It seems to be a season of records in South Asia. After the Maldives cabinet made one in October by holding a meeting under sea, the Nepal cabinet is planning one at a Mount Everest base camp this month.
And while the Maldivian ministers took to the plunge to highlight rising sea level due to global warming, their Nepali counterparts want to grab the world’s attention on melting Himalayan glaciers ahead of the Copenhagen conference on climate change in December.
“The plan to hold the meeting at an Everest base camp is being thought of to highlight the threat posed by melting glaciers to 1.5 billion people residing in downstream of the Himalayas,” said Minister for Forest and Soil Conservation Deepak Bohara, the brain behind the event.
He informed that the date for the meeting would be announced in a day or two. Keeping in mind the extreme cold climate three tentative sites have been chosen for the meeting and ministers would be examined by a physician before they take part in the deliberations.
Nearly 60 people including 27 ministers, members of the cabinet secretariat, security personnel and a select group of journalists would be flown from Kathmandu to the meeting that would last nearly an hour at an altitude of over 13,000 feet above sea level.
Bohara stated that the meeting would announce the Gaurishankar Conservation Area (an area spread across over 2000 square kilometers near Everest) and also endorse the government’s declaration letter for the Copenhagen event.
Although the Himalayan country had been planning the meeting for some time, the Maldives cabinet managed to beat them on October 17 by holding the 30-minute-long underwater meet.
“We will be getting just three minutes talk time at Copenhagen to say our bit. Hence we planned to highlight the need to reduce carbon emissions to save Himalayan glaciers in a unique manner,” said Bohara.
Besides the cabinet meeting, the country is also planning a march by Mount Everest summiteers from across the world at Copenhagen on December 11. The march would be led by Apa Sherpa, who has climbed the world’s tallest peak a record 19 times.
“These events would be in addition to the country’s official role at Copenhagen. And both of them have been supported by local and foreign donors and the government will not spend a single dime on them,” he informed.