Earlier this month, experts from IPCC Working Group II came together in Durban, South Africa to begin preparing their contribution to the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6). Among them were representatives from the MRI and ICIMOD, selected to co-lead the Cross-Chapter Paper on Mountains.

From 20-25 January 2019, over 250 authors from the IPCC Working Group II – concerned with climate change impacts, adaptation, and vulnerabilities – met in Durban, South Africa for the First Lead Author Meeting of the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6). The authors were selected from more than 1000 nominations submitted by governments and IPCC Observer Organizations, with the selection aiming to balance expertise, gender, countries, and regions to ensure the inclusion of diverse views and scientific disciplines.

Following the announcement last year that Carolina Adler of the MRI and Philippus Wester of ICIMOD had been chosen to co-lead a Cross-Chapter Paper on Mountains as part of the Working Group II contribution to AR6, they too travelled to Durban to meet with their co-authors and begin the process of reviewing the existing scientific literature.

"For us, this week has been a very important starting point in setting the scene for the rest of this assessment journey, which will see us reach our goal in three years’ time,” said Adler of the meeting. “The opportunity granted to us to assess and highlight mountains in a changing climate is very exciting, given that we have the chance to do so in a comprehensive and integrated manner, looking at mountains as a unique and connected social-ecological system that is indispensable for society."

Having returned to their respective countries, the authors will now start to develop a draft for internal review, and will meet for a second time this summer to support this process.

mountains 509404 1280"It's really good to see mountains receiving serious attention in the 6th assessment cycle of the IPCC, with the 1st Lead Author Meeting in Durban laying a good foundation,” said Wester. “I'm looking forward to this process moving forward, with the 2nd Lead Author Meeting in Kathmandu in July as the next milestone. It's heartening to see the IPCC come to the mountains, and the Ministry of Forests and Environment, Government of Nepal, and ICIMOD are proud to host LAM2."

The First Order Draft will be available for Expert Review from 18 October to 13 December 2019. The Second Order Draft will be open for Government and Expert Review from 7 August to 2 October 2020, along with the first draft of the Summary for Policymakers. The approval of the Summary for Policymakers is currently scheduled for 4-8 October 2021.

In 2022, a Synthesis Report integrating the three IPCC Working Group contributions and other IPCC products undertaken in the sixth assessment cycle will complete AR6. This will be in time for the first global stocktake in 2023 by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, when countries will review progress under the Paris Agreement towards their goal of keeping global warming to well below 2°C while pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C.

For further information about the Working Group II contribution to AR6, including the outline, the timeline, and a link to the author database, please see the IPCC website.

Carolina Adler and Philippus Wester at WMF 2018
Carolina Adler and Philippus Wester pictured at the World Mountain Forum held last year in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. 

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