Nepal will play proactive role: PresidentPresident Bidya Devi Bhandari has said today Nepal wishes to play a proactive role to protect biodiversity and mitigate the climate change effect.
President Bidya Devi Bhandari has said today Nepal wishes to play a proactive role to protect biodiversity and mitigate the climate change effect.
Inaugurating the International Conference on Biodiversity, Climate Change Assessment and Impacts on Livelihood in the Capital on Tuesday, President Bhandari said, “The whole world is concerned about biodiversity loss and looming threats of
climate change. Despite resource constraints and globalised nature of climate change impact, Nepal has given priority to address these concerns.”
“Despite Nepal’s contributions to global warming being negligible, the country is bearing the brunt of climate change impact in the form of ice-melting and glacial lake outburst floods threats, deforestation, denudation and desertification, loss of precious flora and fauna, drought, landslide and depletion of sources of water, habitat loss and impact on productivity of soil, and consequent migration of people,” she said..
“In a way our country represents the world biodiversity in a miniature as Nepal is composed of Himalayas, mountains, valleys and flatlands ranging from the highest point of the world in the Himalayas in the north to plain areas in the southern Tarai with exquisite flora and fauna. It is in this context that the conference is undoubtedly more important for Nepal,” she observed.
Stating that biodiversity is vital for human survival and livelihood, the President said, “In recent years, climate change and global warming have emerged as serious challenges threatening biodiversity and disturbing livelihood of common masses.”
“While perilous loss of our biodiversity is sure to cause havoc to our fragile ecosystem, predicted impacts are more vulnerable as more people are also likely to face risks of ‘vector borne diseases,” she added.
“Reckless human activities have already resulted in loss of biodiversity—a base of life support system. The other critical instance in this respect is possibility of food insecurity in many countries including Nepal.”
Stating that Nepal is a party to both Convention on Biological Diversity and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the President said Nepal has chalked out eco-friendly policy to safeguard the forest cover, protected areas and habitat conservation.
Speaking at the event, Minister for Population and Environment Jayadev Joshi said developing countries like Nepal have been affected the most by the impact of climate change which has caused a serious threat to the livelihood.
Stating that the government has formulated and implemented adaptation policy for combating climate change effects, he stressed the need of implementing environment-friendly development policy and conducting public awareness programmes at the local level for biodiversity protection.
Tribhuvan University Vice-chancellor Tirtha Khaniya, Director General of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) Dr David Molden, USAID Nepal Director Peter Malnak, Prof Nir Krakauer of City University College of New York and Chief of the Central Department of Botany Prof Mohan Shivakoti spoke on the significance of the conference, saying it would provide the platform for exchange of ideas and experiences in biodiversity conservation and combating climate change throughout the world.
The conference, jointly organised by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Population and Environment, Ministry Agricultural Development, Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation, TU Central Department of Botany and the Agriculture and Forestry University, will run for three days.
The conference brings together around 400 scientists, researchers, professors, environmentalists and conservationists from more than 20 countries including Nepal, India, China and Pakistan.
The conference will deliberate on biodiversity issues, climate change and colonising species of plants as well as environmental and mountain problems.
Some 300 international research papers will be presented and discussed during the conference, according to Prof Pramod K Jha, coordinator of the Conference Organising Committee.