The programme will start in 2013 and envisages using natural resources in a more sustainable, efficient way to protect the environment. According to a release by the organisations, the programme will try to do this by enhancing the knowledge base on Himalayan ecosystems and ecosystem services, raising awareness on the effects of environmental degradation, climate change and adaptation; strengthening collaborative action research in the region. It will also build capacity in higher education and train institutions and civil society across the region to scale up best practice for improved resilience to climate change.
Some respite for the people of the Hindu Kush-Himalayas (HKH) grappling with the effects of climate change.
A new grant of 11 million euros announced today will go into livelihood development and mitigation of climate change impacts for people in the region. The European Union (EU) and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) signed an agreement on this today.
The HKH region spans over 8 countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Pakistan, and Nepal with interconnected mountain ranges and plateaus, extending for more than 3,500 km. Glaciers alone cover an area of 60,000 square km. The region is called the world’s ‘roof’ and ‘water tower’.
According to ICIMOD, changing climate patterns have negatively impacted the lives of people in this region. Glaciers are receding, permafrost retreats, snow melt induces changed river flows, and ecosystems are altering.
There is an increased frequency and duration of extreme climatic events, causing more frequent and severe natural disasters. These factors aggravate erosion, land degradation, decline in soil fertility and crop yields. The capacity of mountain people to deal with these growing stresses is limited, and the incidence of poverty is growing.
The funds should see some reversals in the lives of the HKH people, who are in the direct line of fire of the climate change phenomenon.