Friday, November 9, 2012

Climate change? Most Nepalis are unaware of it!

Ramesh Prasad Bhushal in Republica: Thousands of people gather every year at UN climate negotiation forums and discuss how to tackle climate change – one of the most pressing issues of the 21st century, according to scientists and leaders. It’s not a new story, as people have been debating on the issue for the last two decades globally but failed to reach a consensus on how to move forward to tackle the problem by reducing the emission of carbon dioxide gas—a major culprit for global warming.

...But those who are at the forefronts of climate change and would be affected most are unaware of what’s happening at global and national level and the science of climate change. More than 100 people whom I interviewed while traveling in many parts of the country said they haven’t heard the word in their entire life.

...The Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology is the focal ministry to deal on climate change, especially at international forums and national policy level. There is the Climate Change Council headed by the Prime Minister, a separate division at the Environment Ministry to look over the issues and dozens of million-dollar projects already completed and more in the pipeline. There is no donor agency which may not have worked on climate change and hundreds of NGOs working on it. But with that influx of money on advocacy and awareness in the last one decade, the information has not reached to those who are really in the need.

Nepal has been categorized as the 4th most vulnerable country in the world due to climate change, glacier melt in unusually rapid in recent years, and rainfall pattern is said to be changing. However, most people in the country were found totally uninformed about what’s happening at the global and national level on climate change talks despite the large amounts of money spent by national and international agencies, including Nepal Government....

The Anapurna range from above Pokhara, Nepal.  Shot by Jean-Marie Hullot, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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