Nepal has called on global leaders to provide urgent and greater investments in the vulnerable communities in the mountains.
In a statement presented on behalf of the Least Developed Countries (LDC) at the ongoing at the 20th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change at Lima, Peru, on Wednesday, Ram Prasad Lamsal, joint-secretary at the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment (MoSTE) said mountainous region, that is home to billions of people and serves as repository of freshwater, biological and cultural diversity, has been witnessing increasing incidences of flash-floods and landslides causing loss of infrastructures and settlements.
Due to erratic monsoon patterns, heavy rainfall over a limited period, natural disasters have been affecting hydro-power development, roads, bridges and settlements,” Lamsal said in the statement, adding, “We want a special climate change related programme in the mountains for the well-being of communities living along upland and lowland areas.”
Due to various disasters, the loss of human lives in the last summer alone exceeded 500 in Nepal.
Meanwhile, addressing the high-level side event at the global climate change negotiations on Wednesday, MoSTE Secretary Krishna Chandra Paudel said the impacts of climate change are putting development achievements in the mountains at risk. “Given this, mountain countries have prioritised efforts to mitigate the impacts of climate change and substantially support adaptation,” he said.
The side event organised jointly by the MoSTE and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) on the occasion of International Mountain Day was attended by representatives from various LDC members and mountain countries from across the globe. Nepal currently chairs the LDC group. ICIMOD Director General David Molden said investment is urgently needed in mountain areas for climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts. “Good investments with high payoffs include livelihood-based adaptation strategies that increase the income and resilience of mountain women and men, investments into disaster preparedness and risk reduction, building cross-border collaboration, and supporting the knowledge base so that policies are made on sound evidence,” he said.
Looking forward to a global climate agreement in 2015, representatives from mountainous Least Developed Countries from Africa and Asia raised a common voice for the mountains and the need for an equitable share of global climate funds to be allocated to address the impacts to climate change and support adaptation in the mountains, said a statement released by ICIMOD on Wednesday.
Call to help mountain people
The Karnali Integrated Rural Development and Research Centre, an NGO based in Karnali region, has urged the government to set up a mechanism to include mountain communities in all development initiatives as people from the region are highly vulnerable to natural disasters related climate change. Issuing a statement on the occasion of the International Mountain Day, the organisation demanded a climate change adaptation learning centre in Karnali. The centre last month held a conference at Rara lake to highlight the impact of climate change in mountain regions. It also asked the government to start a funding window to promote the use of alternative energy resources.
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>>