Experts Call on Nepal to Establish Leadership in Addressing Climate Change in Himalayan Region

Experts Call on Nepal to Establish Leadership in Addressing Climate Change in Himalayan Region

Climate experts are urging Nepal to seize its position and organize mountain nations to firmly establish the impact of climate change on mountainous regions as a key issue on the world stage. Ahead of an international conference in Kathmandu in mid-May, specialists emphasized Nepal should leverage its continuous advocacy since 2009 to move the Himalayan agenda forward at a global level.

"If Nepal can establish scientific facts with political commitment among participating countries and gather unity on advancing the Himalayan issue, it will create an easier environment to access climate finance funds for damages," said UNDP Policy Adviser Vijay Singh.

He stressed Nepal should take the leadership among Himalayan countries, providing scientific evidence of climate change's toll on economic, social, cultural, agricultural, tourism and other sectors in mountain communities. Creating collective ownership of this agenda is key.

Climatologist Manjit Dhakal noted with the world's highest peaks like Everest in Nepal, the country is naturally positioned to unite mountain nations with support from low and high coastal areas also threatened by rising seas from melting glaciers.

"The mountain issue is not only a Himalayan region problem, it's a global issue. The world should be interested as more melting raises sea levels, threatening small island nations," Dhakal said. "Reducing carbon emissions is the main solution, so this conference should establish the responsibility of high emitting countries."

Climate finance expert Pravinman Sin said the conference is crucial to systematically advance Nepal's 15 years of work on prioritizing mountain regions in climate negotiations. He emphasized Nepal can lead identification and mobilization of financial resources needed to address Himalayan risks.

"If Nepal forms a 'Mountain Block' group and takes its leadership at this conference, it will be able to lead mountain issues at major climate summits, expanding access to international climate funds," Sin stated.

Climatologist Dr. Bimalraj Regmi believes globalizing the mountain agenda through UN integration will help establish climate justice by providing finance and technology to address the negative ecological and economic impacts in this region.

The two-day conference starting May 9 will feature sessions on climate science, mountain solutions, resources and opportunities - bringing together representatives and experts from mountain nations to consolidate a common vision.

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