International conference: “Global environmental change in the Himalayan Region: Controversies, Impacts, Futures” (6-8 November)

Friday, November 6, 2015 to Monday, November 9, 2015
Topics by Sector: 
India Habitat Centre, New Delhi

Heidelberg University, jointly with Free University Berlin and in partnership with TERI University, organizes a three-day international conference on “Global environmental change in the Himalayan Region: Controversies, Impacts, Futures” between  November 6 and 8 at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. The conference is a part of the regular activities organized by the German House for Research and Innovation (DWIH) in India.

This conference aims at bringing together scholars, researchers and practitioners from diverse disciplines to share their findings and exchange ideas on this multidimensional topic. It offers an opportunity to establish sustainable research networks, produce joint publications and conduct collective fieldwork. The conference will start with an exhibition of repeat terrestrial photography entitled “Environmental Change on the Himalayan Scale” that showcases changes in glaciers, vegetation, land use and urban development in the Himalayas. Presentation topics range from analysing historical records of climate change, remote sensing of environmental change, socio-hydrology and changes in the cryosphere to direct and indirect impacts of climate change, human development in the Himalayan region and others.

The conference will be inaugurated by Professor Marcus Nüsser, Chair, Geography Department, South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University.

To attend, please register at:

Main Sponsors: DWIH (German House for Research and Innovation - New Delhi), HCSA (Heidelberg Centre South Asia), South Asia Institute Heidelberg, TERI University, FU Berlin.

Partners: Friedrich Naumann Foundation, GIZ – Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, Göttingen University, TUM


Environmental Change on a Himalayan scale (06.-09.11.2015) at India Habitat Centre - Open Palm Court Gallery

The global debate on glacier dynamics and its variations highlight the importance of glaciers as water resources and their utility as indicators of climate change. Since the Little Ice Age, glacial retreat has occurred in almost all the mountain regions. However, the impact of climate change on the Himalayan glaciers is poorly understood, mainly because long-range and consistent records of glacial fluctuations are mostly unavailable for large tracts of this mountain system.
Some historical paintings, photographs and sketches are available, however, along the Himalayan arc. Repeat terrestrial photography has made visual comparison possible, to identify changes in the glaciers and  patterns of vegetation, land use and urban development.
Bi-temporal comparisons between historical photographs, paintings, maps and repeated photographs; satellite imagery and topographic maps, demonstrate these changes in the Nanga Parbat area, north-western Himalayas, through Ladakh and Nepal to Sikkim.