Jairam Ramesh, Minister of State for Environment and Forests, has emphasised the need for regional cooperation for the protection of Himalayan glaciers. Addressing the symposium on ‘Bridging the Data Gap for Adaptation to Climate Change in the Hindu-Kush Himalayan Region’ at Kathmandu yesterday, the Minister reiterated the challenges facing the region and the need for solid scientific information as the basis for decision making and improving governance.
The symposium was organised by International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) to discuss issues of climate change and trans-boundary cooperation.
“The behaviour of Himalayan glaciers is fundamentally different to that of the glaciers in the Polar Regions, and they need special investigation and analysis. Biodiversity does not stop at geographical boundaries, and countries must work together for protection and management and to support adaptation”, Mr Ramesh said. “The future lies in regional cooperation based on strong national institutions”, he added.
While highlighting the important role that ICIMOD plays as an anchor for regional cooperation and collaboration, Indian Minister stressed the importance of the collaboration between India, Nepal and China on the Kailash Sacred Landscape. This is being facilitated by ICIMOD with the support of the United Nations Environment Programme.
The Government of India has committed to contribute $200,000 till 2011 to ICIMOD. The Minister handed over a cheque from the Government of India worth Rs 71 lakh, equivalent to $160,000.