COP26 | Tajikistan: Snow and Ice in Climate Change
MRI News
article written by MRI
01.11.21 | 10:11

As part of the UNFCCC COP26 Cryosphere Pavilion, Mountain Research Initiative Executive Director Dr. Carolina Adler was invited to participate in a discussion of ‘Snow and Ice in Climate Change’ organized by the Government of Tajikistan, the WMO, and UNESCO.

On 1 November, ‘Tajikistan: Snow and Ice in Climate Change’ was held as part of the Cryosphere Pavilion at the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP26) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

As Sulton Rakhimzoda, Special Envoy for the President of Tajikistan on Water and Climate, highlighted in his opening address, ice and snow hold 70 percent of the world’s freshwater resources. However, climate change is accelerating the melting of the cryosphere worldwide, altering hydrological systems and changing the risk landscape. How can mountain nations create resilience against the worsening impacts of disasters and rapidly changing water availability?

“We are in a changing world, water is the connector, every drop counts, so let’s work together so that we can monitor the impact of climate change on our common heritage.”
– Dr. Shamila Nair-Bedouelle, Assistant Director-General for the Natural Sciences at UNESCO.

‘Tajikistan: Snow and Ice in Climate Change’ highlighted the interlinkages between climate change, the cryosphere, and our dependency on water to live, as well as our vulnerability to water-related disasters. It also looked at how water plays a pivotal role in adaptation to and mitigation of climate change impacts.

The event was organized by the Government of Tajikistan, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). MRI Executive Director Dr. Carolina Adler was among the invited speakers. 

“Mountain communities have been adapting for centuries to very extreme conditions, but these adaptive capacities are reaching their limits, broadly speaking, under the current pace of change we are now experiencing – which is remarkably fast. Our biggest window of opportunity for adaptation, and therefore resilience, will come under limiting warming levels to no more than 1.5 degrees.” – Dr. Carolina Adler, MRI Executive Director.

The event was livestreamed, and can be watched in full below.

Watch Now: ‘Tajikistan: Snow and Ice in Climate Change’

‘Tajikistan: Snow and Ice in Climate Change’ at the COP26 Cryosphere Pavilion on 1 November 2021.


‘Tajikistan: Snow and Ice in Climate Change’ was moderated by Mr. Anil Mishra, Chief of Section of the Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme (IHP), Division of Water Sciences, UNESCO, with other speakers including:

H.E. Mr. Bahodur Sheralizoda, Chairman of the Committee on Environmental Protection under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan;

H.E. Mr. Petteri Taalas, the Secretary-General of WMO;

Prof. John Pomeroy, Global Water Futures

Dr. Gino Casassa, Director of the Glaciology and Snow Unit of the Ministry of Public Works (MOP), Chile;

Mr. Muzaffar Shodmonov, Forecasting Technical Specialist, Agency for Hydrometeorology of the Committee on Environmental Protection under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan;

Mr. Basanta Shrestha, Director of Strategic Cooperation International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD);

Dr. Daniel Maselli, Senior Policy Advisor and Focal Point Global Programme Water, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Switzerland.

Dr. Carolina Adler, Executive Director of the Mountain Research Initiative, Switzerland.

The MRI at COP26

‘Earth Observations for Monitoring Climate Change Impacts in Mountain Regions’

3 November | The focus of this COP26 Geneva Cryosphere Hub session will be on the potential offered by Earth Observation technology to observe, monitor, and assess the Earth’s Cryosphere.

‘A Fragile Future: Can Mountain Communities Adapt To Climate Change?’ 

8 November | This COP26 Geneva Cryosphere Hub event will focus on the latest cryosphere science about the impacts and risks of climate change, and explore good adaptation solutions and experiences, especially in mountain areas, with a focus on developing countries.

Cover image: Badakhshan National Park in Tajikistan, captured by Makalu on Pixabay.