Adaptation at Altitude. Taking Action in the Mountains.

Mountains at the frontline of climate change

Mountains feature some of the clearest indications of climate change: rising temperatures, melting glaciers and changing precipitation patterns are disrupting water flows and affecting ecosystems, creating and worsening natural hazards and threatening livelihoods and communities both within the mountains and downstream.

Mountain regions cover about one quarter of the Earth’s land surface and are home to more than 1 billion people. Mountains host an impressive array of natural resources – 25% of terrestrial biodiversity and 60% of all biosphere reserves – and they supply freshwater for lowland irrigation and domestic use for half of the global population. Mountains provide essential ecosystem services for livelihoods, and with their rich ethnic and cultural diversity and magical natural beauty they offer recreation and restoration for residents and visitors alike.

Because climate impacts are often more profound in mountains and affect people already confronting poverty and land degradation, mountain livelihoods are particularly sensitive to climate change. Mountain people have always faced the challenges of living in a rugged environment and have developed coping strategies to adapt to harsh conditions, but the unprecedented magnitude and speed of climate change puts them under increasing pressure.

Our Objective

The Adaptation at Altitude programme seeks to increase the resilience and adaptive capacity of mountain communities and ecosystems to climate change by:

  • Improving the knowledge of appropriate climate change adaptation strategies in the mountains
  • Transferring that knowledge through science–policy platforms to inform decision-making in national, regional and global policy processes

Adaptation at Altitude will foster exchange among the mountain areas of the world and seek short and long-term solutions to the problems arising from climate change.

What We Do

Data, Information & Monitoring

We strengthen GEO Mountains, a flagship activity of the Mountain Research Initiative (MRI), under the framework of the intergovernmental Group on Earth Observations (GEO).

Our aim is that the improved availability and use of mountain observation data and information services contribute to regional and global knowledge products on the impacts of climate change in mountains.

Find out more on GEO Mountains

Regional Exchange & Collaboration

We facilitate science-policy dialogues in the Andes, East Africa, Hindu Kush Himalaya, South Caucasus and inter-regional collaboration and sharing of experience.

Our aim is that as a result of established and strengthened science–policy platforms, regional bodies and their national constituencies support the integration of mountain-specific climate change adaptation into planning and policy processes.

Find out more on activities in the Andes 

Find out more on activities in Hindu Kush Himalaya

Find out more on activities in South Caucasus and inter-regionally

Global Policy Mainstreaming

We influence policy processes related to climate change (UNFCCC, Paris Agreement, Global Stocktake), disaster risk reduction (Sendai Framework for DRR), and the Sustainable Development Goals (Agenda 2030).

Our aim is that major global policy processes take climate change adaptation in mountains into account.

Knowledge and Sharing

We support a community of practice on climate change adaptation in mountains and build a global database of adaptation solutions for mountain regions.

Our aim is that stronger knowledge on climate change adaptation opportunities in the mountains informs the development of national, regional and global approaches to increase resilience and adaptation capacity.

We are building a global database of adaptation solutions, and an international community of practice that supports peer-to-peer learning and the sharing of research and good practices.

Explore, join, and share your insights with the Climate Change Adaptation in Mountains community of practice.

Find out more about the global database of CCA solutions for mountain regions.

Adaptation At Altitude Solutions Portal

Highlight your work in an open access database on adaptation solutions for mountains here.

Supporting the Adaptation at Altitude Knowledge Network

The Adaptation at Altitude (A@A) Knowledge Network is a global community through which we can share experiences and knowledge on adaptation in the mountains and collaborate to accelerate the uptake of innovative solutions.

The A@A Knowledge Network is hosted on the Climate Change Adaptation in Mountains theme on weADAPT – a place where all are welcome to share their knowledge, and learn from and connect with others working on climate change adaptation in mountains. Find out more about the Adaptation at Altitude (A@A) Knowledge Network here.

The Climate Change Adaptation in Mountains theme provides an online space for:

  • finding and sharing reports, case studies, papers, webinars and other materials relevant for climate change adaptation in mountains;
  • a discussion board for making announcements and posing questions to the community; and
  • an entry point for networking with others working on this topic.

Click here to explore the theme and join the A@A Knowledge Network.

Mountains Connect

The Adaptation at Altitude programme has hosted an interregional action learning workshop and supports the online knowledge space www.mountains-connect.org. Seven collaborative videos present information and experiences on mountain range governance dimensions.


Adaptation at Altitude is a collaborative programme launched and co-supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

About Us

Want to know more about us…

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Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
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ICIMOD in capital blue letters with a wave under
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
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