Climate Zangskar

By the People & For the People

Climate Zangskar: Project Goals

Climate Z is a participatory action research project that empowers Himalayan youth and women to creatively visualize and map their communal resources of land and water, while identifying areas of vulnerability and need through collaborative, consensual methods.

We work with local women and youth develop site-specific, climate-smart policy advocacy and interventions that serve their needs for sustainable and regenerative agriculture. Climate Z works in the remote Zangskar sub district of the Ladakh Union Territory, a high-altitude desert where cultivation is only possible using summer meltwater from snowfields and glaciers.

Climate Z is run by and for youth and women, amidst a political culture where men hold predominant authority over land. We envision women and youth as empowered environmental stewards who are actively building the future they intend to create.

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Run By Women

Climate Z is managed and directed by women, who are the bedrock of sustainable Zangskari agrarian livelihoods.  Zangskari women have deep knowledge of participatory and community-based agrarian and pastoral practices. Their empirical knowledge of environmental stewardship includes cultivating most staple crops (barley, wheat, peas, & alfalfa); managing water user groups and irrigation canals; tending flocks of yaks, cows, dzo, sheep, & goats; producing milk, butter, dairy, and wool products; gathering wild edibles; building houses; and raising the next generation.   

Women and youth will lead participatory focus group and resource mapping discussions that describe and shape local landscape management plans for each village along with the collective strategies for preserving and harnessing or creating new forms of communal resources within their villages. Their voices will be heard and their concerns privileged in climate smart policies that are collaboratively developed with local climate champions and influencers.


Run By Youth

Climate Z is managed and run by youth, who represent the current innovators and influencers in this changing landscape of shifting needs, rising scarcity, and resilient practices. Youth will participate in and help lead focus group and participatory mapping discussions, while also serving as citizen scientists who monitor local environmental data points, after their participation in Climate Z science camps. Youth are integral to shaping forward thinking and climate smart policies that will endure in times of rapid climate change and its attendant disruptions.

Find out ways for you to be involved with our project! Climate Z received a National Geographic Award for fieldwork to begin in 2021...