaign to witness a new, albeit challenging, approach to self-funding research. You’ll also learn interesting details about the full expedition’s creative use of Sherpa and citizen scientists for high-altitude research by clicking here.
HiMAP member Jack Ives has published a new book, Sustainable Mountain Development: Getting the Facts Right. Dr. Ives has kindly supplied us with two chapters from his book, including pages on Imja Lake (download from our website).

“After a lifetime’s commitment to mountains, both as objects of adventure and intellectual curiosity, and subsequently as an integral, yet often neglected, part of the earth as home to all of humanity, I have succumbed to the not-untypical inducement of age – to provide a personal account. This book, therefore, is highly autobiographical. At the same time, it is a reflection on the process of how an initially small group of colleagues evolved from a collective of academic mountain researchers into a viable international activist group working for the sustainability of mountain environments.” Read the rest of the preface here.

Dr. Meeta Sainju Pradhan Assumes Directorship of TMI-Himalayan Programs

Dr. Pradhan’s professional commitment is to issues of social justice and equity as well as the environment. She received her Ph.D. from University of Michigan concentrating on Social Exclusion and Social Change, examining the barriers that prevent local communities from fully participating in local development initiatives. Read the complete announcement here.

Contemporary Human Impacts on the Hinku Valley, Makalu-Barun National Park, Nepal

A new paper by Alton C. Byers is freely downloadable from Himalaya: The Journal of the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies.

Dr. Byers began his field research in Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) National Park region in the mid 1980s, when he first started documenting the loss of shrub juniper and other alpine vegetation due to unsustainable harvesting as fuelwood to service the tourist industry. Expanding his work to neighboring high altitude regions, Byers conducted a survey of the Hinku valley, Makalu-Barun National Park and Buffer Zone in May 2007. He returned to the valley in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2012, and is scheduled to continue his studies under a National Geographic grant in 2014. Read more and download the paper from here.

A film by Daniel Byers and Starship Films profiling Lake 464, the most dangerous new glacial lake discovered during the 2011 rapid assessment of glacial lakes and first navigation of the Hongu valley. Read the abstract to the research paper on Springer, where the full text can be purchased: Glacial lakes of the Hinku and Hongu valleys, Makalu Barun National Park and Buffer Zone, Nepal, by Alton C. Byers, Daene C. McKinney, Marcelo Somos-Valenzuela, Teiji Watanabe, Damodar Lamsal.

If you missed the previous HiMAP newsletter, which focused mostly on the Glacial Flooding and Disaster Risk Management Conference in Peru, plus an excerpt from Dirk Hoffman’s Bolivia in a 4-degree Warmer World, you can view it here.
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