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Climate change threat brings mountain countries together

world Updated: Apr 05, 2012 15:47 IST
Utpal Parashar
Utpal Parashar
Hindustan Times
Utpal Parashar

Threat posed by global warming and the need to have a collective voice in climate change negotiations have brought mountain countries from across the world to one platform.

Representatives from government and organization from over two dozen countries having peaks with heights of 4,000 metres or more have gathered here to deliberate on the way ahead.

Initiated by Nepal government, the two-day conference will discuss effects of climate change on 25% of land Earth's surface covered by mountains and nearly 13% world population residing there.

The objective is to promote concerns of mountain countries within UNFCCC process, draw global attention to the threat, seek solutions and adopt a Kathmandu Call for Action.

Terming climate change as the greatest threat facing humankind, Nepal President Ram Baran Yadav said that mountain nations are experiencing disproportionate effects of it.

"We have a lot to learn from each other's experience. The climate change clock is ticking and we have little time to adapt,” he said while inaugurating the conference on Thursday.

There is a feeling among mountain countries that their concerns are not being addressed effectively in UNFCCC deliberations and hence there was need for such a collective initiative.

"It is high time the contribution of mountains to development is recognized. It is only when we are united, we will be heard,” said Festus Bagoora from National Environment Management Authority (Uganda).

To mark the occasion, the Nepal Climate Change Support Programme, a Euro 16.5 million project that aims to reduce vulnerability of two million people residing in mid and far-west Nepal was launched.