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India commits to help smaller neighbours cope with climate change

world Updated: Oct 04, 2010 16:17 IST
Utpal Parashar
Utpal Parashar
Hindustan Times
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Aware of the need to work together, India has committed to help its smaller neighbours cope with effects of climate change.

Stressing that there is no rift with neighbours on the issue, Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh told on Monday that India would do its bit to help others in capacity building exercises.

“We have a substantial commitment to help our South Asian neighbours adapt to effects of climate change,” he said while addressing a press conference here.

Ramesh stated that the process to help nations like Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Maldives to build or strengthen existing institutions working on climate change issues has already begun.

As an indication of its commitment, the minister handed a cheque of US $ 160,000 to the Kathmandu-based International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD).

He informed of initiatives like Kailash Sacred Landscape Conservation do conserve and promote sustainable development of an area spreading across 31,000 sq km in India, China and Nepal.

Ramesh who is on a three-day visit to Nepal to attend an international symposium on climate change and the Hindu-Kush Himalayan region will also meet Nepali ministers to seek other avenues of cooperation.

“There’s been too much politics on Himalayan glaciers and too little science. It’s a life and death issue for our region and we should be concerned,” he said.

The minister also stated that India is aware of the need to reduce emission of green house gases and will voluntarily move on a low carbon path from 2012 when the 12th Five Year Plan begins.

Ramesh also spoke on the need to increase regional cooperation on issues like tiger conservation and setting up of early warning systems to monitor natural calamities.