Following a two-day summit in Bhutan, the Himalayan nations of India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan have decided to collaborate on ways to adapt to climate change.
The four Himalayan nations, that are facing the threat of weather changes, were part of the Climate Summit for a Living Himalayas that was held in Bhutan’s capital Thimphu this Saturday. The agreement involves issues on energy, water, food and biodiversity.
Lyonchhoen Jigmi Y. Thinleysaid, Bhutan’s Prime Minister said, “The success of our initiative will not only have direct and immediate benefits for our own people, but we could be setting a worthy precedent for other countries that share similar conditions.”
The absence of Pakistan, China and Afghanistan was underplayed by the summit organizers who insisted that the summit was more about securing ecosystems, endangered species, and food and water sources for the Himalayas’ eastern part than the whole geographical area.
In the summit action was called for amid the international community’s inability to agree on limiting greenhouse gas emissions that is blamed for global climate change. Though another round of U.N. climate talks is about to begin in Durban, South Africa from Nov. 28, any breakthrough happening there is not expected.
A press statement from the World Wildlife Fund stated that as part of the declaration the four nations have “agreed to work together to increase access to affordable and reliable clean energy resources and technology through a regional knowledge sharing mechanism.”
Water security is the most contentious topic among all those discussed in the summit.
Regional tensions had prevented the Himalayan nations from unhindered cooperation that has in turn adversely affected basic research in the world’s largest block of glaciers outside the Polar Regions, and accounting for 40 percent of the world’s fresh water.
The present deal covers consensus on food security, secure livelihoods and ways to adapt and improve food production.
Liisa Rohweder, CEO of WWF Finland said, “These kinds of regional initiatives are really needed.” She also added that the summit “was a good lead to follow for the Durban meeting.”