The HighNoon project focused on identifying changes in snow and glacier melting and changed monsoon patterns as an effect from climate change in northern India, and on the development of adaptation measures. A set of policy recommendations were developed based on the major findings on the project research actions. These recommendations are targeting decision-makers at all political levels and can be used as a support tool in strategic planning processes.
The major recommendations are the following:
- There is a need for more research concerning damage-reducing techniques, from many different aspects. One is the benchmark of glaciers in the Himalayan region, since the melting and accumulation patterns and the effects from climate change are still not well understood. Further research is also needed on the Indian monsoon mechanisms in order to improve forecasting and modelling of precipitation. Additionally, increased skills on forecasting and cost-benefit analysis should be encouraged. Making research data available to the scientific community would decrease the uncertainty in research outcomes and increase the societal value of research results.
- Climate science information needs to be spread at all stakeholder levels in order to support decision making on climate change adaptation. Also, common knowledge on this topic should be increased. A platform for exchanging information and good practices regarding measures on climate adaptation would be of great value.
- Planning of climate change adaptation measures should be locally specific and conducted at river basin scale rather than at national or regional levels. This change would imply a decrease in adverse effects in other parts of the river basin.
- Large scale water storage for agriculture is not a suitable option for mid and downstream of the Ganges basin, partly due to topography. Instead, a local distributed storage is preferable and would also help in inducing natural recharge to replenish the ever reducing groundwater.
Moors, E. J. and C. Siderius, 2012. Adaptation to Climate Change in the Ganges Basin, Northern India: A Science and Policy Brief. Alterra, Wageningen UR, Wageningen, the Netherlands, p48.