Glacial meltdown causing uncertain future in Asia

Himalayan glaciers are melting, creating an uncertain future for two billion people across Asia, according to the UN.

Last Updated: Jul 19, 2011, 18:19 PM IST

New Delhi: Himalayan glaciers which are a source of water for seven of the world`s largest rivers including Ganga and Yangtze are melting, creating an uncertain future for two billion people across Asia, according to the UN.

"There are 55,000 glaciers in Asia. These Himalayan glaciers are the sources of water for seven of the world`s largest rivers. They provide water to two billion people.

Asia`s glaciers are melting, creating an uncertain future across the region," says a documentary screened today by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) here.

The documentary titled "Revealed: Himalayan Meltdown" examines the human development impact of the glacial ice melt on communities in Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India and Nepal.

The 45-minute film shows the plight of the affected countries and the ways they are adapting, adjusting and preparing for tomorrow`s "inevitable" changes in the Himalayan glaciers.

Over 55,000 glaciers account for 40 per cent of the earth`s fresh water and provide water to over two billion people.

Developing countries are more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, but are less able to afford to adapt to it, it says.

According to UN Assistant Secretary General Ajay Chibber, the challenge for developing countries is "to adapt today to changing climate and prepare for an uncertain
tomorrow.

"This calls for robust knowledge that can feed into policy and action across national boundaries," Chibber, who is also the UNDP Assistant Administrator and Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, said.

PTI