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World Habitat and Aga Khan Agency for Habitat, Pakistan COP26 Event

14:00 Monday 8 November 2021

Combining Indigenous Knowledge and Technology to act on the Climate Emergency

Mountainous regions are disproportionately affected by the climate emergency. In the Himalayas, Hindu Kush, Karakoram and Pamir mountains, temperatures are rising three times faster than global averages. These areas – home to some of the most isolated yet dynamic communities – are especially vulnerable to earthquakes, floods and other hazards that have caused catastrophic damage in recent years.

How can we prepare for and respond to worsening climate crises? In this event, you can learn how one project harnessed local indigenous knowledge with technology to create effective solutions that respond to the climate emergency, enabling people to build safer homes and communities.

Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) in Pakistan integrate the knowledge and experience of indigenous communities alongside advances in technology to conduct hazard, vulnerability and risk assessments (HRVAs) and develop community-based disaster management and habitat development plans. Their innovative work was awarded a Gold World Habitat Award in 2020.


AKAH has worked with over 50,0000 volunteers, conducted HVRAs in almost 800 settlements (home to over one million people) and provided over 20,000 households with technical assistance to prepare for disasters and prevent damage when they occur.

Facilitated by World Habitat, this event will feature a documentary about affected communities living on the frontlines of the climate crisis, followed by a panel discussion featuring:

  • Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director of UN-Habitat;
  • Malik Amin Aslam, Minister and Special Advisor to the Prime Minister of Climate Change, Pakistan; and
  • Khalid Khurshid, Chief Minister of Government of Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan;
  • Onno Ruhl, General Manager of the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat; and
  • Louise Winterburn, Deputy Chief Executive, World Habitat.

Delegates will have the opportunity to question practitioners on how to transfer and replicate their processes and best practices to other areas facing similar climate extremes. 

Watch the full replay via the COP26 YouTube Channel here

Watch the documentary here

Click here to register your interest in 2022 World Habitat Awards

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