Climate impacts&adaptation

Coping with the adverse impacts of climate changes are among the greatest challenges facing mankind in the coming decades.

Our research centers on topics such as climate impacts assessments, the generation of baseline data, or the development and implementation of science-based adaptation measures and is mainly carrier out in the frame of international projects funded by various sources such as SDC, SNF, etc.

Our main expertise lies in high-mountain regions and the adjacent downstream areas. 

IHCAP (Indian Himalayas Climate Adaptation Programme)

Current scientific evidence suggests instability in the Himalayan ecosystem as result of climate change impacts and increased uncertainty. Vulnerability is also increased as a result of cascading effects of changes in composition and distribution of natural resources – water, forest and agro-biodiversity. In response, the Indian Himalayas Climate Adaptation Programme (IHCAP) is a project under Global Programme Climate Change (GPCC) of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). In India it is anchored under the Framework of Science and Technology Agreement of November 2003 between the Swiss Federal Council and the Government of India and is being implemented as a bilateral cooperation programme with Department of Science & Technology (DST).

The IHCAP builds on capacity and  knowledge enhancement related  to three pillars:
• Scientific and technical knowledge cooperation between Indian and Swiss scientific institutions
• Strengthening Institutions for adaptation measures among vulnerable communities
• Mainstreaming adaptation policies for improved action in the Indian Himalayan Region

Capacity Building
The Capacity Building Programme on Himalayan Glaciology aims at enhancing the human and institutional capacities of Indian students and researchers, comprises three levels, and is conducted every year. Level I provides a basic course in the field of glaciology and related topics. Level II includes field work training followed by an advanced course building on the base of the Level I topics. Finally 2-5 participants will be selected for proposed research under the DST Climate Change programme jointly supervised by Indian and Swiss faculty.

Integrated Vulnerability and Hazard and Risk Assessment for Kullu
Starting from baseline data studies on climate and changes in the cryosphere, the involved institutions conduct wide-ranging studies within the overall framework of integrated vulnerability and hazard and risk assessment in the Kullu district, Himachal Pradesh. Applied scales range from district to village level, and can be expanded to other mountain communities in the Indian Himalaya Region.

Further information and  Synthesis Report:,%20HP.pdf

Funded by: IHCAP is funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC under their Global Programme Climate Change (GPCC)

Project lead/principal investigator at the University of Fribourg: N. Salzmann, Geography Unit, University of Fribourg 

Swiss Partner Institutions: University of Geneva, University of Zurich, University of Bern, Meteodat GmbH

Contact at University of Fribourg: nadine.salzmann[at] andreas.linsbauer[at]


2012-2015 (Phase 1)

2016-  (Phase 2)

Unit of Geography - Chemin du Musée 4 - 1700 Fribourg - Tel +41 26 / 300 90 10 - Fax +41 26 / 300 9746
nicole.equey [at] - Swiss University