Cryospheric Observation and Modelling for improved Adaptation in Central Asia (CROMO-ADAPT)

Climate change in Central Asia mountain regions will have significant impacts on water availability and occurrence of natural hazards. This project strengthens the glacier, snow and permafrost monitoring systems and capacities in Central Asia, develops user-oriented climate information services, and supports the planning of adaptation measures to increase resilience to climate change. The project builds on Swiss expertise in monitoring and adaptation in alpine water and disaster risk management.

RegionCountry Topic Period Budget
Central Asia
Climate change and environment
Meteorological services
Water sector policy
Disaster risk reduction DRR
01.04.2021 - 31.12.2025
CHF  2’960’000
Background In Central Asia, water release by snow and glaciers is fundamental in many watersheds to maintain sufficient runoff during dry summer months. Climate change will significantly influence water availability and likely increase the occurrence of natural hazards. This information is fundamental to anticipate further developments and plan adaptation measures. Hence, strategies to strengthen climate resilience through climate information services and adaptation measures must be based on sound climate observations. Currently, large gaps exist in the climate observing system in Central Asia, particularly in high mountain environments. The CROMO-ADAPT project will address this gap, strengthen cryospheric (incl. glaciers, snow and permafrost) monitoring systems in Central Asia, derive specific climate information services and conceptualize catalytic adaptation measures in the water and disaster risk reduction sectors in four selected watersheds in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The project strongly builds on Swiss expertise in monitoring and adaptation in mountain areas and contributes to the Swiss priorities in strengthening integrated water management in Central Asia.
Target  The overall goal of the project (both phases) is to inform policy making, planning and implementation of adaptation measures in the water and risk management sectors in Central Asia, based on high quality cryospheric data (including glaciers, snow and permafrost), model predictions and long-term climate information services, in order to increase the resilience of the local population to climate change.
Target group

The direct beneficiaries are i) national hydro-meteorological services through the expansion of their monitoring network and the development of specific climate information services; ii) the scientific community through development of individual and institutional capacity; iii) national policy makers, through support in planning and decision making on water resources management and disaster risk reduction.

Indirect beneficiaries is the local population in basins that benefit from improved basin planning and disaster risk management and will increase resilience to climate change.

Outcomes Outcome1: Locally managed and sustained cryospheric monitoring networks in Central Asia provide steady and reliable data to national, regional and global databases.        
Outcome 2: National institutions in KG, TJ and KZ are able to provide user-oriented cryospheric climate information services to basin planning and disaster risk management authorities as a means to create awareness and inform policy and planning on medium- and long-term consequences of climate change.    
Outcome 3: National and sub-national basin planning and disaster management authorities in KG and TJ are capacitated to plan adaptation measures and facilitate investment in the water and disaster risk reduction sectors that respond to long-term cryospheric changes in 4 catchments

Expected Results:  

·     State-of-the-art cryospheric monitoring systems are established in KG, KZ and TJ

·     Local scientists from KG, KZ, TJ and UZ (with a strong focus on women) are trained in data generation and processing

·     Climate information services for medium and long-term prediction of water availability and hazards are developed with local partners

·     Local implementing partners inform policy makers on climate impacts in the cryosphere through national and regional science-policy dialogues

-    Adaptation measures are conceptualized in four catchments in KG and TJ together with national partners (basin planning and disaster management authorities)

Results from previous phase:  

Administratively, this is a new project: However, its precursor “Cryospheric Climate Services for improved Adaptation” has generated the following results from 2017 to 2021:

·   Glacier monitoring systems have been established in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan and are now managed autonomously by national partners (with some quality control by Swiss partners) and data is transmitted to the World Glacier Monitoring Service.

·   More than 100 local scientists have been trained in glacier monitoring and data processing and 10 MSc and PhD students have completed their studies through formation stays in Switzerland

·   Establishment of a new Centre for Glacier Research in TJ and the creation of a glaciology department in Kyrgyz Hydromet.

-  Two important studies on future water availability and the formation of new potentially Glacier lakes have been concluded.

Agency SDC
Project Partners Contract Partner
  • Swiss Private Sector
  • Research Organisation of South East
  • Université Fribourg
  • The main contract partner is the University of Fribourg UniFr, which will enter into a subcontract with the WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research (SLF). Contract modality is a contribution (50% financed by SDC, 50% by the partners). An organisation to support national partners in the development of specific climate information services will be identified by tender in year 2 of phase 1. A partner for the support to science-policy dialogues will be identified together with SCOs and Blue Peace Central Asia in year 1 of the project.

Projects Coordination In TJ, the project will collaborate with the Weather, Water and Climate Services project of the SCO and it will be linked with a new initiative on a national water information system. It will contribute to the water, infrastructure and climate change domain of the new programme framework for CA, and add value to the implementation of basin plans in TJ, KG, and UZ. For science-policy dialogues, the project will coordinate with Blue Peace Central Asia. Collaboration will also be established with projects from the Adaptation Fund, GEF and WB. Project findings will be shared with and mainstreamed through the Adaptation at Altitude Project of GPCCE and through the WeAdpat platform.
Budget Current Phase Swiss Budget CHF    2’960’000 Swiss Disbursement Till Know CHF    1’410’000