Himalayan University Consortium (HUC)

Working on extreme event risk assessments in the high mountains of Asia can be challenging. Accessing data can be difficult, and accompanying documentation is often poor – especially when it comes to knowing about the people most affected. However, by working with both experts active in the region and affected (or potentially affected) communities, there are ample opportunities to combine existing and create new data and knowledge. Indeed, as climate-related risks increase and the amounts of data and associated technologies evolve ever more rapidly, mapping out these capacities, identifying gaps and potential to fill them through regional collaboration becomes crucial.

Under the HiRISK project, a number of early-career scientists and practitioners working with risk data from the region have come together to tackle these challenges. A workshop was held which aimed to condense existing collective knowledge and develop recommendations to further develop useful and actionable risk data and knowledge. Participants agreed that establishing a central portal where relevant resources could be collected would aid scientific activities, as well as help inform policy makers, journalists, and others. Documenting the vulnerabilities of mountain communities and integrating non-numerical data (e.g. storytelling) requires greater attention. Additional focus should also be placed on data related to human health, ecosystems, and slower-developing hazards. Following the workshop, the HiRISK portal was launched. Overall, the portal and associated network enable will provide improved data accessibility and capacities to increase readiness in the face of mountain hazards in Asia. 


Main outputs: 

The main output of the project is the HiRISK Portal. A summary of the workshop proceedings has also been made available. Additional datasets on  automatically mapped glacial lakes and historical debris flows (timing, location, and impacts) will be made available via the portal shortly.

Contact: Dr. Jakob Steiner, Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Graz: jakob.steiner [at] uni-graz.at

Image from Jakob Steiner

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