Paris conference releases climate and water atlas

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Dec 12, 2015-

Organisations working on mountain regions have prepared the first climate and water atlas, a guidebook for policy makers to tackle the impact of climate change on water resources in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region, including Nepal. 

On the occasion of the International Mountain Day on Friday, the first atlas of its kind, incorporating a comprehensive regional understanding of the changing climate and its impact on water resources, including occurrence of water-induced disasters and impacts on local populations and downstream, was released at the ongoing global climate conference in Paris. 

The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (Icimod), GRID-Arendal and the Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research (Cicero) based in Oslo prepared the atlas based on the findings from a research on water resources in five of the major river basins in the region—the Indus, Brahmaputra, Ganges, Salween and Mekong. 

“This atlas sheds light on the state and fate of the water resources of the Hindu Kush Himalayas, a region that is highly vulnerable to climate change and one of the poorest regions in the world,” said David Molden, director general of Icimod. He said that the science-based information provided by the atlas will help develop solutions and take the necessary action to deal with changes in the region.

The new research study recommends the need of improving regional coordination and sharing data, including hydrometeorological monitoring data of the region. Likewise, adopting a river basin approach to protect Himalayan ecosystems to harness the potential of water resources, putting mountains on the global climate change agenda and implementing structural and non-structural measures to adequately prepare for and manage extreme events, are among the key policy recommendations put forward by the study.

Various studies from the HKH region have stated that the temperature across the region will increase by 1 to 2 degree Celsius, while by 4 to 5 degree Celsius in some places by 2050, contributing to glacier melting and thus leading to unexpected floods and droughts, impacting the lives of over 1.3 billion people.

Published: 12-12-2015 08:42

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