Safer fu­ture

Southasia - - Briefing -

The Cli­mate Sum­mit for a Liv­ing Hi­malayas was re­cently held in Bhutan’s cap­i­tal, Thim­phu, and was at­tended by the four Hi­malayan na­tions of In­dia, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal. Pak­istan, Afghanistan and China were miss­ing from the meet­ing but the Sum­mit at­tempted to down­play their ab­sence by in­sist­ing that the aim of the con­fer­ence was to se­cure ecosys­tems, food and water se- cu­rity and en­dan­gered species only in the East­ern Hi­malayas.

The two-day Sum­mit dis­cussed the press­ing threat of cli­mate change in the re­gion and ex­plored co­op­er­a­tion on en­ergy, water, food and bio­di­ver­sity is­sues. It also called for the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity to limit its green­house gas-emis­sions.

Re­gional co­op­er­a­tion yielded the propo­si­tion of a mon­i­tor­ing and knowl­edge-shar­ing mech­a­nism that will ex­plore new “af­ford­able and re­li­able” clean en­ergy re­sources. Due to re­gional ten­sions, crit­i­cal is­sues of cli­mate change are rarely dis­cussed as po­lit­i­cal dif­fer­ences take cen­ter stage. The meet­ing proved to be a break­through suc­cess as del­e­gates dis­cussed the fu­ture of glaciers out­side the po­lar re­gion, that ac­count for nearly 40% of the world’s fresh water. Though water re­mained a point of con­tention, ex­ten­sive dis­cus­sion and de­bate fo­cused on the is­sue. Con­sen­sus on food se­cu­rity and vul­ner­a­ble com­mu­nity liveli­hood was also reached. Li­isa Ro­hweder, CEO, WWF Fin­land hailed the ef­fort as “These kinds of re­gional ini­tia­tives are re­ally needed,” adding that the sum­mit would be a good pre­cur­sor to the U.N. cli­mate talks later this year in Dur­ban, South Africa.

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