Five South Asia countries to form regional networkSenior government officials of five South Asian countries in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region have agreed to form a regional network to boost their mountain economies and slow down glacier and snow-melt caused by climate change and pollution.
Senior government officials of five South Asian countries in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region have agreed to form a regional network to boost their mountain economies and slow down glacier and snowmelt caused by climate change and pollution.
Officials from Afghanistan, Bhutan, India, Nepal, and Pakistan on Monday agreed on a set of principles to better maintain the snow covers and glaciers that span their mountain ranges and serve as a valuable source of energy, water, and food for millions of people living in downstream areas.
Speaking at the launch of ‘Hindu Kush Himalaya Glaciers and Mountain Economy Network’ during a climate change conference in the Capital on Monday, Minister for Forests and Environment Shakti Bahadur Basnet said, “South Asia is home to the largest glaciated area outside the poles, and the region shares many common challenges related to climate change and glacier melting.
“Greater cooperation with our South Asian neighbours will bring the solutions we need to keep our Himalayan glaciers healthy, boost our mountain economies, and make our communities more resilient to climate change.”
According to climate scientists, during the past century, most of the Himalayan glaciers have been shrinking, and between 2003 and 2009, the range lost an estimated 174 giga tonnes of water each year at a rate faster than the global average.
These countries and the whole region is highly dependent on water provided by Himalayan glaciers and increased snowmelt in the HKH region, triggered by the rising temperature, has made the region highly vulnerable to climate change impacts.