Himalayan Adaptation, Water and Resilience (HI-AWARE)
Research on Glacier and Snowpack Dependent River Basins for Improving Livelihoods


The Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region – one of the most dynamic, diverse and complex mountains and associated floodplain system in the world – provides water resources and other ecosystem services to more than 1.3 billion people downstream and 210 million in the mountains. Socio-economic changes along with climate change impacts may significantly affect the livelihoods of the people living in this region. In this context, Hi-AWARE is an initiative with an overall goal to contribute to increasing the climate resilience and adaptive capacities of the poor and vulnerable women, men, and children living in these river basins. The project conducts research and pilot interventions, capacity building and policy engagement on climate resilience and adaptation in the mountains and flood plains of the Indus, Ganges, and Brahmaputra river basins. As a part of the Hi-AWARE consortium, TERI is the country lead for India, focusing on conducting research activities in the Upper Ganga and Teesta Basin.

HI-AWARE is one of the four consortia of the Collaborative Adaptation Research Initiative in Africa and Asia (CARIAA), which has been launched by Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID). CARIAA aims to build the resilience of vulnerable people and their livelihoods in some of the most susceptible regions of the world or ‘hot spots’ by promoting collaborative research to inform adaptation policy and practice. The project is focusing on three global hot spots, namely semi-arid regions in Africa and South and Central Asia; deltas in Africa and South Asia; and the Himalayan River Basins.


HI-AWARE will:

  • Generate scientific knowledge on the biophysical, socio-economic, gender-related, and governance conditions and drivers that make people and regions vulnerable to the effects of climate change;
  • Develop robust evidence to improve understanding of the potential of adaptation approaches and practices with an explicit focus on gender and livelihoods;
  • Develop stakeholder-driven adaptation pathways based on the up- and out- scaling of institutional and on-the-ground adaptation innovations;
  • Promote the uptake of knowledge and adaptation practices at various scales by decision-makers and citizens; and
  • Strengthen the interdisciplinary expertise of researchers, students and related science and policy stakeholder networks.


Broadly the activities of the project are centered on:

Generating Knowledge

Generating Knowledge focuses on the generation of scientific knowledge to address the major research gaps that are currently preventing the support of planned adaptation, especially in areas such as food and agriculture, energy, health and nutrition, urban habitat, and hazard management.

Research into Use

Research into Use is focused on promoting the uptake of research among key stakeholders, particularly practitioners, policymakers, and vulnerable communities, to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable populations in the region. Whether the research will be used by the stakeholders or not, depends on three overlapping factors political/policy contexts, strength of evidence, and quality of relationships among policymakers, practitioners, and research communities.

Strengthening Expertise

Strengthening Expertise (SE) is focused on building the capacity of MSc/PhD students, research institutes and NGOs from the region for conducting interdisciplinary research on climate change vulnerability, adaptation and resilience. Under SE, HI-AWARE is also going to organise an annual Science-Policy Dialogue on a rotational basis in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan, to bring together key stakeholders, including researchers and policymakers, working on climate change adaptation. It will also organise gender-sensitivity training sessions and workshops on climate change vulnerability and adaptation in the study sites for stakeholders to foster common understanding of critical Hi-AWARE issues, including challenges and opportunities.

Sponsor: UK’s DFID and Canada’s IDRC through the Collaborative Adaptation Research Initiative in Africa and Asia (CARIAA).

Key Stakeholders: Researchers, Policy makers and communities.



Ms. Suruchi Bhadwal
Associate Director,
Earth Science and Climate Change Division
+91 01124682100
For more information: Click here
Posted on: 21 November 2015  |   Project status: Ongoing