Himani Upadhyay

East Africa Peru India Climate Capacities (EPICC)


Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
T +49 (0)331 288 2694
P.O. Box 60 12 03
14412 Potsdam

  • Climate vulnerability assessment
  • Prioritization of adaptation strategies
  • Environmental change-related migration and immobility
  • Climate adaptation policy
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Communication to policy-makers and non-scientists

Upadhyay, H., Vinke, K., & Weisz, H. “We are still here” Climate change and immobility in highly mobile Himalayan communities of India (under review).

Biella, R., Hoffmann, R., Upadhyay, H. Climate vulnerability and migration: A case study on the Indian Himalayan Region (accepted)

Upadhyay, H., Vinke, K., Bhardwaj, S., Becker, M., Irfan, M., George, N.B., Biella, R., Arumugam, P., Murki, S K., Paoletti, E., "Locked Houses, Fallow Lands: Climate Change and Migration in Uttarakhand, India"2021. Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) & The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) India.

Blocher, J., Bergmann, J., Upadhyay, H., Vinke, K. 2021: Hot, wet and deserted: Climate Change and Internal Displacement in India, Peru, and Tanzania. Insights from the EPICC Project. Background Paper for the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (GRID 2021)

Vinke, K.; Bergmann, J.; Blocher, J.; Upadhyay, H.; Hoffmann, R. Migration as Adaptation? In Migration Studies. 2020 Migration Studies, 8, 4, 626-634.

Kelman, I., Orlowska, J., Upadhyay, H., Stojanov, R., Webersik, C., Simonelli, A C., Procházka, D., Němec,.D. 2019. Does climate change influence people’s migration decisions in the Maldives? Climatic Change. 2019.

Upadhyay, H & Mohan, D. 2018. Migrating to adapt? Exploring the climate change, migration and adaptation nexus, In Rajan., S I & Bhagat, R B (eds). Climate Change, Vulnerability and Migration, India: Routledge. pp. 43-59.

Kelman,I., Upadhyay, H., Simonelli, A C., Arnall, A., Mohan, D., Lingaraj, G J., Nair, S & Webersik, C. 2017. Here and now: perceptions of Indian Ocean islanders on the climate change and migration nexus, Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography. 99, pp 284-303.

Mohan, D., Prabhakar, S.V.R.K., Upadhyay, H., 2017. Identifying adaptation effectiveness indicators using participatory approaches: A case study from the Gangetic Basin, Climate and Development. pp 1-15.

Upadhyay, H., Kelman, I., Mohan, D. 2015. ‘Everyone likes it here’: Perceptions of climate change, migration and place belongingness in Lakshadweep, Forced Migration Review, Special issue on Disasters and displacement in a changing climate’, Issue 49, pp.66-67.

Upadhyay, H., Kelman, I., Lingaraj, G J., Mishra, A.2014, Conceptualizing and Contextualizing Research and Policy for Links between Climate Change and Migration, International Journal of Climate Strategies and Management, 7, No.3, pp.394-417.

Stojanov, R., Shen, S., Kelman, I., Duzi, B., Upadhyay, H., Lingaraj., G J., Mishra, A., Vikhrov, D. 2013. Typologies of Environmentally Induced Migrants. Disaster Prevention and Management, Vol. 23, No. 5, pp. 508 – 523.

Upadhyay, H., 2015. Disaster Risk Resilience, In: Chakrabarti, PG D.ed. India Global Sustainability Development Report 2015: Climate Change and Sustainable Development—Assessing Progress of Regions and Countries, pp.185-195, Oxford University Press: New Delhi, India

Upadhyay, H, and Mohan, D. 2014. Migrating to adapt? Contesting Dominant Narratives of Migration and Climate Change. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), India.

Mohan, D & Upadhyay, H., 2013, Adaptation Effectiveness Indicators for Agriculture in the Gangetic basin. Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES): Hayama, Japan.

Atteridge, A. Shrivastava, M K., Pahuja, N.,Upadhyay, H. 2011, Climate policy in India:What shapes international, national and state policy? Ambio, 41(1), pp.68-77, Springer. DOI 10.1007/s13280-011-0242-5.

Mishra, A., Upadhyay, H., Lingaraj G J. 2011. Climate change and agri-livelihoods in Orissa: an index-based approach to vulnerability assessment. In: B, Mohanty, ed.2011. Economic Development, In India: Issues and Challenges, New Century Publications: New Delhi, India

Mishra A., Pandey, N., Upadhyay, H., Gupta, P. & Kumar, A. 2011.Sub-national actions on climate change in India and implications for international collaboration.Discussion Paper, prepared for Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 28 November–9 December 2011, Durban, South Africa

Upadhyay, H & Lingaraj G J. 2010. Climate Change, in The Energy and Data Directory and Yearbook (TEDDY). TERI Press: New Delhi

Upadhyay, H.,2010. Domestic Climate Policy in India: From Agenda to Action, Policy brief TERI Press: New Delhi,

Upadhyay, H., 2010. For Greener Pastures. Pioneer, 3rd December 2010.

Upadhyay H., Pahuja N., 2010, Low carbon employment potential in India: a climate of opportunities, Discussion paper: TERI/GCN-2010:1, TERI, New Delhi

Shrivastava, M.K. & H. Upadhayay. 2009. Climate Change and Technology: Perceptions from India. Discussion paper- TERI/GCN-2009:1. TERI, New Delhi

Selected Reports:

Macro level vulnerability Index for the state of Uttarakhand (India), 2015. In: Tracking Environment Sustainability in Uttarakhand, Submitted to Department of Revenue Uttarakhand, Supported by UNDP

GIZ, 2014. Policy Framework in India to Address Climate Change and Development of Methodology for Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment, In: A Framework for Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments, Available at: http://www.ccarai.org/files/va_guide_ccarai_final_lowres.pdf

Livelihoods, migration, and conflict in Maharashtra. 2014. In: Maharashtra State Action Plan on Climate Change, Submitted to the Department of Environment, Government of Maharashtra (India).  Available at:

Macro-level Vulnerability Assessment for the State of Maharashtra, 2014. In: Maharashtra State Action Plan on Climate Change, Submitted to the Department of Environment, Government of Maharashtra (India). Available at: http://www.moef.gov.in/sites/default/files/Maharashtra%20Climate%20Change%20Final%20Report.pdf 

Buldhana District Adaptation Plan of Action, 2014, Submitted to the Department of Environment, Government of Maharashtra (India).

Gujarat State Action Plan on Climate Change, 2014. Submitted to Climate Change Department, Government of Gujarat (India). Available at: http://www.moef.gov.in/sites/default/files/Gujarat-SAPCC.pdf   

State Water Mission: Rajasthan State Action Plan on Climate Change, 2012. Submitted to Rajasthan Pollution Control Board, Government of Rajasthan (India). Available at: http://www.moef.nic.in/sites/default/files/sapcc/Rajasthan.pdf

TERI. 2011. Designing Adaptation to Climate Change Responses for inclusion in IFAD‘s Project in Jharkhand, India, New Delhi: International Fund for Agricultural Development. (Identified the livelihood vulnerability of tribal and marginalized communities and designed adaptation strategies for community smart development)


  • East Africa Peru India Climate Capacities (EPICC); (International Climate Initiative (IKI), Germany, (2018-present)

Analyzing mobility and immobility to climate change impacts in the agro-Himalayan communities of India. Establishing cooperation and partnership with Indian stakeholders for co-production of knowledge, science-policy dialogue and for putting research into use. Also responsible for outreach and communication of project deliverables.

  • Flood Evac: Cultures of disaster management in India and Germany; (BMBF, Germany) (2016-2018)

The project aimed at developing a conceptual framework for investigating disaster cultures through empirical studies of major flooding events in India and Germany. I was primarily responsible for the India case study.

  • Building Disaster Resilience for Sustaining Development in North Bay of Bengal (India, Bangladesh and Myanmar) ; (UN ESCAP Trust Fund for Tsunami, Disaster and Climate Preparedness in Indian Ocean and Southeast Asian Countries) (2016)

Co-Principal Investigator of the project which aimed to investigate the “warning delivery systems” in the three countries and fill the critical gaps in the existing multi-hazards early warning systems and further link it with building resilience to disasters for sustainable development, as provided in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and Sustainable Development Goals.

  • Assessing Economic Cost of Impacts and Adaptation in Coastal Areas of India; (Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India) (2016)

Co-Principal Investigator of the project which aimed at assessing economic costs of impacts of climate change like sea level rise, storm surges and cyclones in states of Goa, Gujarat on the west coast, and Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal on the east coast and the Andaman Islands.

  • Perceptions and understandings of climate change and migration: Conceptualizing and contextualizing for Lakshadweep and the Maldives; (Research Council of Norway) (2012-2015)

Principal Investigator of the project, which aimed at investigating the assumptions and challenges in climate change migration work in Lakshadweep (India) and the Maldives (2012-2015)

  • ‘Changing Climate and Moving People’-  (UNESCO, India) (2014)

Technical expert on developing a film titled “Changing climate change moving people”. Developed to discuss the impacts of climate change on migration in regions that have experienced extreme weather events like Uttarakhand (flash floods), Bundelkhand (droughts) and Odisha (cyclones and storm surges).

  • Tracking environmental sustainability in Uttarakhand, India; (UNDP, India) (2014-2015)

Led the development of the disaster vulnerability index for state of Uttarakhand to identify the most vulnerable districts for policy action

  • Identification of win-win adaptation options through adaptation metrices and integrated adaptation decision making frameworks in Gangetic Basin; (Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, Japan) (2012-2013)

Co-Principal Investigator: Contributed to identifying a set of metrics to measure the effectiveness of adaptation options and develop an integrated decision-making framework that helps various stakeholders to take adaptation decisions in the agriculture sector of the Gangetic basin, India

  • Climate Change and Migration--Developing a Future Research Agenda ; (Research Council of Norway) (2010-2012)

Principal Investigator of this project, which aimed at developing a future research agenda on climate change and migration linkages, by highlighting the gaps in current knowledge, outlining the conceptual issues, emphasizing the contextual aspects of migration and bringing forth the associated policy challenges.

  • Assessing Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation Strategies for State of Maharashtra; (India) (Government of Maharashtra, India) (2010-2015)

Main responsibilities in the project included developing a vulnerability index for the state of Maharashtra to identify hotspots; along with assessing the impacts of climate change on livelihoods and migration linkages; developing cross sectoral adaptation policy proposals for the State based on the analysis of the projected climate variability, climate change impacts and the assessment of vulnerability and developing 6 district level climate adaptation plans.

  • Designing Adaptation to Climate Change Responses in Jharkhand (India); (IFAD) (2011)

Key responsibilities in this project involved assessing the impacts of climate change on key livelihoods of vulnerable communities like small holder farmers, landless labourers, women and tribal communities in the state of Jharkhand; develop a framework for assessing endogenous coping responses; and designing adaptation interventions to support climate smart community development.

  • Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment for the State of Rajasthan; (GIZ, India)  (2010-2011)

Key engagements included developing a vulnerability index for the water resources sector along and identifying potential hotspots for targeting adaptation action

  • Development of a Methodology for Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment at the state level in India; (GIZ , India) (2010-2011)

Key contribution included developing a methodological framework for integrated vulnerability assessment at the state-level to enable decision-makers, including policy planners and state governments to identify the most vulnerable regions and communities and deploy targeted response strategies


  • Preparation of the State Adaptation Action Plan for the state of Maharashtra;  Government of Maharashtra, India, (2010-2015)

Key responsibilities included doing a vulnerability assessment for the state of Maharashtra thereby identifying 6 most vulnerable districts. Thereafter adaptation strategies were developed and prioritized a through series of stakeholder consultations with the government and affected communities. This led to the development of 6 district level adaptation plans.

  • Preparation of State Action Plan on Climate Change for Rajasthan; GIZ, India,  (2010-2012)

Key responsibilities included developing a state mission on water resources for the State Action Plan on Climate Change (SAPCC)

  • Preparation of the Gujarat State Action Plan on Climate Change; GIZ, India,  (2010-2012)

Main responsibilities included developing an inventory of impacts in following sectors: water resources, agriculture, coastal areas and human health.

  • Climate Policy Research (CLIPORE); Supported by Mistra Foundation, Sweden (2009-2012)

Key engagements included analyzing the climate policy dynamics in India at a sub-national level and initiating science-based dialogues with policymakers and stakeholders by means of workshops

  • Preparation of Rajasthan Climate Change Agenda; Government of Rajasthan, India, (2009-2010)

Major responsibilities included developing state climate change agenda on water resources human health, enhanced energy efficiency, urban governance and sustainable habitats along with strategic knowledge for climate change.

  • Research on key issues in climate change negotiations; (Ministry of Environment and Forests,India), (2009)

Key contributions included providing inputs and assist the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India on issues in climate change negotiations.


  • Addressing Challenges of Climate Variability, Change and Extreme Events at State Level (16-17th January, 2014, New Delhi) (Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Rural Development, India)

Organized a two day training program for state level policy makers on climate change, variability and extreme events to build capacity of decision makers at the state level in India

  • Asia Leadership Program on Sustainable Development and Climate Change (2nd -17th February, 2013, New Delhi/Dehardun/Kolkata/Sunderbans) (Asian Development Bank, Philippines )

Principal investigator: developed and organized a two week leadership program for policy makers in developing countries and senior level technical officials of ADB. The program focused on leadership and development planning in relation to environmental sustainability aligned to ongoing discussions on sustainable development goals.

  • IGES-TERI Asia Pacific Climate Policy Dialogue (February 2nd, 2011,New Delhi): (IGES and Ministry of Environment, Japan)

Principal investigator of the project; organized a one day policy dialogue which discussed domestic policy developments and actions plans in India post-Cancun period

  • IGES-TERI Asia Pacific Climate Policy Dialogue (1-2nd November, 2009, New Delhi)

Co-Principal Investigator; key responsibilities included organizing a two day international policy dialogue debating the future actions against climate change beyond 2012.


  • Blended Learning Program on Science and Policy of Climate Change (third phase : September 2013-January 2014)

Technical course-coordinator of a 16 week blended learning program on science and policy of climate change. Program included students from 11 countries in Asia and Africa. Key responsibilities comprised of developing course content, delivering lectures, conducting video-conferences, evaluating examination sheets and overall conduct of the program

  • Blended Learning Program on Science and Policy of Climate Change (Second phase) –(April-August 2012)

Technical course-coordinator of this program 12 week blended learning program on science and policy of climate change.

  • Climate Change- Poverty Reduction Web Portal: (UNDP, India) (2010-2011)

Contributed to developing content on livelihoods and climate change linkages for a web portal envisaged as a knowledge platform and a forum for enhanced dialogue and information dissemination on climate change and poverty linkages

  • Blended Learning Program on Science and Policy of Climate Change (First phase—March- June 2011): (Tokyo Development Learning Centre, World Bank, Japan)

Technical course-coordinator of the program, aimed at developing a blended learning program on climate change. Program included students from 22 countries in the Asian-Pacific. Key responsibilities comprised of developing course content, delivering lectures and evaluating examination sheets

  • Designing policies to adapt to a world of uncertainty: Adaptive policymaking for agricultureand water resources’. (IDRC-International Development Research Centre, Canada)

Key responsibilities included organizing a training workshop for mid-career civil servants from different state government departments; developing and delivering course modules on adaptive policy making for agriculture and water resources (August 19-21, 2010)

Upadhyay, H., Why do people stay despite climate risk? Annual Oxford Migration Conference: Contours of Power: Exploring Power and Migration, 18th May 2022 (Virtual)

Upadhyay, H., “Climate change and immobility in highly mobile Himalayan communities”   American Association of Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting 2022, 28th February 2022, New York (Virtual)

Upadhyay. H., “Understanding climate change and immobility in highly mobile Himalayan communities of India”, in the 6th International Climate Change Adaptation Conference, on 7th October 2021 (Virtual)

Upadhyay. H., “Does climate change influence migration in Indian Ocean islands?”, in Symposium on the cultures of coastal adaptation, on 23th September 2021(Virtual).

Upadhyay, H., “Climate Migration and Depopulation: Evidence from India” in Adaptation Futures 2020- Webinar on Climate Change, Adaptation and Migration, on 8th of December 2020, Adaptation Futures 2020, Virtual Webinar.

Upadhyay, H., “Climate Change and Migration: Causes and Futures” on the 9th of November 2020 at the virtual event ECOLENS 2020 organized by Indian Documentary Foundation, Virtual (Berlin).

Upadhyay, H., Why people choose to stay in vulnerable regions: Discussing the climate change-migration nexus in India, 7th  September, 2018, Liege, Belgium.

Upadhyay, H., Perceptions Of Climate Change And Coastal Processes in Lakshadweep India: Consequences for Migration and Climate Adaptation, Indo-German Workshop on Marine Sciences and Coastal Sustainability , 20th  -21st  August 2018, Bremen, Germany.

Upadhyay, H., Social Science Disaster Research in India: Examples from current research, Presented at 25th Workshop of the Humboldt India Project, 9th February 2018, Berlin.

Upadhyay, H., ‘Everyone likes it here’: Perceptions of climate change and migration; Case of Lakshadweep (India). Presented at the International Conference on Migration and Environmental Change, 8th -9th December 2016, Berlin

Upadhyay, H., ‘Everyone likes it here’: Perceptions of climate change and migration; Case of Lakshadweep (India). Paper presented at the RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, Exeter, United Kingdom, 1st  -4th  September, 2015. Abstract can be retrieved from: http://conference.rgs.org/AC2015/5f695d97-1f44-4dd4-a8a8-e15622ffbda2

Upadhyay, H., Mainstreaming technical, institutional and financial mechanisms for adaptation in India, Lecture presentation at the Workshop On Climate Change Projections, Vulnerability, Adaptation under the aegis of Third National Communication,29th  October, 2015

Kelman, I., Upadhyay , H. Conceptualising and Contextualising Climate Change and Migration for Low-lying Islands. Paper presented at conference Human Migration and the Environment: Futures, Politics, Invention, Durham University, United Kingdom, 28th  June – 1st  July, 2015.

Upadhyay, H., ‘Everyone likes it here’: Perceptions of climate change and migration; Case of Lakshadweep (India). Presented at International Conference on Climate Change Resilience, Puducherry, India, 5th October, 2015.

Upadhyay, H., Disaster Management and Preparedness in India, Lecture presentation at Annual conference of Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (ISCARM), - Kristiansand, Norway, May 24th  -27th  2015.

Upadhyay, H., Perceptions and understanding of climate change migration in Lakshadweep (India) and Maldives. Paper presented at The Nansen Initiative Civil Society Meeting on ‘Climate Change, Disasters and Human Mobility in South Asia’, Kathmandu, Nepal, 2nd  -3rd February 2015.

Upadhyay, H. Migrating To Adapt? Contesting Dominant Narratives of Migration and Climate Change. Paper presented at National Workshop on Migration and Global Environmental Change in India. New Delhi, 4th  -5th  March 2014.

Upadhyay, H. Climate change induced migration do we know enough, Lecture presentation at TERI-IGES Policy research Workshop on Shaping the Future Climate Change Regime, New Delhi: India, 17th  December, 2013.

  • Awarded the “Outstanding Paper” by International Journal of Climate Change Strategies for the paper titled “Conceptualizing and Contextualizing Research and Policy Links between Climate Change and Migration”. 2016
  • Visiting Fellowship awarded by Freie Universität Berlin, for May-September 2016.
  • Visiting Fellowship awarded by Centre of International Cooperation, Freie Universität Berlin, for April-July, 2015.
  • Awarded the TERI Roll of Honor -2012, for outstanding contribution to the institute.