SAARC to evolve common position for climate talks
Thimphu: SAARC leaders Thursday agreed to
begin talks on initiating a common position for the climate
talks in Cancun and decided to launch a number of studies to
better understand the changes due to global warming in the
region, home to 1.6 billion people.
The leaders of the eight-nation bloc adopted the
Thimphu Silver Jubilee Declaration that underscored the need
to initiate the process to formulate a common SAARC position
for the 16th Conference of Parties to be held in Cancun,
Bhutan has offered to host a meeting of an
Inter-governmental Expert Group meeting in this regard.
The leaders emphasised that global negotiations on
climate change should be guided by the principles of equity,
and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective
capabilities as enshrined in the UN Framework Convention on
Climate Change, and should be conducted in an open,
transparent and inclusive manner.
The leaders of Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, the
Maldives, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Nepal also issued
a joint statement on climate change in view of preserving and
sustainably managing the rich, fragile and diverse ecosystems
of the region.
They agreed to establish an Inter-governmental Expert
Group on Climate Change to develop clear policy direction and
guidance for regional cooperation as envisaged in the SAARC
Plan of Action on Climate Change.
They directed the group to meet at least twice a year
to periodically monitor and review the implementation of the
Thimphu Statement on Climate Change.
The leaders decided to commission separate
inter-governmental initiatives to strengthen the understanding
about oceans, mountain ecosystems, the evolving pattern of
monsoon and to integrate Climate Change Adaptation with
Disaster Risk Reduction.
The statement emphasised the importance of reducing
dependence on high-carbon technologies for economic growth,
and that promotion of climate resilience will promote both
development and poverty eradication in a sustainable manner.
The leaders also directed the SAARC Secretary General
to commission a study for presentation in the next summit on
climate risks in the region and ways to comprehensively
address the related social, economic and environmental
SAARC will also commission a study to explore the
feasibility of establishing a regional mechanism which would
provide capital for projects that promote low-carbon
technology and renewable energy; and a Low-carbon Research and
Development Institute in South Asian University.
The leaders also agreed to evolve national plans, and
where appropriate regional projects, on protecting and
safeguarding the archaeological and historical infrastructure
of South Asia from the adverse effects of Climate Change.
They also agreed to establish institutional linkages
among national institutions in the region to facilitate
sharing of knowledge, information and capacity building
programmes in climate change related areas.
Nepal has offered to organise a Ministerial Meeting of
Mountainous Countries in Kathmandu later this year, the
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