DHAKA, Dec 2, 2019 (BSS) – David James Molden, Director General (DG) of the
International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), a regional
intergovernmental organisation, has underscored the need for more cooperation
among the member countries to face climate change impacts and build
“In this region, we need a lot more cooperation among the member countries
to really address some of the energy challenges, how to mitigate green house
emissions and how to build that adaption,” he said.
The ICIMOD DG was recently speaking before a group of South Asian
journalists at its headquarters in Kathmandu while the Asian Development Bank
(ADB) sponsored the capacity building media tour on disaster management and
promotion of tourism in Nepal.
ICIMOD, an inter-governmental learning and knowledge sharing centre serving
the eight regional member countries — Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan,
China, India, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan– of the Hindu Kush Himalaya-based
in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Molden said a lot of floods occurred in this region since there are many
cross boundary rivers adding, “So, these countries will have to work together
Mentioning that the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) is critically a sensitive
region of the world in the context of climate change, he said in a 1.5 degree
Celsius World, glaciers in the HKH will lose 1/3 of their volume by 2100 and
2/3 of their volume under current emission trends. “The mountain people will
feel the impacts first…We really have to highlight solutions,” he added.
James Molden said around 240 million people live in the hills and mountains
in this region facing some of the sustainable challenges as the poverty rate
in the mountains is higher than the national average. “The national average
poverty rate in this region is 25 percent which is 33 percent in the hills
and mountain areas.”
Mentioning that the HKH region is the source of 10 major river systems
considered as the ‘water tower’ of Asia, he said about 1.9 billion out of
total eight billion people live in this river basins.
Highlighting various operations of the ICIMOD at the CHT areas of
Bangladesh, Molden said the ICIMOD has been playing an important role over
the last 36 years for not only the mountain people but also for the people of
ICIMOD Programme Coordinator on Climate Services and Hi-risk Dr Mandira
Shrestha made a power-point presentation on the occasion while technical
director of seismic engineering of Miyamoto International Jitendra Bothara,
ADB senior project officer Naresh Giri and ICIMOD Specialist Naina Shakya
made separate presentations on the Nepal earthquake 2015 and reconstruction
In her presentation, Dr Mandira Shrestha showed that HKH is prone to
disasters while more than one billion people are at risk of exposure to
increasing frequency and intensity of natural hazards.
She informed that the ICIMOD provides the technical support to improve the
lead time, capacity and the forecast of the concerned agencies of the
respective countries like Bangladesh Meteorological Department and the
Bangladesh Water Development Board.
Answering to a question, Dr Mandira said there are some bilateral
agreements, but unfortunately there is no trilateral agreement among the
countries in this region adding, “I think that is desirable and that is what
people are trying to have multilateral arrangement.”
According to the ICIMOD globalisation and climate change have an
increasing influence on the stability of fragile mountain ecosystems and the
livelihoods of mountain people. ICIMOD aims to assist mountain people to
understand these changes, adapt to them, and make the most of new
opportunities while addressing upstream-downstream issues.
Overall, the ICIMOD is working to develop an economically and
environmentally sound mountain ecosystem to improve the living standards of
mountain population and to sustain vital ecosystem services for the billions
of people living downstream now and for the future.