20 Aug 2010
A high-level consultative meeting on the climate change impact in the southern slopes of the Eastern Himalayas concluded in Kathmandu today with a roadmap for the planning of activities leading up to the proposed ‘Climate Summit for a Living Himalayas - Bhutan 2011’.
Delegates from the four participating countries – Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Bhutan – expressed their appreciation and pledged support for the sub-regional initiative started by the Royal Govt. of Bhutan, towards finalising climate adaptation plans that the Eastern Himalayan nations can use in their efforts to adapt to the changes happening in the region.
Experts presented four papers on water, energy, biodiversity and food security. They outlined the emerging issues, gaps and challenges in the region and suggested a way forward for carrying out national and regional consultations.
The high level meeting agreed to work together towards the Bhutan Climate Summit 2011 within national and regional adaptation frameworks by preparing individual country roadmaps on the water, energy, biodiversity and food security sectors. The meeting identified the names of lead agencies and/or institutions to take the process forward in each country and the region. Each country will serve as a lead country for one of the four themes: Bangladesh will lead in water, Bhutan in biodiversity, India in food security, and Nepal in energy.
The concluding session was attended by State Minister for Environment and Forest of Bangladesh, Dr. Hasan Mahmud; Minister of Agriculture and Forest of Bhutan, Dr. Pema Gyamtsho; Minister of Environment of Nepal, Mr. Thakur Prasad Sharma; and Additional Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests, India, Mr. Jayant Mauskar. Senior government delegates, experts from government and civil society organizations, and representatives of international agencies including ICIMOD, UNDP, FAO and WWF also attended the meeting. Mr. Thakur Prasad Sharma, Minister of Environment, GON chaired the final session and delivered the closing remarks. In his speech, he highlighted the inter-dependencies, inter-relationship and inter-linkages between the uplands and lowlands situation in the Himalayas. He also emphasised the importance of Bhutan’s initiative to Nepal’s Mountain Alliance Initiative to highlight the impacts of climate change on mountain ecosystems. He called upon the delegates for a holistic approach. The Minister of Agriculture, Bhutan informed the gathering that the initiative taken by Bhutan aims to work for a vision of ‘Sacred Himalayas for Water, Livelihoods, and Bio-Cultural Heritage’ and that this is an action oriented effort. The state Minister of Bangladesh emphasized the need to address the social, economic and environmental challenges in an integrated manner. The leader of the Indian delegation highlighted the role of both modern and traditional knowledge.
The meeting delegates thanked ICIMOD and the Royal Government of Bhutan for successfully organizing the consultative meeting and acknowledged the experts’ contribution in the form of thematic papers prepared and presented by ICIMOD, UNDP, FAO and WWF.
For further information contact:
Dr Madhav Karki
Acting Director General