The Himalayan Karakorum Hindukush (HKH) Mountain region contains the second largest glacier in the world and acts as the main source for river systems in the area. Although this region provides a lot for the atmosphere and rural livelihoods there are climate-related hazards such as; floods, avalanches and landslides, which occur every year which can cause many human and material losses. Due to the change in climate the glaciers are rapidly melting and there is an increase in the volume of water which flows into the glacier lakes, this is known as Glacier Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs). The water flows into the V-shaped canyons during the GLOFs, which cause a torrent to develop. This fast flowing torrent affects areas that are in close proximity to the glacial lakes, destroying livelihoods, eco-systems and infrastructure in its path.
The UNDP, Ministry of environment, Government of Pakistan and Adaption Fund project’s objectives are to create an institution to address issues such as GLOFs risks which affect communities and livelihoods in Pakistan. Also to provide communities in northern Pakistan with the knowledge and understanding of how to respond to the risks that GLOFs can pose on them. The main aim is to provide institutions which can teach people about the affects of climate change and the risks to take into consideration.
Creating an institute to provide education and training for local communities in the mountain region is extremely important as this will give them the tools to learn signs of sudden GLOFs prepare them for disaster response and create flood warning systems. These would all be beneficial for the communities as they can utilize this knowledge for life, as well as pass it down with the help of the institutions in place.
Source: Project Proposal Document, 2011