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The Adaptation at Altitude Solutions Portal: A global database of CCA solutions for mountain regions

This article introduces the Adaptation at Altitude Solutions Portal for climate change adaptation (and related areas) in mountain regions, and describes how it has been and will continue to be developed.
regional exchange and collaboration
The Adaptation at Altitude Solutions Portal: A global database of solutions for mountain regions

The Adaptation at Altitude Solutions Portal is up and running!


Mountains feature some of the clearest indications of climate change: rising temperatures, melting glaciers and changing precipitation patterns are disrupting water flows and affecting ecosystems, creating and worsening natural hazards and threatening livelihoods and communities both within the mountains and downstream.

The Adaptation at Altitude programme, funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), seeks to support mountain communities and those working with them by improving the knowledge of appropriate climate change adaptation strategies in the mountains, and transferring that knowledge through science–policy platforms to inform decision-making in national, regional and global policy processes.

One way we are doing this is through the development of a database of tried, tested, and replicable climate change adaptation solutions for mountainous regions: the Adaptation at Altitude Solutions Portal. This database aims to make these solutions easier to find, explore, and appraise for everyone working on this topic, and to give visibility and recognition to those developing them.

This article describes our approach to building this database, and invites you to contribute and collaborate with us!

Explore the Adaptation at Altitude Solutions Portal >

Contribute your solutions to the database

You can contribute solutions to the database using the guidancehere:

Alternatively, you can contribute solutions using the solution template document (attached below under Further Resources), and email it to us at [email protected].

Is your solution at an early stage in its implementation? No problem! We have two solution formats – detailed and short solutions – that allow you to share solutions at different stages of implementation (e.g., completed and evaluated, in progress, at pilot stage). Please fill in the fields that are most appropriate for your solution.

We continue to welcome solutions to the A@A Solutions Portal. Contributed solutions are actively promoted by the Adaptation at Altitude team and partners, and perpetually supported by weADAPT.

Follow uson Twitter (@weADAPT1, @at_altitude), LinkedIn (weADAPT Learn – Share – Connect) and Facebook (The weADAPT Community, Adaptation at Altitude).

Have your say in the ongoing development of the database

We want this database to work for and with everyone engaged with climate change adaptation in mountains. To this end, we welcome you to provide input for the design of the database.

You can comment in the open discussion here or by replying the weADAPT team at [email protected].

Find out more about the database below. You can read more about activities of the AaA programme here:

Building a database for mountain regions

Why build a database?

Numerous adaptation ‘solutions’ for mountainous regions have been developed, implemented, and evaluated. These are diverse in the risks they address and approaches they take; theyinclude technical solutions (e.g., Early Warning Systems), soft solutions (e.g., training and capacity building programs), good practice approaches and processes, and combinations of these. Information on these solutions is scattered across various websites and shared in different ways. This makes it difficult to understand which solutions are working and why/how, to identify ones suitable for your context, and to see what is being learned and what innovations are being developed in different regions.

To address these issues this open-access database shares adaptation solutions in a structured, easy-to-search way that acknowledges solutions developers and contains detailed information on:

  • the scale, ecosystems, sectors, climate impacts and climate impact timelines they are relevant for;
  • the beneficiaries and co-benefits they support, and what outcomes they led to;
  • the Sendai Framework and SDG targets they address;
  • how they were financed, planned, implemented, and evaluated;
  • the capacities required for design and implementation (including knowledge, technology, political, institutional and socio-cultural aspects);
  • barriers and adverse effects;
  • their long-term outlook, including transformational impacts and sustainability; and
  • their potential for upscaling and replication.

The database also enables you to see who has worked on what solutions and where they have been implemented, thereby supporting solution development teams and those looking for solutions to communicate and learn from each other.

Our process: understanding user needs and evaluating solutions

The design of the CCA solutions for mountains survey and initial drafts of the database have been informed by a user needs assessment. This was informed by interviews with actors funding, evaluating, planning, managing and implementing climate change adaptation in mountainous regions, including representatives from the World Bank, UNIGE, ICIMOD, Business for nature, CONDESAN, MRI, UNEP, ZOI, and SDC, and included an IPCC Lead Author.

The list of details that the survey seeks to elicit and which will be included in the database (see above) directly reflect the information needs identified in the user assessment.

To make sure the database shares high quality, reliable knowledge, all the contributed solutions will be evaluated according to evaluation criteria. This will decide how each solution is featured in the database. We aim to publish as many contributed solutions as possible and will work with solution development teams to do so.

You can download and view the draft evaluation criteria in the right-hand column. We welcome your views and feedback on whether this criteria will provide a useful assessment of climate adaptation solutions for your region.

Would you like to share your user needs or comment on the evaluation criteria? Please contact us at [email protected].

Linking to other platforms and a community of practice

We do not just want to build yet another database. There are numerous knowledge platforms and organisational websites out there that host a wealth of knowledge and data relevant to CCA in mountains, including Panorama Solutions(adaptation projects and case studies), the WOCAT Global Database on Sustainable Land Management(various), the Nature-based Solutions Evidence Platform(systematic review of relevant peer-reviewed literature), the GCA Adaptation Exchange(adaptation solutions), Climate Adaptation Platform for the Alps(various), the World Bank Climate Change Knowledge Portal(various, including country profiles), ICIMOD’s Mountain GeoPortal (geo-information resources of the Hindu Kush Himalayan region), and MRI listed datasets (numerous high-quality datasets) – part of the forthcoming GEO-GNOME initiative.

Our aim is to link to these networks, both through this database and the weADAPT theme on Climate Change Adaptation in Mountains, which we are also developing to support a community of practice for those working in this field.

Do you have a database or platform featuring adaptation content on mountains? Please get in touch with Julia Barrott to discuss how we can connect!

Outlook and next steps

The database is available online at:

We are working on integrating the solutions with the Climate Change Adaptation in Mountains theme on weADAPT and will soon connect the Solutions Portal with the Connectivity Hub.

As the database will be hosted and supported by the weADAPT team, the database and contributions to it will be supported beyond the end of the AaA programme, providing a long-lived resource for those working on adaptation in mountains.

The AaA programme will be strongly active until at least late 2023, during which time the database will be promoted across various international meetings and conferences, including COP26. This will be part of the AaA team’s work to increase awareness and integration of mountains in the international agenda.

Related resources

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