South Asia Climate Change Conference kicks off


Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal inaugurated ‘Kathmandu to Copenhagen: South Asia Climate Change Conference’ in Kathmandu on August 31.

All SAARC nations along with China and some other mountainous countries are taking part in the event. Ministers from Nepal, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are attending the regional meet on climate change. Bhutan is, however, not participating in the conference.

Speaking on the occasion, Mohan Munasinghe, vice-chairperson, Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said that sustainable development approach could only help reduce the impact of climate change on the Himalayas.

Andreas Schield, director general, Integrated Centre for Mountain Development (ICIMOD) urged the government to declare the Himalayan region as the hotspot for climate change. He appealed for more focus to mitigate the risks of the global problem.

The conference is slated to reach a consensus on the agenda for the Copenhagen Conference.

The SAARC Environment Ministerial meeting, held in Dhaka last year, adopted the SAARC Action Plan and Declaration on Climate Change and the SAARC summit, held in Colombo in August 2008, reiterated the need for strengthening the cooperation in the region to tackle the problem.

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