Indo-Swiss Bilateral Cooperation


Climate change poses a serious threat to social and economic development in India and in particular to the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) due to its dependency on climate sensitive sectors and natural resources for sustaining livelihoods. In the current policy context, there is challenge and opportunity to integrate and link community level experience and actions in IHR with the national and state level policy imperatives and vice versa. The articulation of practice-science-policy connect as a two-way process, is critical for addressing the future vulnerabilities and uncertainties posed by climate change.


Within the framework of S&T agreement of 10th November 2003 between Government of India and Government of Switzerland an Indo-Swiss Joint Committee for Scientific and Technological Cooperation was established by the two governments. The first meeting of this joint committee was held in Bern, Switzerland on 23rd September 2011 which was co-chaired by Secretary, DST. One of the decisions of the meeting was to develop a scientific cooperation between the two countries in Glaciology and related areas.

In pursuance with above decision, a Joint Working Group (JWG) on scientific cooperation in glaciology and related areas was constituted comprising of 4-5 members from each side, with Climate Change Programme (CCP)-SPLICE, DST and Swiss Agency of Development and Cooperation (SDC) as nodal agencies.

Under this framework agreement on Science and Technology Cooperation between India and Switzerland, an Indo-Swiss bilateral programme was developed during 2012 for a period of three years with the main mandate to build capacity in the field of Glaciology & related areas in climate change which was completed in December 2015.

Indian Himalayas Climate Adaptation Programme (IHCAP)

Under this joint collaboration, Swiss Agency of Development and Cooperation (SDC) had launched Indian Himalayas Climate Adaptation Programme (IHCAP) covering important activities such as capacity building of young researchers in glaciology, training programme for officials in the Indian Himalayan Region, collaborative studies on risks, hazards and vulnerabilities, and the promotion of multi-stakeholder dialogue platforms.

The first phase of IHCAP has ended on 31st December, 2015. It has been agreed to further enhance the cooperation over next four years (2016-19) as the next phase with IHCAP as knowledge partner of DST‘s National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem (NMSHE) being implemented under CCP-SPLICE. It has also been envisaged to further expand the scope of work through jointly funded collaborative research studies in the field of glaciology and related areas, strengthening institutional and research capacities in the Indian Himalayan States and promoting science-policy interface. In the second phase of the collaborative programme it is proposed to further expand the activities and scale them up for all the 12 states of the Indian Himalayan Region.

IHCAP Project at a Glance

Area: Adaptation
Duration: 2012-2015
Budget: CHF 3,720,000
Implementation Partners:
Department of Science and Technology; Department of Environment, Science and Technology, Government of Himachal Pradesh; GB Pant Institute for Himalayan Environment and Development; Consortium of Swiss Universities (Geneva; Bern; Fribourg; Zurich); Consortium of Indian Universities Geographic focus: Indian Himalayan Region

Relevance of Intervention

The programme responds to the felt needs of the climate vulnerable people in the mountain regions, increasing stress on natural resources, and national/state government action on climate change.

The programme aligns with the National Action Plan on Climate Change and specifically, the National Mission on Sustaining Himalayan Ecosystem. Climate adaptation in mountains especially in Himalayas is gaining importance at national, regional and international policy level.

Outcomes (objectives) of the phase

  • Communities implement sustainable adaptation measures based on a functional cooperation among relevant stakeholders and on available solutions
  • Stakeholders better understand and further develop their understanding related to scientific dimension of climate change dynamics and scenarios on snow, glaciers and water flows
  • Himalayan States review and integrate climate change aspects in their development policies, planning and action

Overall goal

The resilience of vulnerable communities in the Himalayas is strengthened and knowledge and capacities of research institutions, communities, and decision-makers are connected and enhanced.

Key Achievements

  • 52 young Indian researchers including 13 women researchers trained in Glaciology and related areas. Out of these, 27 received advanced training.
  • 127 representatives from the government, civil society organizations, academic and research organizations of Himachal Pradesh provided orientation and training in climate change adaptation planning and implementation.
  • An integrated framework for vulnerability, risks and hazards assessment developed for Kullu district, Himachal Pradesh.
  • Collaborative studies focusing on climate baseline, cryosphere assessment and risks and hazards assessment in Kullu district has resulted in 25 publications published in scientific journals and presented at national and international conferences.
  • Organized the first regional meeting between 12 Himalayan states and two National Ministries (MoEF&CC and DST) to identify synergies between the State Action Plans on Climate Change, NMSHE and other National Missions.
  • Strengthened understanding of environmental challenges including climate change impacts among 74 young researchers (including 24 women) from 12 Himalayan states.
  • Enhanced awareness of 60 journalists on climate change in the Indian Himalayan Region through media workshops.
  • Ten policy and thematic papers on climate change related issues in the Indian Himalayan Region developed.


Climate Change and Development (CCD), Embassy of Switzerland in India, under the Global Programme of Climate Change supported by Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) in collaboration with the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India has initiated the Indian Himalayas Climate Adaptation Programme (IHCAP).

For more information contact:

Indian Himalayas Climate Adaptation Programme