KATHMANDU, NOVEMBER 08
Climate change has now turned into a climate crisis for countries like Nepal. The global climate model shows climate change impacts may be severe at high elevation and in a complex topography like Nepal.
The current climate modelling scenario in Nepal has described two types of disasters due to increased temperature.
They are rapid disasters, such as floods and landslides, and slow-onset disasters, such as drought, forest fires, snow melts and sedimentation.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report has said that Nepal will suffer the adverse impact of climate change, although its contribution to greenhouse gas emission is small. Temperature increase is resulting in faster glacier melt, leading to flash floods. Water-related hazards, especially during the monsoon due to melting of ice in the mountain and plentiful rainfall in the foothills, are quite common now.
Additionally, landslides in the mid-hills occur regularly due to extreme rainfall during the monsoon. Consequently, people suffer from food insecurity since agricultural activities are disrupted, and there is forest and biodiversity loss as well as water scarcity.
Migration from the rural to urban areas due to the climate crisis is increasing in Nepal.
Drinking water, hygiene and proper sanitation system are being disrupted due to climate crisis.
Scientific research may help reduce the climate crisis through adaptation. According to Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC), Nepal plans to combat greenhouse gas emissions by setting 14 goals in collaboration with the UN programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation.
Maintaining risk reduction strategies like emergency awareness programmes and shifting traditional agricultural practices for food security by using natural barriers are ways to combat the adverse effect of climate change.
Nepal's aquaponics practices may be an innovative technology that can help grow more vegetables per unit area and improve fish farming to meet the extra food demand.
Use of electrical appliances in our homes and everyday life with the clean energy produced in the country can help cut down on greenhouse gas emission.
Active participation from all sectors, such as the public and government, is required to reduce the adverse effects of climate change. As they say in the west, "prevention is better than cure". Therefore, we all need to start preparing for the impending climate crisis in our country, which will be the norm if no action is taken.
A version of this article appears in the print on November 09, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.