Climate change affecting ecosystem

Kathmandu, December 10

Minister for Science, Technology and Environment Bishwendra Paswan has drawn the attention of world leaders to the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, which have been alarming both in the mountainous countries and countries in lower basins.

“Nepal has been witnessing increasing temperature that has accelerated glacier melting in the Himalayas, including the Mount Everest region. This has increased the risk of glacier lake out-burst threatening the lives and livelihoods of our people. Climate change has been affecting our water availability, agricultural production, tourism and ecosystem services,” he said, while addressing the United Nations Climate Change Conference being held in Paris from November 30-December 11.

“Due to the fragility of our mountain ecosystems, issues related to loss and damage is becoming more prominent. Therefore, I urge all parties to ensure that the global average temperature rise is maintained below 1.5 degree Celsius compared to the pre-industrial level. I also urge you all to recognise the contributions that mountains offer to humanity and consider increasing supports to the most vulnerable Less Developed Countries and small mountainous developing states like Nepal,” he remarked.

Paswan also informed the world leaders that Nepal had taken several policy and institutional measures to build resilience and adaptive capacities. “We are maintaining 40 per cent of our land under forest cover with several protected areas, promoting renewable energy, introducing dedicated climate change budget code, declaring our capital as plastic bag free zone, promoting bicycle ride and preparing a Low Carbon Economic Development Strategy.”

According to Paswan, Nepal’s efforts with limited resources and capacity alone is not sufficient to resolve the adverse impacts of climate change. Nepal contributes less than 0.1 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, yet it suffers the most. “Hence, I strongly call upon the countries with higher emissions to take leadership in reducing their emissions to secure a safer planet,” he said.