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Climate change in Hindu Kush Himalayan also to affect BD
The adverse effect of global warming in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region will pose a severe threat to the downstream countries like Bangladesh in the days to come, according to experts.
“The adverse effects of climate change in mountains, including natural disasters such as floods, landslides and increased river erosion, have impacts on the downstream,” Additional Secretary to Bangladesh’s Environment and Forests Ministry Nurul Karim told a regional conference in Nairobi recently.
Highlighting the direct links between the mountainous areas of the HKH region and downstream and lower riparian areas like Bangladesh, he said: “Upstream and downstream linkages provide a foundation for forming partnerships among HKH countries for sustainable mountain development.”
The Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) Partnership for Sustainable Mountain Development was launched during a ministerial-level panel discussion organised on Tuesday on the sidelines of UNEA 2 in Nairobi, Kenya, in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and GRID-Arendal, according a message received here on Thursday.
Director of International Environmental Affairs for the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management Elfriede-Anna More highlighted the past year’s milestones in global deliberations, including the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), UNFCCC Paris Agreement, and Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
She further noted the important role that mountains play globally and the need to mainstream the Mountain Agenda.
“The Hindu Kush Himalayas are a shared resource, and countries in the region face similar challenges in the face of climate change,” said Dr ICIMOD director general David Molden.
“The solutions that work for the plains or coasts do not necessarily work for the mountains. By working together, nations in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region can find solutions to these challenges,” he added.
Secretary of the National Environment Commission, Bhutan Chencho Norbu said despite the government of Bhutan’s commitment to be carbon neutral, the effects of climate change, including rapidly melting glaciers and the formation of glacial lakes, present challenges to the Himalayan nation.
“Solutions lie in forging partnerships with neighbouring mountains countries, international agencies, and the UN bodies to contribute to global efforts, while still addressing local problems,” he said.
“No single country will reach the SDGs alone,” Myanmar’s Union Minister for Environment and Natural Resources Ohn Win said adding that effective partnerships are needed at all levels and there is an urgency to build alliances among the HKH countries and mobilise emerging financing instruments and opportunities.
In a bid to mobilise support and commitment to regional cooperation for sustainable mountain development, the HKH Partnership was endorsed by ministers and high-level government representatives from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan and delegates from the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD).
The declaration – ‘Healthy Mountains, Healthy Planet: The Hindu Kush Himalayan Partnership for Sustainable Mountain Development’ – recognises the importance of the HKH region as a global asset providing goods and services to almost one-fifth of the global population.
The HKH Partnership will forge a regional alliance among HKH countries to mobilise investment in the mountains and promote the Mountain Agenda in the context of the UNFCCC Paris Agreement and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, particularly Sustainable Development Goal 17 aimed at revitalising global partnerships for sustainable development.
The partnership also aims to provide a mountain platform to bring together HKH countries and relevant stakeholders from UNFCCC and other global forums.