Stakeholders at ‘International Dialogue’ voice for minimizing climate change impact

Kathmandu, May 22: Stakeholders have expressed their concerns over the burgeoning adverse effects of climate change on the Himalayas and called for urgent steps to minimize the same. 

Calling attention of the international community to the effects of climate change on the Himalayas, they have stressed on reducing the effects of climate change on the Himalayas. They were speaking in the ‘International Dialogue on Mountains, People and Climate’ which started today in Kathmandu under the initiative of Nepal. 

In the opening session of the dialogue, the Chief Secretary of the Government of Nepal, Dr Baikuntha Aryal, said that due to the climate change, the snow and glaciers in the mountains are melting fast, and the snow-capped mountains are changing into bare rocks, hence all should be aware of its adverse effects. 

“Last year’s international conference on climate change, COP-28, also discussed the impact of climate change on the Himalayan region. We have succeeded in having this dialogue today,” he said. 

Chief Secretary Aryal added that the mountains provide clean drinking water to 80 per cent of the people in the mountains and it is necessary to protect the sources of drinking water as well. Dr Govinda Prasad Sharma, Secretary of the Ministry of Forests and Environment, said that the peoples in the mountainous region are in risk due to climate change. 

“Climate change is having an adverse effect on mountainous areas. Problems such as forest fires, melting snow, glacial lake outburst floods, rising sea levels are increasing due to temperature rise,” he said. “Due to the effects of climate change, the mountains and mountainous areas are also at high risk. It is necessary for everyone to pay attention in time to save the mountainous region from the crisis of climate change.”

Karen Welch, director of the USAID, said they are partnering in the field of biodiversity conservation and environment in Nepal and informed the programme that they will continue the partnership in the future. 

Rosalaura Romeo of the Mountain Partnership Secretariat of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said that such experience exchange programmes will be important to face the challenges faced by mountain countries, saying the scientific data on the impact of climate change in the Himalayan region has been established.

The special representative of Kyrgyzstan, Dinara Kemelova, said that the world’s mountains are shelters for 30 per cent of the world’s people and called on everyone to join in their protection. In addition, Kemelova emphasized that the world should be interested in protecting the mountains, as they are indispensable for the source of clean drinking water and hydroelectric power.

Hanna Singer Hamdy, resident coordinator of United Nations in Nepal, said that the climate change is having an adverse impact on the Himalayas and the people there, emphasizing on the need of cooperation for the protection of the Himalayas. 

Chair of the UN Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice, SBSTA, Harry Vireau, said that disasters such as floods and landslides are occurring due to the effects of climate change, and emphasized that solutions to the effects of climate change should be found together.  (RSS)

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