Bhutan Govt.: It is a common knowledge that climate change is happening in the Himalayas with the rapid melting of glaciers, erratic and unpredictable weather, changing rainfall patterns and increasing temperatures. In order to build resilience to the impacts of climate change, the need was felt not only to address it at the national level but more importantly to strengthen regional cooperation and resilience against climate change. Therefore the climate summit for a Living Himalayas took shape just over a year ago in Kathmandu, Nepal where Bhutan’s proposal to host a climate change summit to develop the action plan for adapting to Climate change in the Himalayas particularly across the southern face of the Eastern Himalayas and build regional resilience was agreed upon by Bangladesh, India and Nepal in the true spirit of cooperation and friendship.
In this regard the National Biodiversity Centre, (NBC) under Ministry of agriculture and Forets (MoAF) is organising the regional Biodiversity Expert Group Meeting for the climate summit for a living Himalayas 2011, at Namgay Heritage Hotel in Thimphu, Bhutan for two days from 12-13 July, 2011 with the participation from four countries namely Bangladesh, Nepal, India and Bhutan.
The Experts Group Meeting on Biodiversity is one of four Regional Expert Group Meetings before the actual Summit on November 19. The Experts Group Meeting on Water was organized by Bangladesh on July 3 and 4 in Dhaka. Similarly, the Experts Group Meeting on Food will be organised by India later this month; and the Experts Group meeting on Energy will be organized by Nepal, also this month.
This expert group meeting on the biodiversity and climate change was organized with the main intention to pave the way for partner countries to come up with a sound regional action plan on Biodiversity persistence in the face of climate change. Additionally, it will highlight the issue of climate change and its impacts on the Himalayas and foster partnership and networking to facilitate sharing of information and experience to deal with the impacts of climate change.
The Honb’le Lyonpo, (Dr) Pema Gyamtsho, the Minister, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests had kindly graced the opening session as chief guest of two days meeting and Dasho Sherub Gyaltshen, the Honb’le Secretary, of MoAF had chaired the meeting yesterday on 12 July, 2011.
The other participants includes, Ambassador of Republic of India and Bangladesh, Heads of the UN Development Agencies and other International Developments Partners, Secretary of National Environment Commission, Directors of the various Departments of MoAF, distinguish delegates from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal and representatives from technical partners WWF, ICCIMOD and UNDP, FAO.
In his opening remarks, the Honble Lyonpo said, when it comes to Biodiversity, we all know that the tigers, elephants, birds and fish do not stop at our national boundaries, but we must recognize them as our regional heritage and take collective responsibility to ensure their survival.
He said in this respect, we are already making a good progress with regards to the protection of the Sundarbans between Bangladesgh and India, Terai Landscape between India and Nepal, the Manas wild life Sanctuary between Bhutan and India and the Kanchenjunga Landscape among India, Nepal and Bhutan. These bilateral and trilateral cooperation sites should serve as models for future cooperation in regional biodiversity conservation with the continued support of our partners like WWF, ICCIMOD and others.
The Honble Lyonpo also said, the four eastern Himalayan countries, Bangaladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal are bound together by geography, history, culture, economy and ecology. Therefore, we cannot act in isolation if we are to secure the future for our region.
The two day meeting is expected to close today with the participants drafting a regional framework of action that will look into managing climate change, and will be chaired by The Honb’le Lyonpo, Dr. Pema Gyamtsho, the Minister of Agriculture and Forests and Honb’le Lyonpo, Khandu Wangchuk, the Minister of Economic Affairs.
Reported by: Chencho Gyeltshen, Photograph by: Choidup Zangpo. Source>>
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