Understanding Climate Change: In Nepal

May 13th, 2013 | By | Category: Climatic Changes in Himalayas, Development and Climate Change, Disaster and Emergency, Disasters and Climate Change, Ecosystem Functions, Governance, Government Policies, Health and Climate Change, Nepal, Opinion, Population, Poverty, Vulnerability, Weather

011912_0711_NepalStrate1.pngHimalayan Times: Climate change has always remained as one of the hot topics of discussion amongst the environmentalists, governments, policymakers as well as other bodies concerned. As per Intergovermental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increase in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice and rising global average sea level. In this context, The Himalayan Times talked to a few people about their understanding of climate change and mitigation measures one needs to take.

Climate change is…

The drastic change seen in the climate pattern — from the time of our grandfather till date can simply be connoted as climate change. For instance the winters are not cold, rain fall when it is supposed to be dry and there is no rain in the rainy season. There is thus change in natural cycle of the earth and I think this is climate change.

The pollution caused by vehicles, big industries, wastes et cetera are factors responsible for it.

What can be done?

The developed countries are responsible for damaging our environment — they have big industries that emit greenhouse gases, they incinerate wastes releasing harmful gases to the atmosphere. And Nepal as a developing country is also facing impacts of those actions. Though we are not responsible for climate change, we should start making efforts from individual level — even if you have only a small house in very few area, plant flowers or even vegetables in flower pots to enhance greenery. Do not throw wastes haphazardly and reduce use of plastic bags.

As a nation, we have very good policies with measures for mitigation and adaptation of climate change. We do not need new policies; instead there is need of strong implementation of those.

— Sanu Maiya Maharjan,  Acting Secretary, Kathmandu  Metropolitan City, Ward No 15

Climate change is…

I think it is the change in weather patterns over a long period of time. In the present context climate change is aggravated by human activities that are releasing greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. As a result there is rise in temperature — Kathmandu has also become hotter. The pattern of rainfall is not constant, there is erratic rainfall. Even the drought and wildfire I think are the impacts of climate change.

What can be done?

All the developing countries should come together and force the developed nations to reduce their activities contributing to climate change. The decisions and commitments made in various international conventions should be followed strictly — be it a developed or developing nation. Also there should be a powerful monitoring body with authority to punish the offenders and reward those nations making positive impact to the environment.

As an individual we should reduce wastage of food and other things, avoid using chemical fertilisers and opt for organic farming, involve in tree plantation, et cetera.

— Pragya Sharma, Student

Climate change is…

There is no timely rainfall in rainy season. Even when it rains, it is erratic. Days are getting much hotter. Even the sources of water like wells and ponds are drying up. The situation of weather has drastically changed in the last few years and it has resulted in the decrease in agricultural crops’ yield. And I think this is climate change.

What can be done?

We as farmers are doing our best to provide food for the people living in this planet. However, there is no government effort to protect agricultural lands. Therefore, timely action is required from the government. Instead of allowing all people to come and live in Kathmandu only, it should make well organised plans to settle people in other parts of the nation as well so that the use of natural resources would be equal everywhere.

— Tulsi Krishna Shrestha, Farmer

Climate change is…

It is the change in climate making impact in the ecosystem as well as human beings. Climate change can bring impacts like increase or decrease in rainfall, increase in temperature, decrease agricultural productions, droughts. And it can affect human health as well.

What can be done?

It is obvious that we being developing countries are facing the impacts of climate change caused by the developed nations. So, rather than thinking of reducing changes in climate which is not in our control, the government should prepare for the impacts of climate change through adaptation.

— Ramuna Malla, Teacher

Climate change is …

Technically I do not know what climate change is. But I have often heard that women are more vulnerable to climate change. The reason, as I once watched in TV, is the water scarcity that will be caused by climate change. As the water sources will dry, women especially in the rural area will be forced to go far away to fetch just a single bucket of water. Therefore, I have understood that any change in the climate pattern is climate change — it can be drought, no rainfall in rainy season, too cold in winter or heat waves as well.

What can be done?

Climate change is one thing that we are unable to control. Instead I feel we should be ready to combat with its impact. If it causes water shortage, we can opt for alternative methods like installation of rainwater harvesting at household level, use of bio-gas and use of solar energy among others.

— Sushma Giri, Housewife

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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>>

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