THE HIMALAYAN TIMES: Though Nepal’s contribution to greenhouse gases is almost negligible‚ it is facing the adverse consequences of climate change
Climate change as a result of enhanced greenhouse gas emissions induced global warming is said to be the prime reason for many woes that the people in general and the mountain people, in particular, are facing. This was the focus of a conference recently on climate risks organized by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development. Experts from the Hindukush-Himalayan region discussed ways to fight climate change that is wreaking havoc on the people’s livelihood, particularly for the mountain people. But the people living downstream too are vulnerable to the effects. With the ecosystem balance in crisis, stress has been laid on local level adaptation through the use of technology and capacity building, among others. Nepal is home to the famous and awe-inspiring Himalayas stretching from the east of the country to the west. The effects of climate change are evident if the rate at which the Himalayan glaciers are melting is studied. For instance, the Imja glacier that was seen in 1956 had transformed into a vast lake over 90 meters deep—a clear proof of global warming. Experts also say that the temperatures in higher altitudes are increasing at a faster rate than in lower altitude places.
Global warming has led to unpredictable change of climate and greater occurrences of hurricanes and cyclones which batter particularly the coastal areas. They also have left impacts on the high-lying areas. The recent Hudhud cyclone that hit Andhra Pradesh, in particular, had its effects all the way in the Annapurna region which witnessed strong blizzards and snowfall killing at least 43 trekkers. Moreover, avalanches in the Himalayan peaks have become frequent and even the 8000 meter peaks have revealed their rock formation as the snow covering them has melted away. A recent report also has it that the forests in the mountainous regions too are being infested with mosquitoes with the rise in temperature while the springs are drying out. The butterflies are also said to be going higher for survival because of the effects of global warming. Though the above-mentioned examples are random snippets, they adequately indicate that global warming induces climate change with adverse impacts on people’s lives and gives rise to many many diseases and ailments.
Climate change has created unbelievable dangers for people and other creatures. Combating climate change is not an easy task, mainly for a country like Nepal, which has a resource crunch. It all calls for a sustainable policy aimed at partnerships for adaptation to climate change, together with financial support for local level adaptation. A part of the blame goes to the industrialized countries, whose greenhouse gas emissions are very high, from the factories and vehicles that use fossil fuels. Though Nepal’s contribution to greenhouse gases is almost negligible it is facing the adverse consequences of climate change. The urgent need is to devise strategies so that climate change adaptation at the local level is strengthened.
Over the past decades, people have started falling ill more frequently, with disease-friendly lifestyles becoming something of a habit or necessity. People, particularly in urban areas, have become lazier because advanced means of transportation, communications, home and office appliances, and what not, are just within easy reach. It is also true that pure or organic foods are not that easy to come by these days. they often come adulterated or laced with pesticides.
This has made the need for consumers to be even more conscious about choosing their foods. Physical exercise should receive more attention. For instance, diabetes has become a deadly disease in Nepal and elsewhere, affecting more people as the years go by. Medical sciences have not found a cure for diabetes yet; however, it can be prevented to a large extent by adopting the right lifestyles, or it can be successfully managed by taking proper food and medicine regularly, exercising regularly, and generally keeping healthy lifestyles. People with diabetes are also prone to high blood pressure. Careless patients will develop kidney failure, heart or eye problem, etc.
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>>