National Center for Hydrology and Meteorology

The National Center for Hydrology and Meteorology (NCHM) in collaboration with the Department of Local Governance (DLG), Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs with funding support from UNDP Bhutan organized one and a half day science seminar on “Climate Change-induced Risks and Vulnerabilities of Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOF)”, 26 to 27 November, 2019 at Wangduephodgrang. The objectives of the Seminar are:

A. Share knowledge and experiences with the Local Governments and other stakeholders in the following:
- Current climate change related findings from IPCC special reports;
- Historical Analysis and Climate change projections of Bhutan;
- States of glacier and glacier lakes in Bhutan, especially in the headwaters of Punatsangchhu basins
- Hazards and risks associated with glacier lake outburst flood;
- GLOF mitigation and GLOF EWS for climate change adaptation;
- Inform the public and related stakeholders on the operational procedure of the GLOF early warning system in Punatsangchu basin.

B. Sensitize Local Governments and other stakeholders about the GLOF hazards and its impacts, and

Lyonpo Tashi Dorji, Chairperson of National Council of Bhutan, Parliament of Bhutan graced the opening session as the Honorable Chief Guest. Mr. Jürgen Nagler, Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP Bhutan, Dasho Dzongda of Gasa and Wangdiphodrang, Representatives of JICA, other international and bilateral organizations in Bhutan, senior officials from the line agencies, local government (Dzongkhag/Gewog) officials, RBA and RBP Officals and other offices of the Punakha and Wangdi Valley attended the seminar.

Participants also visited the GLOF Early Warning System Control Room Wangdi Flood Warning Office that is operated by 24/7.

NCHM experts presented the following scientific papers in the seminar:
1. Presentation on climate change science – presentation on recent IPCC Special reports by Mr. Phuntsho Namgyal, NCHM
2. Analysis of historical climate and climate change projection of Bhutan by Tshencho Dorji, WCSD, NCHM;
3. Bhutan Glacier Inventory 2018 and field based works on glaciers by Mr. Wangchu Namgay, CSD, NCHM
4. Re-assessment of potentially dangerous glacier lakes in Bhutan by Tshering Tashi, CSD, NCHM
5. Recent GLOFs - Overview of Thorthormi subsidiary lake II breach on June 20, 2019 and Lemthang Tsho breach of 2015 and 1994 GLOF and GLOF from Tshojo 2019- Lessons from rapid rehabilitation of essential public early warning system carried out in June 2019 by Mr. Phuntsho Tshering, Glaciologist, CSD, NCHM
6. GLOF Monitoring and Early Warning System in and Hazard Mapping: Preparedness for Eventuality by Mr. Sangay Tenzin, Engineer, HWRSD, NCHM.