Air pollution is considered to be the defining climate change issue in Nepal. To bring climate-change problems to light, an extensive talk programme was launched at the Nepal Art Council, Baber Mahal, on January 8.
Arnico Panday, senior atmosphere scientist at ICIMOD, started the panel discussion with a presentation on the issue of air pollution inside the Kathmandu Valley. “Diesel generators, vehicles and brick kilns are the major sources of air pollution inside the Valley, and when the mountains block the airflow, the air turns toxic,” he said. Similarly, Dr Arjun Karki, pulmonary specialist at the Patan Academy of Health and Sciences; Prashanta Khanal, coordinator of Clean Energy and Dr Yubak Dhoj GC, Director General, Department of Environment Nepal, all brought up climate-change particulars at the programme. Karki mostly talked about how pollution has been worsening the health of Kathmandu’s inhabitants. Khanal’s presentation focused on the idea of how we can explore alternative ways to deal with urbanisation. He brought up the example of the road-expansion drive going on inside the Valley, which he believes will discourage pedestrians and cyclists and instead encourage the proliferation of private vehicles.
Apart from the talk programme, the gallery featured photos of the highest peaks in the world, beautiful landscapes and works depicting alternative means of using resources. Visitors were also encouraged to post on a notice board their ideas and views on climate change. One post, which suggested dropping an atom bomb in Kathmandu to start all over again, caught everyone’s attention. The discussion overall was animated and both the panellists and the audience seemed to have learned quite a bit from each other.
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>>