India inks climate change adaptation deal

Last Updated: Sunday, November 20, 2011 - 20:00

New Delhi: Realising that consequences of
climate change in Himalayas can no longer be ignored, India
along with Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh has signed a
declaration for wide-ranging collaboration on energy, water,
food and biodiversity issues to addresss the threat to their
ecosystem.

World Wildlife Fund (WWF), a leading conservation
organisation, said in a statement that the deal signed at
Bhutanese capital Thimphu could lead the way to similar
climate adaptation plans being implemented to cover other
threatened ecosystems.

"The success of our initiative will not only have direct
and immediate benefits for our own people, but we could be
setting a worthy precedent for other countries that share
similar conditions," Bhutan`s Prime Minister Lyonchhoen Jigmi
Y Thinley was quoted as saying in the statement.

The four nations reached the pact at the two-day
"Climate Summit for a Living Himalayas" against the backdrop
of melting glaciers, erratic weather conditions, changing
rainfall patterns and increasing temperatures impacting the
people and wildlife of the region.

Environment Secretary T Chatterjee represented India at
the summit attended by high-level government officials, NGOs,
leaders of civil society, and youth ambassadors from the four
Eastern Himalayan nations.

"The four nations broadly agreed to combine powers to
increase access to `affordable and reliable` clean energy
resources and technology through a regional knowledge sharing
mechanism.

"This would include diversification of energy
supply, improved regional connectivity for electricity and
natural gas, as well as efforts to enhance energy efficiency
across the Eastern Himalayas," the statement said.

It, however, said agreements on water security - the most
contentious are of the Summit declaration were somewhat
diluted.

"...But the four nations did manage to see eye to eye on
future activities including collaborative ecosystem and
disaster management, knowledge sharing in water use
efficiency, and improving understanding of impacts of climate
change on water resources across the region," the statement
said.

"Consensus was also reached on food security and securing
livelihoods, with the deal covering adaptive approaches to
improving and sustaining food production, promoting systems
that help vulnerable communities gain better access to
nutritious food, as well as regional knowledge sharing and
capacity building," it added.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, November 20, 2011 - 20:00

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