Press Releases

  • TERI and IMF join hands to encourage glacier studies in India

    8 April 2009

    The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and IMF (Indian Mountaineering Foundation) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) today to study, preserve and safeguard the Himalayan glaciers under the National Mission of Sustaining the Himalayan Eco- system (NAPCC). Present on the occasion were Dr R K Pachauri, Director-General TERI, Prof Syed Iqbal Hasnain, Padmashri and Senior Fellow TERI and Major H P S Ahluwalia, President IMF among other distinguished guests.

    Stressing on the need to study the Himalayan belt, Dr R K Pachauri said, "We wish to study more on glaciers as we are very dependent on them and our work till now has been negligible. We need to understand the drivers and implications of the changes happening in the Himalayan belt."

    IMF along with TERI will encourage glaciologists and researchers to take training in mountaineering without which the study of the Himalayan region is incomplete. In order to carry out a detailed and successful research activity, IMF will be training young TERI scientists at the Mountaineering Institutes in basic and advanced mountaineering skills to work in high altitude regions. To conduct glaciological studies in the Himalayan region the researchers require high level of physical fitness, technical climbing skills, mental alertness and first aid knowledge.

    Speaking on the collaboration, Major H P S Ahluwalia said, "IMF is delighted to join hands with TERI to facilitate further research in the Himalayan region. As environment, climate change and conversation have taken the centre stage, IMF aims to work towards protecting the Himalayan eco-system. To study the glaciers in the belt, one needs to go beyond 4000 mts. to conduct research and most of the scientists and students cannot go that high due to absence of mountaineering skills. Thus, IMF and TERI see it important to provide mountaineering trainings to researchers and students and involve skilled mountaineers in the team to facilitate cohesive research. This MoU is an important milestone to encourage the study and research on this belt."

    Elaborating on the importance of glaciology, Prof Hasnain said, "Glaciological studies in the Himalaya is not feasible to conduct if one is not equipped with basic mountaineering skills as glaciers are located between 4000 and 6000 mts. Widening crevasses of shrinking glaciers is a huge challenge even for highly skilled mountaineers. A proactive support by the mountaineering fraternity on volunteer basis will give huge confidence to small glaciological community in India. Therefore the MOU between TERI and IMF will help in bridging the gap between highly skilled mountaineers and learning glaciologists."

    IMF will provide latest technologies and equipments to carry out the research on glacier dynamics, energy balance glacier hydrology and weather parameters that would help in modelling the glacier responses to global warming with great precision. Field expeditions for data gathering will be done in a long term basis that will also involve skilled mountaineers as volunteers for installing and maintaining equipments at high altitude.