President Dr Ram Baran Yadav has expressed his serious concern over global climate change and its negative impact on development, human health and other sectors. Inaugurating a two-day international conference of mountain countries on climate change held in Kathmandu the other day, President Yadav strongly called for a collective initiative and approach from all countries to mitigate the disastrous consequences of climate change.
President Yadav is absolutely right in his call for an international and regional strategy because climate change is not a problem of a particular country alone but a global phenomenon. The mountain countries are at greater risk due to climate change as sources of water are fast drying up and other natural resources are depleting. The climate change that the world is facing is a phenomenon mainly caused by unwise human activities. The excessive and imprudent exploitation of natural resources for the benefit of a particular country and people has put tremendous pressure on nature in the expense of larger section of humanity.
The world has seen rapid growth in population, which is also one of the causes for excessive use of natural resources. There must be a balance between the population and natural resources for sustainable development and maintaining good balance between population and natural resources. When population grows, more land and resources are needed to feed the growing mouths. This imbalance has caused serious impact on global environment. The extreme natural conditions like environmental degradation, change in the rainfall pattern, floods and drought have been recurring phenomenon in the recent years, which are mainly due to climate change. Thus, it requires collective and international response from all countries in the world.
As a unique and typical mountainous country, Nepal has been direct hit by climate change and the symptoms of climate change are already visible. The rainfall pattern has changed, which has already impacted on Nepalís agriculture. Similarly, the sources of water have dried up in the mountainous areas and level of underground water table has gone down in other parts of the country. The Himalaya, which is the source of water not only for Nepal but also for the entire South Asia, is also being seriously hit.
The Himalaya has seen decline in the amount of snow. As a result, once snow-capped peaks have turned into rocky mountains. This has already caused an alarm to Nepal and also South Asian countries. If the snow in the Himalayas disappears, the entire population of South Asia would be deprived of water, which would cause a great disaster for human survival. Thus, it is of paramount concern for all in general and South Asian countries in particular to work in collective and collaborative manner to save Himalayas and mitigate the consequences of the climate change.