At the ongoing International Mountain Festival in Pokhara, conservationists and climate activists have voiced deep concerns over the alarming loss of snow cover on Nepal’s mountains.
Dr. Ghanashyam Gurung, Country Representative of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Nepal, warned that global heating is rapidly transforming once-snowy peaks into bare rock faces, threatening the very essence of mountain climbing.
During a dedicated session on fading snow cover and its impacts on livelihood, Dr. Gurung stressed the critical need for swift climate change mitigation and adaptation measures. He pointed out that Nepal, despite having a negligible role in causing climate change, must take local initiatives to minimize its impacts. “The only culprit behind climate change are rich and industrialized countries. However, Nepal must not stay idle, but build moral ground to voice concern to the international community.”
Dr. Amina Maharjan, an expert on livelihood and migration, expanded the scope of concern to the entire Hindu Kush region. She highlighted the far-reaching consequences of climate change on ecology, agriculture, tourism, and health. Drawing a connection between climate change and recent environmental disasters, she emphasized the urgent need for adaptation measures.
Journalist Kunda Dixit urged a paradigm shift in framing the issue, advocating for the term “climate crisis.” The link made between water problems to climate change, was followed by calls for the promotion of renewable energy to address the drying up of rivers and water sources.