Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Everest Meet

The cabinet meeting of the Nepal Government at Kala Pattar — a plateau 5,542 m above the sea level, in the shadow of Mt Everest — last Friday has attracted the attention of the world for it being the world’s highest cabinet meet in the backdrop of the climate change debate. Symbolism apart, there is the commitment by the Nepal Government that it will increase conservation areas in the country from 20 per cent to 25 per cent and expand forest cover to 40 per cent of its territory. Nepal will also seek international help to combat the fallouts of global warming and urge the developed bloc to contribute funds. As Nepal Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal rightly said, developed nations are responsible for the climate change effects worldwide, and therefore, have a duty to come to the rescue of victimized nations like Nepal that is one of the least developed countries not at all responsible for climate change. The message is directed towards Copenhagen where world leaders have gathered to deliberate on the ways and means of countering the effects of climate change and minimizing the risk quotient. It will be recalled that in October, the Maldives Government had held a symbolic cabinet meeting on a sea bed to prompt the developed bloc into action to mitigate the effects of climate change — according to a new study, Maldives could be completely submerged by 2100. It is now incumbent on those responsible for the impending disaster to make a speedy course correction. THE SENTINEL

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