Discussion on climate change impact held in New York
July 10, 2019 12:36 PM NPT
By: Pratik Rana
Photo courtesy: Nepal's Permanent Mission to UN based in New York.
KATHMANDU, July 10: Permanent Mission of Nepal to the United Nations in New York and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) jointly organized an event titled "Impacts of Climate Change on the Mountains" at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on Wednesday.
Welcoming the participants, Permanent Representative of Nepal to United Nations Amrit Bahadur Rai shared key findings of the Hindu Kush Himalaya Report recently released by the ICIMOD. The ICIMOD report has incorporated recommendations for inclusive mountain development.
Rai said that the discussion is expected to contribute to preparations for the UN Climate Action Summit 2019 scheduled to be held in September this year.
On the occasion, Puspa Raj Kadel, vice-chairman of the National Planning Commission underlined that the impact of climate change on vulnerable countries is extremely high.
"Countries like Nepal are experiencing the disproportionate brunt of climate change despite their insignificant contribution to global emissions," he said.
Kadel said that the Nepal Government has planned to host a Sagarmatha Dialogue in the near future with the objective of exchanging views on various fields including climate change.
During the event, David Molden, Director General of ICIMOD, made a presentation on the findings and recommendations of the Hindu Kush Himalaya Report.
Molden warned that there would be a rise of 1.8° C across the Hindu Kush region and up to 2.2° C in the mountainous region due to the Elevation Dependent Warming (EDW) even if global warming was limited to 1.5° C by 2100.
Dr. Molden said that this will adversely affect the lives of not just the 240 million mountain dwellers but also 1.6 billion people downstream if it goes unchecked.
He warned that the melting of ice and loss of glaciers on the mountains will impact on agriculture productivity, hunger and poverty, migration, rich ecosystems, and biodiversity.
Molden called for cooperation at all levels, with a view to limiting global temperatures, enhancing ecosystem resilience, recognizing and prioritizing uniqueness of mountain issues, achieving SDGs and sharing information and knowledge.
Delivering his closing remarks, Ambassador Luis Alfonso de Alba, Secretary-General’s special envoy for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, thanked Nepal and ICIMOD for organizing the event on the burning issue of climate change.
He also expressed his hope that the event would be able to raise awareness in the region as well as at the global level and contribute to the drive of climate action, including through a greater focus on ‘nature-based solutions’ as well as through coming together for achieving ‘carbon neutrality’ by 2030.
The event was held on the sidelines of the 2019 High-Level Political Forum.