WASHINGTON: Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is reportedly looking for its first Communications and Media Relations Programme Manager to help it avoid a mismanaged situation like last year, when it was stated that “most Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035.” The IPCC, which was honoured with the 2007 Nobel peace prize for its work, had a lot of explaining to do after journalists last year exposed errors in its 2007 assessment report.
IPCC officials have also admitted that the group’s crisis management was as bad as the now-infamous statement that most Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035 (see ‘Glacier estimate is on thin ice’). At the time, the IPCC reportedly had no full-time professional communications director who could have dealt with the matter instantly. The paper quoted Nick Nuttall, spokesperson and head of media with the United Nations Environment Programme that set up the IPCC in 1988 jointly with the World Meteorological Organization, as saying that in a world of rapid communication, “you cannot move at the speed of the slowest.”
“The glacier affair didn’t need to become the feeding frenzy for the international media that it did, he says. In scientific circles it had been known for months that something was badly wrong with the glacier claim. A skilled public-relations manager with a good network of relevant scientists could have nipped the problem in the bud before it burst on the scene, rather than having journalists claim a scoop,” Nuttall added. The IPCC was later criticised for its claim that ‘most Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035′ by many scientists who said that the claim was based on a decade-old interview of one climate scientist in a science magazine, The New Scientist, and that hard scientific evidence to support that figure was lacking.
Started in year 2010, ‘Climate Himalaya’ initiative has been working on the mountain and climate related issues in the Himalayan region of South Asia. In the last two years this knowledge sharing portal has become one of the important references for the governments, research institutions, civil society groups and international agencies, those have work and interest in Himalayas. The Climate Himalaya team innovates on knowledge sharing, capacity building and climatic adaptation aspects in its focus countries like Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan. Climate Himalaya’s thematic areas of work are mountain ecosystem, water, forest and livelihood. Read>>