Indian Himalayas Climate Adaptation Programme

The sensitivity of the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) to changes in global climate has been recognised and given priority by the Government of India. However, knowledge and scientific information on climate change impacts on the IHR is still limited and capacities to adapt are weak. The Indian Himalayas Climate Adaptation Programme (IHCAP) aims at bridging the knowledge gap on climate change impacts and response measures by supporting collaborative research, capacity building and knowledge exchange and dissemination.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Climate change and environment
Environmental policy
Disaster risk reduction DRR
Water resources conservation
01.01.2016 - 31.03.2021
CHF 3'165'800

The Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) is the “ecological reservoir” of the entire Hindukush Himalayan region due to its rich biodiversity and the ecological services it provides from its forests, snow, ice and river water. With a geographical coverage of over 0.54 million km2 and 51 million people living in these areas, the region is facing important challenges with respect to climate change. The impacts of climate change affect not just the mountain region but also livelihoods of people living downstream. Recognising the importance of the Himalayan ecosystem, the Government of India has launched two national missions to integrate climate change concerns for sustainable mountain development namely the National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem (NMSHE) and the National Mission on Himalayan Studies (NMSH).


The resilience of vulnerable mountain communities in the Himalayas is strengthened. Knowledge and capacities of research institutions, communities and decision makers are connected and enhanced.

Target groups

The target group will include:

  • Researchers: at least 60 Indian and 15 Swiss scientists working on collaborative research,
  • Local communities: up to 70,000 people in Kullu district who will directly benefit from adaptation measures,
  • At least 2,600 professionals: including state government officials, academicians, researchers, journalists and community representatives who will benefit from awareness and training on adaptation planning and sustainable mountain development in the context of climate change.
Medium-term outcomes

i) Knowledge increased on impacts of and vulnerability to climate change of the Himalayan socio-ecological system; (ii) Capacities of academic and public institutions to address climate change in the Indian Himalayan Region are enhanced; and (iii) Awareness is increased, policymakers are informed and knowledge is disseminated in the Indian Himalayan Region, Hindu Kush Himalayas and beyond.


Expected results:  

  • Collaborative research studies (cryosphere, impact on water resources, livelihood and economic sectors) leading to concrete adaptation measures and policy recommendations
  • Climate adaptation measures for Kullu district developed, documented and shared
  • Training programmes to build human and institutional capacity on climate science for adaptation planning in the Himalayan States conducted
  • Multi-stakeholder platforms for exchange of knowledge, policy planning and reporting on climate change in IHR strengthened
  • Knowledge from IHR connected to regional and global science-policy platforms

Results from previous phases:  

  • Capacities of 51 Indian researchers (including twelve women) enhanced on Himalayan glaciology and related areas through an Indo-Swiss capacity building programme.
  • A state-of-the-art integrated vulnerability, risks and hazard Assessment framework developed and applied for conducting thirteen joint studies, which provides scientific evidence of climate change impacts in Kullu district.
  • Over 127 state government officials in Himachal Pradesh were oriented and trained on adaptation planning and implementation. Other Himalayan states are keen for similar orientation and training programme in their states.
  • Activities such as media training (120 journalists so far) and policy platforms including Parliamentarian Forum have resulted in informed dialogue and consultations on climate change and sustainable mountain development in IHR.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
Foreign academic and research organisation
Swiss Academic and Research Institution
  • Other Academic Research North
  • Research Organisation of South East
  • University of Geneva
  • Swiss Universities or FHS
  • IHCAP Programme Management Unit (PMU), University of Geneva (for direct mandate)

Other partners

Department of Science and Technology; Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change; Departments/Nodal Agencies of Himalayan States; other National, regional and international organisations (such as ICIMOD).

Coordination with other projects and actors

3SCA, PACC, GLOF Yarkant River China, Glaciares+, SMD4GC, CC&E and DRR network, ICIMOD, GIZ, DFID, UNDP.

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF   3'165'800 Swiss disbursement to date CHF   2'830'744 Total project since first phase Swiss budget CHF  3'750'000 Budget inclusive project partner CHF  7'250'000
Project phases Phase 2 01.01.2016 - 31.03.2021   (Current phase) Phase 1 01.07.2011 - 31.12.2015   (Completed)