CCRD Final Report!

posted Aug 15, 2016, 8:05 AM by CCRD Project

Fact filled and fun to read, the USAID CCRD Compendium (PDF) describes CCRD's activities, products, findings, and key accomplishments.
usaid ccrd final report
It also provides links to connect USAID Bureaus and Missions and international practitioners to the large library of project resources, including tools, guidance, training materials, technical reports, and journal articles. In addition, the CCRD team provided some suggestions for future work to advance USAID’s development first approach to climate adaptation. Check it out!

Visit! USAID's New Clearing House for Climate Information

posted Mar 30, 2016, 7:16 AM by CCRD Project

Climatelinks is a clearinghouse built for USAID staff, implementing partners, and the broader global community working at the intersection of climate change and international development. The portal provides access to USAID documents and resources that offer technical guidance and information aimed at helping countries mitigate and adapt to climate change. 

Climatelinks is divided into five main sections. The “What We Do” section explains the projects and actions USAID is involved in related to adaptation, clean energy, and sustainable landscapes. The “Where We Work” tab allows users to see where USAID is actively working on each of these subjects. The "Learning" tab describes the events, trainings, and monitoring efforts USAID is involved in. The “Resources” section allows users to search a library of USAID publications, project profiles, fact sheets, webinars, and reports. This section also provides access to a number of USAID tools aimed at mitigation and adaptation including tools on financing and decision making. Finally, the "Blog" section features news summaries and highlights of the major international climate stories. Visit today!

New Publication: USAID Vulnerability Assessments

posted Mar 9, 2016, 7:23 PM by CCRD Project   [ updated Dec 22, 2016, 10:35 AM ]

The Climate Vulnerability Assessment: An Annex to the USAID Climate-resilient Development Framework provides an introduction to vulnerability assessments (VAs) and specific ideas for structuring an actionable, credible, and useful assessment

Press Release: U.S. Scientists Return from Post-Earthquake Assessment of Dangerous Glacial Lakes in Nepal

posted Aug 25, 2015, 4:26 PM by CCRD Project   [ updated Aug 15, 2016, 7:54 AM ]

New Report: More Action to Reduce the Risk of Future Glacial Lake Outburst Floods is Needed Based on Assessment Findings

WASHINGTON - Aug. 25, 2015 - PRLog -- On April 25, 2015, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck central Nepal, causing more than 8,000 deaths throughout the country. Two weeks later, a magnitude 7.3 aftershock caused further damage and uncertainty.

Massive landslides wiped out entire villages, rivers were dammed by landslides, and the geologic and geomorphic integrity of high altitude mountains and glaciers was destabilized. Scientists throughout the world began to worry that the seismic activity could also result in new glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs) through the weakening of terminal moraines and destabilization of potential triggers, such as overhanging ice and landslides. It was also feared that the arrival of the monsoon rains could further destabilize mountainsides, hillslopes, and moraines through the continuous soaking rains, melting of ice, and saturation of soils.

Valley floor in Nepal showing temporary dwellings

Photo credit: Dr. Alton Byers

Miraculously, only one of Nepal’s 21 potentially dangerous glacial lakes burst out during the earthquake, possibly related to the fact that most were all frozen at the time. However, in order to fully understand what the impacts of the earthquake were on lake stability, the High Mountains Adaptation Partnership ( fielded a volunteer group of U.S. and Nepali scientists and researchers to conduct detailed remote sensing and field-based assessments of three of Nepal’s most dangerous glacial lakes—Imja Lake (in the Mt. Everest region), Tsho Rolpa Lake (Rowaling region), and Thulagi Lake (Manaslu region). Field costs were funded by USAID’s Climate Change Resilient Development project with co-financing from the American Society of Civil Engineers, The University of Texas at Austin, Xylem Inc., and US21 Inc.

Click for Short Video:

Short video overview of earthquake assessment.

Video title: Khumbu: Post-Earthquake Assessment

Imja, Tsho Rolpa, and Thulagi glacial lakes were chosen for detailed post-earthquake assessment because they were of immediate concern to Nepal’s Department of Hydrology and Meteorology, primarily because of their ranking as high risk lakes susceptible to flooding as a result of earthquakes, dam collapse, or other triggers. Secondly, additional concern was expressed over the fact that all three contain either significant downstream populations and/or infrastructure (e.g., hydropower plants) that would be severely damaged and/or destroyed in the event of a GLOF. Thirdly, Imja, Tsho Rolpa, and Thulagi are the three most studied glacial lakes in Nepal, offering a solid set of baseline data for comparative analyses; and are also the three most recognized by the press and an understandably uneasy Nepalese public.

Each assessment was conducted with the active collaboration with the Government of Nepal, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, Tribhuvan University of Nepal, and the U.S. Agency for International Development/Nepal. The lake surveyor team members included geographer Alton C. Byers, civil engineer Daene C. McKinney, hydrologist Elizabeth A. Byers, hydrologist Ram Kumar Kapair, geologists Prakash Pokhrel and Pushpa Raj Dahal, and photographer Daniel A. Byers.

The final report, Post-Earthquake Assessment: Imja, Tsho Rolpa, and Thulagi Glacial Lakes in Nepal, is now available at:

The report concludes that the earthquake and aftershocks caused an increase in the destabilization of the lakes. This deterioration comes on top of the ongoing destabilization caused by climate change in Nepal, which the team felt has entered an era of accelerated instability that will include increases in the number of landslides, floods, avalanches, and rockfall.

“Increases in the number, frequency, and magnitude of GLOFs can be expected with confidence,” said Byers, who led the assessment team in Nepal. “The April 25 earthquake and aftershock further destabilized the already deteriorating terminal/lateral moraines of all three lakes through the creation of massive cracks, shifted boulders, avalanche tracks, and impacts on their outlet channels.”

Through interviews and discussions, the team also found that communities downstream of the lakes are terrified over the likelihood of new GLOFs occurring in the near future, but that they lack adequate information about existing or planned early warning systems, lake risk reduction methods, and disaster management planning.

“There’s no need to wait until people are killed and millions of dollars of infrastructure are destroyed to start doing something,” said Dr. Byers.  “Peru was confronted with the same problem in the 1940s, and yet managed to lower 35 of its dangerous glacial lakes from the 1950s onward.  There hasn’t been a single GLOF-related fatality since in Peru, and we need to start developing similar methods for Nepal to do the same now.”

The report recommends the immediate survey of all 21 of Nepal’s dangerous lakes; the development of Nepal-specific risk reduction early warning system and lake lowering engineering methods; the strengthening of downstream community disaster management planning; and strengthening of Nepal’s glacial lake analysis and risk reduction capacities.

Media Contact
Michael E. Cote

WEBINAR: Building Climate Resilient Cities—Innovative Approaches to Common Challenges

posted Aug 11, 2015, 8:38 AM by CCRD Project   [ updated Aug 11, 2015, 8:39 AM ]

WEBINAR recording now available! This webinar shared tools and innovative practices for building city-level resilience to climate change, including those developed under USAID’s Climate Resilient Infrastructure Services (CRIS) program, an initiative of CCRD. Cities face challenges from rapid growth; pressure to meet immediate short term needs at the expense of long term sustainability; a lack of coordination between departments and with regional and national counterparts; and limited technical knowledge, financial resources, access to climate data, and capacity to manage risks posed by climate change. The webinar focus was on practical approaches for promoting resilience in cities, including tools and resources developed by CRIS.

Through presentations and Q&A, participants explored the following strategies to address these challenges and build urban resilience:
Increasing the capacity of cities in developing countries to promote climate resilient strategies
Mainstreaming climate change considerations into municipal decision making
Developing easy-to-use tools and resources tailored to cities’ local contexts
Getting to implementation of adaptation options for increasing climate resilience

Click HERE to view the CCRD Webinar page, and PowerPoint presentations. 

WEBINAR: Vietnam Climate Impacts Decision Support Tool (CIMPACT-DST) Lessons Learned

posted Jun 22, 2015, 10:28 AM by CCRD Project   [ updated Aug 15, 2016, 7:55 AM ]

CIMPACT-DST WEBINAR recording now available!

Engility/IRG and Cascadia Consulting Group held a one hour webinar Tuesday, June 23, 2015 to share lessons learned from a successful urban planning and climate adaptation pilot activity called the Climate Impact Decision Support Tool (CIMPACT-DST). CIMPACT-DST is one of several climate adaptation-related pilots, projects, and activities under USAID’s high-profile Climate Change Resilient Development (CCRD) project, a 4 year, $31M, global contract managed by Engility/IRG. In Vietnam, CIMPACT-DST supports integration of climate change considerations into planning activities in several cities and provinces. First piloted in the coastal city of Hue, the tool was quickly picked up by dozens of communities and provinces across Vietnam. The success of the pilot is due in large part to incorporating long-term sustainability techniques in the design and implementation phases. Lessons learned from implementation are covered in the webinar. The recording will allow you to download the presentation, documents, reports, and assessments. Practitioners and stakeholders from as far away as Columbia, Croatia, South Africa, and Nepal participated in the webinar.

*Note, it will take a minute or two to display in your browser. Thank you for your patience.

Title: Vietnam Climate Impacts Decision Support Tool (CIMPACT-DST) Lessons Learned
: Tuesday, June 23 2015
Time: 1-2 p.m. EST
Presenters: Andrea Martin and Thu Tran, Cascadia Consulting Group
Moderator: Michael E. Cote, Engility Corporation
Topic: From pilot to sustainability, lessons learned from piloting a climate adaptation decision support tool in Vietnam

This interactive webinar covered the processes and outcomes of developing a Decision Support Tool (DST) under the USAID-funded CCRD project in collaboration with Cascadia Consulting. The Climate Impacts Decision Support Tool (CIMPACT-DST) was successfully implemented in Vietnam, in collaboration with the Vietnam Institute for Urban-Rural Planning (VIUP), to support integration of climate change considerations into planning activities in cities and provinces in Vietnam. For more information, contact

Resources, presentations, and analysis of CIMPACT-DST click HERE!

Press Release: CCRD Supports Post-Earthquake Nepal, Provides Rapid Assessments of Post-Earthquake Areas.

posted May 27, 2015, 12:51 PM by CCRD Project   [ updated Aug 15, 2016, 7:55 AM ]

CCRD is supporting a team of US-based scientists who will deploy to Nepal to assess post-earthquake impacts on the country’s potentially dangerous glacial lakes. The M 7.8 earthquake of 25 April, 2015 leveled parts of Kathmandu and caused more than 8,000 deaths throughout the country. Scientists worry seismic activity could also lead to increased glacial outburst floods (GLOF), which can occur with devastating downstream impacts. Twenty-four (24) GLOFs are known to have occurred in Nepal, mostly in recent (post 1960) times.

Press Release:


Imja Lake, Mount Everest, Khumbu Region, Himalaya, Nepal

27 May, 2015 -- Today, a team of high altitude scientists will deploy in Nepal to begin the process of assessing post-earthquake impacts on the country’s potentially dangerous glacial lakes.

The M 7.8 earthquake of 25 April, 2015 leveled parts of Kathmandu and caused more than 8,000 deaths throughout the country. Scientists began to worry that the seismic activity could also lead to increased glacial outburst floods (GLOF), which can occur with devastating downstream impacts if the fragile end moraines holding back millions of cubic meters of water are breached by surge waves, collapse, or earthquakes. Twenty-four (24) GLOFs are known to have occurred in Nepal, mostly in recent (post 1960) times.

Between 1 June and 31 July, Dr. Alton C. Byers, Research Affiliate at the Institute for Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR) at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and Dr. Daene McKinney, Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, will begin the task of climbing to and assessing earthquake impacts on Nepal’s 21 potentially dangerous glacial lakes, beginning with the three of greatest concern to the Government of Nepal because of their size and abundance of downstream villages and infrastructure.

Byers and McKinney are co-managers of the High Mountains Adaptation Partnership (HiMAP) (, a USAID-funded program that since 2009 has developed rapid reconnaissance methods for assessing and reducing the risk of dangerous glacial lakes in Nepal and Peru. Results of the applied research are then integrated into community consultations that lead to Local Adaptation Plans of Action (LAPA) for building resilience to climate change. At the same time, the scientists will survey other damage caused by the earthquake to villages located in the remote mountain regions where the lakes are found.

While in the field, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and the University of Arizona will feed the team with the latest satellite imagery on a daily basis, flagging any new areas of concern not always visible from the ground. Byers and McKinney have personally visited and studied nearly all of the 21 glacial lakes on the danger list during the past six years, and expect to be working on the project throughout the remainder of 2015 and into 2016. Specifically, they will look for changes in lake levels, lateral and terminal moraines, increases in seepage at the base of the moraines, overhanging ice, discharge, and other indicators of possible instability.

“It’s our deepest wish that somehow the lakes are still stable, and that for the time being downstream populations can at least have one less thing to worry about,” says Byers, who has more than four decades of experience working in applied research, conservation, and climate change projects in Nepal. “But just like earthquakes, it’s impossible to predict when a GLOF will occur. And the earthquake may just provide the wakeup call needed for scientists, donors, and governments to take the growing danger of GLOFs seriously, and to really focus on finding ways of reducing their risks to downstream populations, infrastructure, agricultural land, and the growing numbers of tourists vital to local economies.”

Byers and McKinney believe that a combination of regular monitoring by remote sensing, on the ground field checks, flood modeling, and regular communication with local communities may hold the answer.

“Modeling can give local villages the information they need to make informed decisions about GLOF risk and the actions they take—move, don’t build on the flood plain, or live with the threat,” says McKinney. “But you can’t just throw people a model and expect them to use it. Communities need guidance, support, and facilitation to make use of science and scientific tools such as modeling, using processes like the LAPAs that we used in the Everest region, and Cordillera Blanca region of Peru.”

Byers thinks that new methods of reducing the risk of glacial lakes will need to be developed because of their remoteness. “Nepal will never be able to replicate the Peru experience of managing glacial lakes,” he says, who along with McKinney has brought Peruvian engineers with decades of experience to Nepal to share their knowledge of glacial lake management. “When Peru began lowering their 35 dangerous glacial lakes in the Cordillera Blanca in the 1950s, the first thing they did was build a road to each lake, which was easy to do because of the existing network of roads and short distances to the lakes. Many of the dangerous lakes in Nepal involve an 11 day walk in just to reach them, meaning that the costs of lowering them could be prohibitive.”
Byers and McKinney will work closely with Nepal’s Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (DHM), ICIMOD, Nepal Army, and USAID/Nepal in the course of their work. The June-July fieldwork will be supported by USAID’s Climate Change Office in Washington, DC, and the two scientists are volunteering their time. They have so far succeeded in raising additional funds from the American Society of Civil Engineers, University of Texas Engineering, Xylem Inc., US 21 Inc., and National Geographic Society needed to purchase the needed modems, satphones, data charges, and field gear, and will continue to seek support for the fall and spring 2016 phases from a range of other donors.

“We’re in this for the long haul,” said Byers. “The people of the Himalayas have never had to deal with the joint phenomena of disappearing glaciers and development of new, potentially dangerous glacial lakes, and we’re learning as we go.”


New Climate Services Book to be Released at WMO World Congress, May 2015

posted May 7, 2015, 10:52 AM by CCRD Project   [ updated Mar 29, 2016, 2:10 PM ]

In May 2015, a new book titled Valuing Weather and Climate: Economic Assessment of Meteorological and Hydrological Services will be released at the World Meteorological Organization's World Congress in Geneva. USAID/CCRD collaborated with two partners on its development – WMO and World Bank.

CCRD Chief of Party Dr. Glen Anderson served as lead editor and contributing author. He led 10 expert authors, who contributed to the chapters, and approximately three dozen peer reviewers who submitted detailed comments to the editing team.

The book is offered FREE to the public. Read the book's executive summary HERE

New! Webinar and Video Archives of the ACRD Symposium

posted Mar 27, 2015, 9:07 AM by CCRD Project

Couldn't attend the ACRD Symposium? Now you can view videos and webinars from any of the sessions. Click here for the archived list. Video recordings provided by Engility Corporation and the Wilson Center.

Welcome to the ACRD Symposium!

posted Mar 14, 2015, 2:47 PM by CCRD Project

The ACRD Symposium is finally here! Beginning Monday morning, and running through Thursday evening March 16-19, 2015, USAID and CCRD will host the Advancing Climate-Resilient Development Symposium in Washington, D.C. This invitation-only Symposium brings together adaptation and development experts and decision-makers from around the world to:
  1. Share lessons learned from CCRD
  2. Exchange adaptation-related approaches and experiences
  3. Identify new ways to advance climate-resilient development
Implemented by Engility/IRG with a consortium of 11 partners, the CCRD project has piloted USAID’s “development-first” approach to climate change adaptation in more than 30 countries.

We look forward to seeing you there!

1-10 of 24