Roof of the World

In just over a month I’ll be traveling to the “Roof of the World” and figure I should properly introduce the area. Truth be told, it is a region that I know very little about, but hopefully the learning curve will be steep. Reading through the WWF 2008 annual report, which is concerned primarily with the affects of climate change, I found a section on the melting glaciers of the Roof of the World (Pamirs; Central Asia). The Pamirs and Himalayas are fondly known as the water towers of Asia, where the glaciers have sustained the life below for thousands of years. The glaciers support not only the natural environment of the regions, but also provide the drinking water for the most populous countries of the world. These glaciers are shrinking as a direct consequence of global warming—threatening regional biodiversity and the future welfare of billions of people. Tourism has become an increasing source of revenue in the “Stans” over the last few decades, however flooded campsites and impassable routes have become deterrents. The language of the report is interesting as the word resilience keeps popping up. The WWF report states that projects aim to help populations “adapt and increase their resilience to change.” What does this translate to, and what are some direct projects that can mitigate the effects of melting glaciers? Currently the WWF is testing the effectiveness of riverbank planting as a means of preserving agricultural land from erosion due to increased flow rates. Stone embankments are also being tried out. I’m excited to look into these projects and others in the region. Any further reading material on the subject would be appreciated! ☺* info in this post drawn from WWF Annual Report 2008

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