The Bhutan Climate Summit for A Living Himalayas was successfully convened in Thimphu on 19 Nov 2011. Presided over by the Honourable Prime Minister of Bhutan, Lyonchhoen Jigmi Y Thinley; Environment Ministers from the four countries of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal adopted a declaration on behalf of their Governments wherein a regional ‘framework of cooperation’ was agreed upon.
His Excellency, Dr. Hasan Mahmud, Minister of State, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh; His Excellency, Dr. Pema Gyamtsho, Minister, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests and Minister-in-Charge of Environment, Royal Government of Bhutan; Dr. Tishya Chatterjee, Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India; His Excellency, Mr. Hem Raj Tater, Minister, Ministry of Environment, Government of Nepal attended the Summit.
The ‘Framework of Cooperation’ is aimed at implementing regional cooperative actions to build resilience to climate change in the southern watersheds of the eastern Himalayas by: Ensuring energy security and enhancing alternative technologies; Securing the natural freshwater systems of the Himalayas; Ensuring food security and securing livelihoods; and Securing biodiversity and ensuring its sustainable use.
Further a mechanism to implement the ‘Framework of Cooperation’ was also agreed to. The Summit was also attended by diplomatic missions within Bhutan and international observers.
Source: Living Himalaya Summit Secretariat
News by Associate Press
Four Himalayan nations facing the threat of weather changes have agreed to collaborate on ways to adapt to climate change after a two-day summit in Bhutan.
India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan were part of the Climate Summit for a Living Himalayas held in Bhutan’s capital Thimphu on Saturday. They agreed to cooperate on energy, water, food and biodiversity issues.
“The success of our initiative will not only have direct and immediate benefits for our own people, but we could be setting a worthy precedent for other countries that share similar conditions,” Bhutan’s Prime Minister Lyonchhoen Jigmi Y. Thinley said according to a press statement released late Saturday.
Pakistan, China and Afghanistan were absent from the summit but organizers downplayed that, saying that the summit was focused on securing ecosystems, endangered species,and food and water sources for only the Himalayas’ eastern part.
The summit called for action amid the international community’s inability to agree on limiting greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global climate change. The next round of U.N. climate talks begin in Durban, South Africa Nov. 28, but the expectations of any breakthrough there are limited.
As part of the declaration the four nations agreed to work together to increase access to “affordable and reliable” clean energy resources and technology through a regional knowledge sharing mechanism, a press statement from the World Wildlife Fund said.
The draft of the declaration was not immediately available Sunday.
The most contentious part of the talks dealt with water security, according to the WWF release, but the four nations did agree to work together on ecosystem and disaster management, sharing their knowledge in water use efficiency.
Regional tensions have long prevented Himalayan cooperation, including basic research in the world’s largest block of glaciers outside the polar regions, and accounting for 40 percent of the world’s fresh water.
There was also consensus on food security and securing livelihoods and the deal covers way to adapt and improve food production and help vulnerable communities get better access to nutritious food.
“These kinds of regional initiatives are really needed,” said Liisa Rohweder, CEO of WWF Finland, adding the summit was a good lead to follow for the Durban meeting.
Started in year 2010, ‘Climate Himalaya’ initiative has been working on Mountains and Climate linked issues in the Himalayan region of South Asia. In the last five 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 the 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>>