Session 1: Climate impact assessment

The Central Asian region is one of the most vulnerable to climate change regions in the world. At the same time, it is also one of the least explored regions in terms of climate impacts. Understanding of regional climate risks is limited, due to low number of impact studies conducted up to date, thus also limiting the possibilities for development of adequate adaptation strategies for the region. The session is organized to analyze the state of art of the climate change and climate impact research in the Central Asian region and to identify critical gaps between the current climate related information field and the demand of different local and international stakeholder groups. The outcomes of the session will help to shape the direction for the climate research lines in the frames of the Green Central Asia initiative.


Dr. Anastasia Lobanova,

Potsdam institute for climate impact research, Germany


Dr. Iulii Didovets,

Potsdam institute for climate impact research, Germany


Larissa Kogutenko,

UNESCO Chair on water resources management in Central Asia, Kazakh-German University, Kazakhstan

Session partners:

Main speakers

Prof. Maria Shahgedanova

University of Reading, United Kingdom

Dr. Tobias Siegfried

Hydrosolutions Ltd., Switzerland

Prof. Vitaliy Salnikov

al-Farabi Kazakh National university, Kazakhstan

Ms. Zhanna Babagaliyeva

Сonsulting company SGSE

Dr. Anil Mishra

Section on Hydrological Systems and Water Scarcity Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme (IHP), Division of Water Sciences UNESCO

Maria Shahgedanova is a climate scientist with a strong interest in glaciers. Maria has a combined BSc/MSc degree in Meteorology from Moscow State University (Russia) and DPhil in Climatology from the University of Oxford. She joined University of Reading in 1998. Maria specializes in high-elevation climate change and in assessments and modelling of impacts of climate change on mountain glaciers and water resources. She led many international projects set in Central Asia, the Caucasus, and Siberia funded by EU FP7, EU Horizon 2020, Newton Fund, UK Global Challenges Research Fund and other national and international funding bodies. Most of her current work is conducted in the Tien Shan Mountains, Central Asia. Among her experimental field sites is Tuyuksu Mountain Observatory located at 3440 m a.s.l. in the northern Tien Shan. She works in close collaboration with many regional research institutions, universities and stakeholders including regional disaster risk reduction agencies. Pfof. Shahgedanova is a member of Scientific Leadership Council of the Mountain Research Initiative (MRI), an international research network with over 11,000 global membership. Her responsibilities at MRI include coordinating international Mountain Observatories project. She is a contributing author in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC), the chapter on High Mountain Areas.

Tobias Siegfried obtained an MSc degree in Environmental Physics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH, 1992 - 1997). He got a second MSc degree in International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Sciences (1998 - 1999). From 2000 - 2005, he carried out his PhD at the Institute of Environmental Engineering at ETH. During this time, he was developing optimal allocation/sharing mechanisms for transboundary groundwater. These were applied to the problem of non-cooperative groundwater use in Northern Africa. Siegfried is the co-founder of hydrosolutions Ltd., a private enterprise located in Zurich, Switzerland. Siegfried Siegfried's main work concentrates on regional / national-scale water resources management and planning issues with a focus on the involving communities in environmental sensing and on using these crowd-sourced data for effective management and the reduction of conflicts over allocation at different scales. Dr. Siegfried develops computational models for simulation, optimization and forecasting for the study of human environmental systems interactions. He couples climate, hydrological as well as economic systems models to study development trajectories under environmental and economic constraints and uncertainty. Tobias Siegfried's work is interdisciplinary, with strong ties to academia, the related private sector and governments in the corresponding regions of interest. He has extensive work experience in India, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and Northern Africa region, Central Asia, the United States of America and in Europe. Clients of hydrosolutions Ltd. include the World Bank, the Food and Agricultural Organization, the International Food and Policy Research Institute and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, among others.

Prof. Vitaliy Salnikov is the academician of the International Academy of environmental safety and environmental management (2012), Head of the Commission for effective environmental management of the International scientific school of sustainable development (2012), Vice-President of the Kazakhstan national geographic society (Qazaq Geography) of the Republic of Kazakhstan (2013), Vice-President of the Union of surveyors of Kazakhstan (2018). He has participated as team leader and team member in several evaluations, as well as strategy and methodology development on various issues including sustainable development, climate change, adaptation and resilience, impact of climate change on water resources formation, aridity and desertification problems, water and food safety, the risk of natural disasters, environmental management. Vitaliy has extensive experience working with organizational development and other international organization as well World Bank, FAO, GIZ, British Council, Volkswagen Fund and other. He is head of the several scientific national and international projects.

Zhanna Babagaliyeva - independent expert on climate change, executive director of the consulting company SGSE (Scientific group for sustainable environment). Zhanna graduated with a bachelor's degree from Lomonosov Moscow State University, as well as a joint master's program of the Central European University and the University of Manchester in the direction of "Ecology and nature management". She has 10 years of experience in the field of environmental regulation and climate change at the national and regional levels (Central Asian countries). Zhanna started her professional career developing environmental projects for oil companies. As a member of the GHG Verification Group in Kazakhstan, she also gained extensive experience in this area of ​​activity. Zhanna worked at the Regional Environmental Center for Central Asia (CAREC) for 5 years and coordinated the implementation of individual components of projects (PRISE; CAMP4ASB), developed a methodology for research on resilience to climate change, analyzed and evaluated research results. Within the framework of the CAMP4ASB project she coordinated the adaptation of new methodologies and tools (models) to improve the quality of climate, hydrological and agrometeorological forecasting in the region, the integration of tools into the operational work of hydrometeorological services, a program to increase the capacity of specialists, as well as work to update the curricula of universities in the Central Asia region. Zhanna is also the author of a number of scientific and publicistic materials on the topic of ecology and climate change.

Dr. Anil Mishra’s academic, professional, and managerial experiences have spanned over 20 years and has been involved in a number of international scientific research studies, including education, capacity building, international technical co-operation programmes in the fields of hydrology and water resources and adaptation policies in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Caribbean, Arab regions and in the Europe. The recent work focuses on Climate Change impacts on Water Resources. Dr Mishra joined the UNESCO Almaty Office in Kazakhstan as a Hydrology and Science Officer before being transferred to the Water Science Division at UNESCO’s headquarter in 2007. In the Water Sciences Division at UNESCO, He is responsible for coordinating global activities related to Climate Change, Hydrology and Water Resources. Dr Mishra leads UNESCO’s programme for the Global Network on Water and Development Information for Arid Lands (G-WADI), International Sediment Initiative (ISI) and IHP work on Snow, Glacier and Water Resources. Dr. Mishra has authored, co-authored numerous scientific publications, edited books, scientific reports and policy briefs and convened and co-convened conferences focusing on Climate Change, Hydrological Extremes, Sediment and Erosion Transport and Management. Dr. Mishra also facilitated several science policy dialogue during the side event of the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development, and UN Climate Change Conferences (Conference of the Parties, COP).

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