Sunday, April 25, 2010

Climate change to top South Asian summit agenda

Akanshya Shah on the upcoming meeting of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, in Issues governing the impact of climate change will be the main agenda of discussion in the upcoming 16th SAARC Summit scheduled to be held in Thimpu, the Bhutanese capital, on April 28-29. The Standing Committee Meeting which kicked off in Thimpu on Sunday comprising foreign secretaries of the member states will endorse the theme of the SAARC Summit. It will then be endorsed by the foreign ministers´ meeting and finally by the meeting of the head of states.

Significantly, a regional consensus that SAARC should strengthen and represent unified regional voice to combat climate change at global level has been reached at New Delhi on Saturday by the People´s SAARC, a regional network of civil society organizations. "Climate change is the theme of the SAARC Summit," Rajan Bhattarai, the prime minister´s foreign policy advisor, said, adding, "In SAARC, Nepal will highlight its effort in bringing to the fore the common concerns of mountainous countries concerning impact of climate change."

Bhattarai informed that the initiative taken by PM Madhav Kumar Nepal Nepal during the COP-16 Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, in December for formation of an Alliance of Mountainous Countries to fight challenges of climate change will be discussed in SAARC as well. "We want to go to next COP-17 with an international network of mountainous countries and we will therefore go to Thimpu for a strong regional lobby in this regard," Bhattarai added.

…The issue of glacier melting was for the first time brought before the international community in COP-16 after the historic cabinet meeting held in Kalapatthar drew the attention of the world at the issue and the effect of global warming on the lives of those living in the mountainous region….

Mount Jomolhari viewed from just below Neleyla pass (on the Bhutan side of the border with Tibet), shot by Christopher Fynn, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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