KATHMANDU, Dec 4: President Bidya Devi Bhandari has urged countries to work jointly for the sustainable development of Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) to address the problems of the people affected by climate change in the region.
President Bhandari made the request during the inauguration of the international conference entitled "Resilient Hindu Kush Himalaya: Developing Solutions towards a Sustainable Future for Asia" on Sunday. The four-day conference started in Kathmandu on Sunday.
“I wish the conference would foster comprehensive and practical recommendations for the sustainable development of economic, social, cultural and environmental concerns of the region,” President Bhandari added.
More than 330 participants including scientists and experts, policymakers, women and youths from 26 countries of Asia, Europe and Americas are taking part in the conference jointly organized by the Ministry of Population and Environment, and the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD).
According to ICIMOD, climate change and other factors of change in the HKH have already begun impacting the ecosystems and communities and exposed them to natural disasters such as floods, draughts and landslides, as well as agriculture and livelihoods of people.
The HKH is the source of 10 major river systems in Asia that provide water, ecosystem services and livelihoods to more than 210 million people. The region, which includes countries like India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Maldives, holds water for more than 1.3 billion people--a fifth of world's population.