‘Temperature rises in Mustang, apple production declines’

KATHMANDU: The climate change has been causing ample natural, agricultural and health hazards in the mountainous district of Mustang.

It was revealed by a team of Constituent Assembly members and climate experts who had visited the district, recently. They had studied the impacts of climate change during their four-day visit beginning September 21.

The team comprised 14 lawmakers and four representatives of National Trust for Nature Conservation.

Talking to The Himalayan Times today, Sunil Babu Pant, one of the team members, who is also the coordinator of the Parliamentary Taskforce on Environment, Climate Change and Harm Reduction, said, “Due to climate change, the production of apples in Mustang has decreased by 50 per cent.”

The produced apples were also not as healthy and attractive as used to be before due to the attack of various insects and other unknown diseases, he added.

The temperature used to be below zero degree Celsius in the past. While due to climate change impact, it has climbed to 22 degree in September, the report of the team quoted local residents as saying.

“Due to such changed weather pattern, the production of fruits and vegetables that require low temperature is dwindling while the vegetables that grow in high temperature such as spinach, pumpkin and others were growing more in comparison to previous years,” Pant stated.

The team also cautioned as the firewood being used by security personnel to cook their food was badly affecting the climate and causing soil erosion. The team demanded that the government replaced the firewood with LPG or other alternatives to control deforestation and resulted natural calamities.

The team has also recommended non-government organisations, government and other concerned sectors in agricultural, health and natural sector to launch preventive programmes to mitigate the possible hazards resulted due to the climate change in the district.