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Nepal to host ministerial meet for mountain alliance

Posted by pokhrelalina on June 25, 2010


Reading this piece of news on myrepublica.com was a delight; all that mountain action at Barcelona, COP15 paid off, eh?

Mountain Action Press Conference at COP15

Nepal to host ministerial meet for mountain alliance

Kosh Raj Koirala, Kathmandu, June 23:

Nepal is hosting a ministerial conference of mountainous countries in September in a bid to forge an alliance for jointly pushing the agenda of climate change at international forums. A cabinet meeting held on Wednesday decided to hold the meeting of environment ministers in Kathmandu on September 27 and 28. Spokesperson at the Ministry of Environment Meena Khanal said the ministerial conference will discuss how to deal with the effects of climate change in mountainous countries.

“The ministerial conference aims at forming an alliance of mountainous countries to strongly project the voice of mountainous countries before the world,” she said. Nepal conceived the idea of spearheading the cause of mountainous countries after the UN Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) held in Copenhagen, Denmark last December failed to take up the issue of saving the Himalayas. The proposed Mountain Alliance Initiative for Climate Change plans to include all Least Developed Countries (LDCs) that have high mountains. Officials said small island nations that are vulnerable to the effects of climate change are also willing to be part of the alliance.

According to spokesperson Khanal, the government plans to first hold a regional-level ministerial conference before hosting an international conference of environment ministers from LDCs with high mountains. Discussions on the effects of climate change on mountains will first be held at regional and inter-country ministerial level meetings before formally putting forth the agenda at UNFCCC during the Conference of Parties (CoP-16) to be held in Mexico in December. LDCs with snow-clad mountains like Nepal are at the receiving end of the effects of climate change such as floods, landslides, glacial lake outburst floods (GLOF) and prolonged droughts.

Nepal decided to take a lead in forming an alliance of mountainous countries since it has eight of the 14 highest mountains in the world. Among other things, the alliance will seek to have UNFCCC separately recognize LDCs with high mountains and provide them funds to take necessary measures for adapting to the effects of climate change. During CoP-15 in Copenhagen, Nepal pushed the agenda of ´Saving the Himalayas´ from melting due to global warming. The government also organized a cabinet meeting at Kalapatthar at the base of Mt Everest ahead of the Copenhagen conference to draw world attention to the plight of the Himalayas. But the voice Nepal raised went largely unheard.

Published on 2010-06-23 23:05:23

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