Chinadaily: Amid the mounting tensions of melting Himalayas, Nepal marked the first ascent of the Mt. Everest amid various activities here on Tuesday. Also known as ‘International Everest Day” , the day commemorates the first successful ascent of Mt. Qomolangma by Tenzing Norgay Sherpa of Nepal and Sir Edmund Hillary of New Zealand on May 29, 1953.
Worldwide climate change have created a huge threat to Nepal which according to experts only emits 0.002 percent of global greenhouse gas, among the lowest in the world. However, the irony is that Himalayan nation Nepal is ranked the fourth most climate vulnerable country in the world. Nepali government decided to mark the ascent of the Mt. Everest to pay tribute to those heroes for their historical contribution to humanities which made Nepal well-known as the “Everest nation” around the globe.
On the occasion, one of the well-recognized and popular worldwide “Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon” was organized at the foothills of Mt. Everest. Like previous years, this year saw Nepalese domination in both male and female categories in the competition.
Likewise, the Namche festival 2012 was also held to celebrate the Everest Day at the Namche Bazar (3,440 meters above sea level). Various activities including rallies, documentary shows, sports and cultural programs were organized in Kathmandu to mark the day. Talking to Xinhua on Tuesday, world record holder and 21 times Mt. Everest summitter Appa Sherpa expressed his worry over the melting Himalayas.
“In Nepal, a lot of glacier lakes are rising and posing threat to numerous frontline villages in Nepal with possibility of outburst,” he said. He urged people to come together to save the melting Himalayas and life of hundreds of people. Triggered by the climate change, glacier lake outburst flood, if occurred, could sweep away numerous villages in the downstream areas.
According to Kathmandu-based International Center for Integrated Mountain Development, as many as 20 glacial lakes have been identified and regarded as those which can outburst and cause flash floods. Recently, Nepal has held an international conference of mountain countries which came up with a common agenda “Kathmandu Call For Action” which will be presented at the RIO +20 .
The action paper demanded collaborative and effective actions at all levels to address climate-induced vulnerabilities and impacts on mountains.
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>>