Tuesday, January 15, 2008

India pushes for joint projects on climate change, Himalayan ecology with China

Sunday Express (India): In the first tentative steps towards engaging China on the sensitive question of sharing information on the fragile Himalayan ecology, India is pushing for joint projects on earthquake research and disaster management. The issue will come up in the conversations Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will have with China’s top political leadership on Monday during his three-day official visit starting Sunday. Efforts are underway to reflect this in the joint declaration at the culmination of the visit.

According to sources, this would broaden the scope from just sharing hydrological and flood season data of Himalayan Rivers — essentially the Brahmaputra and Sutlej. India has been taken by surprise on more than one occasion on environmental issues related to Himalayan ecology largely due to lack of information from the Chinese side. There are positive indications from Beijing that it is, in principle, willing to work on joint projects in earthquake management and climate change.

A better understanding of the Himalayan ecology on the Chinese side is crucial for India as many rivers originate from there. The Western Himalayas are in the sensitive seismic zone and hectic Chinese developmental activity has impact on the fragile Himalayan ecology….

Photo of Manmohan Singh in China from the Hindu.

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