With icy winds blowing on a sunny morning, 24 of Nepal’s 27 ministers — in layers of protective clothing, and armed with oxygen tanks — held a historic meeting at Kala Patthar, 17,192 ft above sea level.
The meeting at a Mt. Everest base camp is Nepal’s symbolic attempt at attracting worldwide attention on the threat posed to Himalayan glaciers by global warming, a day ahead of the Copenhagen meet on climate change.
The cabinet adopted a Mt. Everest Declaration, approved Prime Minister’s speech for the Copenhagen meet and announced setting up of Gaurishankar Conservation Area (spread across 2,000 square kilometres near Mt. Everest).
“It’s not a Nepali issue or the concern of countries in the Himalayan region alone. The impact of global change on the Himalayas would impact 1.3 billion people living in South Asia,” said Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal.