A@A Knowledge Network: Meeting #3 Summary

Multiple Authors
Nicolas Prieto (Unsplash)


The A@A Knowledge Network meeting was opened by Rosie Witton (SEI), who provided a brief introduction to the A@A Knowledge Network and provided an overview of the meeting agenda before Kate Williamson (SEI) introduced the presenters of the speed talks:

The Adaptation at Altitude (A@A) Knowledge Network convened its third meeting on the 30th April 2024. The meeting was hosted online by the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) under the Adaptation at Altitude programme, supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). The event gathered approximately 30 participants all working on or with an interest in mountain environments, and shared what events, conferences, and discussions are coming up in 2024 for mountain environments. 

  • Global engagement in the mountains: 2024 and beyond (Alex Mackey, ZOI Environment Network) – Hear about recent mountain related engagement as well as key themes, topics, and events coming up in 2024 and beyond.
  • Introducing the Andes Regional Dialogues (Saskia Flores, CONDESAN) – The A@A programme in the Andes, in collaboration with the CLOC CONECTATE A+ network, has been organizing the 2nd edition of the series of Regional Dialogues for Integrated Management of Andean Ecosystems. These are open, virtual spaces to bring closer science, policy and practice and propose innovative ideas for sustainable development across the Andes. Learn more about these regional dialogues and how you can register!
  • How to get involved in GEO Mountains (Alexandrine Massot, GEO Mountains) – Hear about how to join the GEO Mountains General Meeting scheduled for May 2024, and the insights of the latest activities and focus on existing GEO Mountains Task Groups, with exploration into potential future task groups tailored to participant needs and interests. Learn more about how to get involved!
  • Strengthening Science-Policy Dialogue for Informed Policy Actions in the HKH (Babar Khan, ICIMOD) – Learn about upcoming science-policy dialogues that will dive deeper into nature-based solutions for water security (Bangladesh) and disaster risk reduction (Nepal) and air quality management in the Indo-Gangetic basin of the HKH region, and the 2nd HKH Ministerial Mountain Summit in Sep 2024.
  • Introducing the ‘Mountains Connect’ knowledge platform (Ansgar Fellendorf, UNEP) – An introduction to the online knowledge platform and how you can use it to learn more about regional mountain governance. Also hear about its plans for 2024/2025.

The full recording of the meeting can be found below or on YouTube here: Adaptation at Altitude Knowledge Network meeting: What does 2024 hold for mountains? (youtube.com)

To see the presentation slides please download the featured resource to the right hand side.

To keep up to date with A@A Knowledge Network plans visit our homepage and sign-up to our mailing list.

Global engagement in the mountains: 2024 and beyond

Mountains are key for adaptation and limiting loss and damage. Building momentum in the mountains:

Other upcoming opportunities and points of interest after 2024:

Introducing the Andes Regional Dialogues

Saskia Flores from CONDESAN started off the speed talks sharing her experience developing the Regional Dialogues for the Integrated Management of Andean Mountain Ecosystems, within the Adaptation at Altitude Program in the Andes and the Conéctate A+ Network.

These Regional Dialogues are two-hour virtual meetings where professionals from different fields come together to exchange ideas and experiences on the sustainable management of Andean mountains. It is important to have to have continuous spaces where people that work in the mountains in different areas and disciplines can share key information to improve their actions and decisions. Bringing together different capacities and skills, and multiple visions of our very diverse mountain ecosystems in the Andes can allow us to build stronger ideas for our resilience towards local and global changes.

The dialogues hope to partially contribute to these big goals:

  • Practitioners designing projects incorporating the latest and most innovative knowledge
    and experiences
  • Decision makers designing evidence-based policies at all scales and promoting science
    based governance
  • Increasing south-south collaboration with researchers and practitioners networking

The dialogues are repeated every year or two, always covering three main topics. In this round of the Andes Regional Dialogues there have been two meetings so far and the third meeting is coming up:

During the previous Andes Regional Dialogues there have been 60+ participants and it is constantly fed through the Andes Initiative Network reaching over 1,800 members. After each cycle of dialogues a policy brief is produced. The policy brief from the last round of dialogues is one of the most downloaded documents of the website. Find out more about the previous round of dialogues here.

How to get involved in GEO Mountains

This speed talk was presented by Alexandrine Massot from the GEO Mountains team. Since 2016, this network has been a Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Work Programme Initiative, co-led by the Mountain Research Initiative (MRI) – a GEO Participating Organisation – & the National Research Council of Italy (CNR). GEO Mountains aims:

  • To increase the discoverability, accessibility, and usability of a wide range of data and information pertaining to mountains globally​
  • To integrate and apply such data and information for scientific, policy, and practical impact​
  • To build, connect, coordinate, and share capacity across a community of mountain researchers, practitioners, and policy makers​

Upcoming General Meeting 22 May, 14:00-16:00 CEST, online

GEO Mountains members / participants and other interested parties are invited to attend the GEO Mountains General Meeting May 2024. The meeting will provide an opportunity to hear about recent activities and share future plans with the community, as well as discuss possibilities for collaboration and engagement through the GEO Mountains Task Groups.

Find out more about the General Meeting: GEO Mountains General Meeting – May 2024 – Adaptation At Altitude

Small Grants 2024 Call 2024 – 2025

The Small Grants 2024 Call is a call for project proposals that explicitly explore mountain monitoring, data, and information. Proposals that address the themes of the International Year of Glaciers’ Preservation in 2025 are especially encouraged. ​

Projects within the scope of the five priority regions (Andes, East Africa, HKH, Caucasus, Central Asia) are also encouraged. 10 projects could be funded – up to 10,000 CHF each​.

Key Dates:​

  • Q&A webinar: 6 May, 14:00 CEST​
  • Deadline for proposals: 3 June 2024​

Find out more about the small grants funding: GEO Mountains – GEO Mountains Small Grants Programme 2024–2025

Strengthening Science-Policy Dialogue for Informed Policy Actions in the HKH

This speed talk was given by Babar Khan from ICIMOD. The Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) can be considered the third pole. It is a global asset for food, energy, water, carbon, and cultural and biological diversity. However, these assets are in crisis. Many challenges currently being faced are regional and transboundary so for effective solutions, countries need to work together to harness opportunities and manage risks. To see more on the challenges and ongoing consequences please see the recent HIWISE report.

Upcoming Science-Policy Dialogues in the HKH region (April – June 2024)

  • NbS for drinking water in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (Bangladesh) – an in-person conference organised by the Ministry of Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs, Bangladesh. The conference will take place in Dhaka on the 29th May 2024.
  • NbS for livelihoods in Bhutan – an in person conference organised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Bhutan. The conference will take place in Thimpu on the 20th June 2024.
  • NbS for DDR in Nepal – an in person conference organised by the National Disaster Risk Management Authority, Nepal. The conference will take place in Kathmandu on the 17th July 2024.
  • Regional Science-Policy Dialogue on Air Quality Management in Indo-Gangetic Basin and Himalayan Foothills region – a hybrid conference that will take place in Paro on the 18-19th June 2024.

‘Mountains Connect’ – Interregional exchange and learning for resilient mountain communities​platform

Presented by Ansgar Fellendorf (UNEP) this speed talk highlights the Mountains Connect platform. Mountains Connect is an online source focussing on transboundary and regional mountain governance. Mountains Connect contributes to increasing knowledge about the importance of transboundary and regional collaboration for sustainable mountain development around the world, The online space was launched ahead of the 2022 Interregional Mountains Connect Workshop in Vienna, Austria and is continuously updated.

Governance Simulation

The Tamlar Range governance simulation was developed in the context of Mountains Connect, a cooperation between the University of Geneva and the United Nations Environment Programme funded as part of Adaptation at Altitude (A@A). Launched and supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, A@A is collaborative programme that aims to boost the resilience and adaptation of mountain communities in the face of climate change.

Simulations use a participatory approach to analyze a specific issue with a precise learning objective. Simulations can help participants placed in a given situation to become aware of dynamics and relationships, different stakes, and the consequences of the decisions being made.

The objective of this simulation is to collaborate and negotiate with neighboring countries that share the mountain range and to develop a regional instrument in order to confront and adapt to climate change.

In this simulation, participants are called upon to:

  • Make strategic decisions for their fictional country
  • Manage their resources
  • Collaborate and negotiate with other countries to defend the interests of their fictional country and increase together their adaptive capacity
  • Elaborate a regional instrument

Find out more about the simulation and how this can be used for similar exercises or replicated at meetings here: The Tamlar Range Governance Simulation – Adaptation At Altitude

Next Steps

To keep informed about upcoming meetings and events, please refer to our A@A Knowledge Network homepage.

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