Changing Landscapes — An international science institute approached us to define a strategy which would make better use of their historic data collection, raise their profile and spread knowledge about climate change.
Swiss Everest Expedition 1956
Imja Glacier in 2006: By 2006, the Imja lake was around 1 km2 in size, with an average depth of 42 meter, and contained more than 35 million m3 of water. The Imja Glacier is retreating at a rate of 74 meter per year, and is thought to be the fastest retreating glacier in the Himalayas. The thin cover of debris on this glacier may actually have accelerated surface melting, as heat is transferred to the ice below. Because of the unconsolidated nature of the lake’s terminal moraine dam, the risk of a glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) may be high. Photograph: Alton Byers, 2006, The Mountain Institute.
ICIMOD is a politically neutral scientific organisation based in Kathmandu, Nepal. For over twenty-five years they have been collecting and sharing environmental data concerning the Himalayas, an area stretching over eight nations.

The Himalayan Mountains are the main water source of large nations such as China and India. With the immediate effects of climate change creating unprecedented environmental conditions, the organisation and its data has become increasingly important in the region and the rest of the world. The international science institute therefore approached us to devise a strategy to create awareness about this issue as well as raising the profile of ICIMOD.

Since ICIMOD is financed by donations from supporters, our challenge was to create the highest possible impact with the lowest possible budget, whilst keeping the environmental impact of our actions as low as possible.

So we decided that the most efficient way to do that is to hold free exhibitions at popular public spaces. These exhibitions were locally produced and took place in different countries across the globe. In each country we invited the national media to the exhibition inauguration, where we arranged for ICIMOD’s scientists to explain the problem. Statistical and photographic material was distributed for free at each exhibition in the respective national languages and the public was encouraged to get involved.

And it worked – next to overwhelming positive feedback from visitors, global media networks (such as Reuters) picked the story up, we had double spreads newspaper features, national TV stations reporting from the exhibition sites and interviewing the scientists, to small local newspapers promoting the exhibition.

ROLE
Strategy, Direction, Production
CLIENT
ICIMOD, Kathmandu
LOCATIONS
Mount Everest, Nepal
Stockholm, Sweden
Barcelona, Spain
Kathmandu, Nepal
Bonn, Germany
Bern, Switzerland
PARTNER
SDC, Switzerland
GTZ, Germany
Fundación BBVA, Spain
MEDIA COVERAGE
Reuters, Global
The Guardian, UK
The Observer, UK
Nature Journal, UK
El País, Spain
El Mundo, Spain
RTL Television, Germany
Tages Anzeiger, Switzerland
20 Minuten, Switzerland
EDITIONS
English, German, Hindi, Nepali, Spanish, French, Catalán
PRODUCED
April 2008 – November 2009
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