The consequences of the melting of the glaciers are particularly evident in the Himalayan regions, where much of modern mountaineering history has been written. Among the highest peaks in the world, the survival of small local communities is seriously tested by the limited availability of water, which in certain periods of the year becomes a severe water crisis.
This is the experience of the Ladakhis, the 20,000 inhabitants of the cold desert of Zanskar (Ladakh), who despite problems linked to the climate crisis continue to struggle to avoid having to abandon their land and culture. A story of resilience documented by Angelica Pastorella, an anthropologist and researcher at the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, who, supported by Karpos, is working to create awareness among mountain lovers and communicate the need to find solutions that will allow adaptation to the phenomenon of desertification.
It’s a problem that is not limited to the trans-Himalayan populations but that is destined to expand in the near future, involving the entire planet. It’s important to remember that in 2020, experts estimated that 25% of the world population, about 2 billion people, relied on water linked to 78 drainage basins originating from mountains or mountain ranges. The consequences of a desertification of mountain areas are immediately obvious.
One of the goals of Help the Mountains is to help protect the mountain communities that maintain the cultural and economic heritage of areas at high elevation. For us at Karpos, supporting this project also means contributing to the survival of populations that are in the same situation as the Ladakhis.