KATHMANDU: Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal inaugurated the “Kathmandu to Copenhagen, South Asia Climate Change Conference” here today.
Speaking at the programme, the PM said: “Despite the fact that the government is confronted with twin challenges like bringing the peace process to a logical conclusion and drafting the new statute within the stipulated timeframe, we’ve given due diligence to this conference.”
Mohan Munasinghe, vice-chairperson, Intergovernmental 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 global problem.
The conference is slated to reach a consensus on the agenda for the Copenhagen Conference.
Former Minister for Environment Ganesh Sah cast his doubts whether the conference could come to consensus since a majority of the delegation was not headed by ministers.
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 meeting. Bhutan is, however, not participating in the conference. There is also no ministerial representation from India and China.
The SAARC Environment Ministerial meeting, held in Dhaka in July 2008, 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.
A version of this article appears in print on August 31, 2009 of The Himalayan Times.