Climate Conference Calls for Unified Voice of Mountain People

Nov 14th, 2014 | By | Category: Advocacy, Capacity Development, Climatic Changes in Himalayas, News

(Xinhua) — The international conference on “mountain people adapting to change: solutions beyond boundaries” concluded in Kathmandu on Wednesday, developing a list of actions urgently needed to help the residents of the Hindu Kush Himalayas (HKH) deal with severe impacts of climate change.

The four-day conference, jointly organized by the Nepali government and the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), stressed the need for a unified voice for helping mountain communities adapt to consequences of global warming.

The conference, which drew more than 200 scientists, experts, policymakers and stakeholders as many as 22 countries, also focused the need to support local adaptation programs through technology transfer, capacity building and financial resources.

According to a press statement issued by the ICIMOD on Wednesday, the conference equally highlighted the urgency to incorporate inputs from the HKH region while carrying out global assessments about climate change.

At a press conference that followed the conference, Dr David Molden, the ICIMOD’s Director General, said, “One of the messages coming out of it is that scientists should work with policymakers so that better adaptation strategies can be put in place.”

Dr Krishna Chandra Poudel, secretary of Nepal’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment (MoSTE), said that the conference’s outcome would help formulate programs and policies to protect vulnerable mountain communities from impacts of climate change.

“The conference’s outcome will not change everyday life of mountain people right from tomorrow,” said Dr Poudel. “But, it will help us formulate policies for better adaptation solutions.”

Key messages and outcomes from the conference, which had representatives not only from HKH countries like Nepal, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Myanmar but also countries like China, Japan, Canada, the Netherlands and the United States, are expected to shape global debate over drafting of a legally-binding agreement in place of Kyoto Protocol.

After Kyto Protocol, a treaty that made it mandatory for developed countries to either reduce carbon emissions or support developing countries in their adaptation efforts, expired in 2012, climate change negotiators have been carrying out a series of discussions to draft another agreement.

“The next few years will determine the future of global action on climate change and adaptation,” said Dr Molden. “It is crucial that knowledge from the HKH region is given a strong voice in the process (of drafting a treat in place of Kyoto Protocol).

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