Climate Refugees from the Peruvian Andes

28 January 2016, by

Two recent studies offer complementary accounts of the ways that glacier retreat and other impacts of climate change have displaced indigenous people from their communities in the Peruvian Andes. One describes the people who have left as refugees, the other as migrants. Both emphasize the seriousness and apparent irreversibility of this large population movement Teófilo […]

Do Village Traditions Trump Adaptation?

22 December 2015, by

The village of Manang, high in the Himalayas in Nepal, is using economic diversification to stave off the effects of climate change, but will soon reach a point where more adaptation is needed, Katie Konchar and her coauthors warned in a new study in the Journal of Ethnobiology. The team used semi-structured interviews and innovative photography […]

Meeting at COP21 Seeks Coordination of Glacier Countries

10 December 2015, by

Eighteen people, representing seven small mountain countries, gathered on 8 December at the UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris to discuss glacier retreat and its consequences. They reviewed the issues that they considered most serious and considered the possibility of forming an international organization of glacier countries. This meeting included representatives from Tajikistan, Bhutan, Peru, Bolivia, […]

At COP21, Afghanistan’s Adaptive Capacity Remains a Concern

8 December 2015, by

Ahead of the Paris conference on climate change in December 2015, conflict-ridden Afghanistan submitted its climate action plan in October to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The plan’s assessment of the country’s capacity to adapt to climate change and the associated challenges of doing so clearly outline genuine concerns that potentially may impact the livelihoods […]

Threat from Himalayan Glaciers Larger Than Expected

18 November 2015, by

By Jingchao Wang and Xuefei Miao Impacts of climate change in river systems are likely to have considerable social, economic, ecological and political implications, according to a new study published in the journal of Regional Environmental Change. In order to understand governance mechanisms for climate adaptation in the region, a systematic review methodology was applied […]

Mountain Spirits and the Shaking Earth

20 October 2015, by

After the devastating earthquakes in Nepal earlier this year, Sienna Craig began to conduct field research in Mustang to understand how communities in the area perceived and dealt with the earthquake. Craig is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology at Dartmouth College. She is the co-editor of HIMALAYA, the flagship journal of […]

Courtesy of BBC

Political Tug of War Over Greenland’s Mining Industry

8 October 2015, by

Greenlanders are engaging in a fierce ongoing debate about whether to develop the country’s onshore mineral resources into a robust mining industry. Since gaining political autonomy from Kingdom of Denmark in 2009, the government of the world’s largest non-continental island has long been brainstorming how to solve its increasing financial woes. When a 2008 US Geological […]

An Interview with Mattias Borg, Author of Andean Waterways

17 September 2015, by

The Danish anthropologist Mattias Borg Rasmussen has recently published a book, Andean Waterways: Resource Politics in Highland Peru (University of Washington Press, 2015), which addresses the economic, political, social and culture dynamics of a community that is facing glacier retreat and water scarcity. The book shows how environmental change and institutional politics are intertwined in […]

UNESCO Conference on Indigenous Peoples and Climate

1 September 2015, by

UNESCO will sponsor an international conference on “Resilience in a Time of Uncertainty: Indigenous Peoples and Climate Change,” the organization recently announced. This conference will be held in Paris on 26-27 November, ahead of the COP21, the Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Nations will gather at COP21 with the goal of […]

Mount St. Helens' crater glacier

Roundup: Volcanic glaciers, Egypt, and Air Force recovery

6 July 2015, by

Mount St. Helens, still steaming, holds the world’s newest glacier “‘Few people realize,’ says Ray Yurkewycz, operations director for the nonprofit Mount St. Helens Institute), ‘that the hollowed-out crater where lava was flowing just a few years ago now holds the world’s youngest glacier. And if that’s not surprising enough, the prosaically named Crater Glacier […]

A Dying Glacier, a Drought-Stricken Village, and a Good View

25 June 2015, by

In the course of researching my new book, “Fire and Ice: Soot, Solidarity and Survival on the Roof of the World”, I traveled to many communities living in the shadow of retreating snow and ice. I talked to Sherpa villagers who fear potential glacial lake outburst floods in Nepal’s Khumbu Valley, and with Naxi people […]

The Dancing Glacier

16 June 2015, by

The recent recession of the Qollqepunku glacier has ended an ancient ceremonial practice. Because of the rapid melting of the Qollqepunku glacier, and other glaciers in the region, the Ukuku have stopped taking glacial ice during the annual Qoyllurit’i festival and no longer light traditional candles on the glacier. Each indigenous community that attends the Qoyllurití festival designates individuals to play the important role of […]