Saturday, November 28, 2009

Nepal cabinet to meet near Everest to highlight climate change

Nepal's cabinet will meet near the base of Mount Everest next week to highlight the impact of climate change on the Himalayas, ahead of the UN summit to discuss global warming in Copenhagen, officials said today.

About 26 ministers and other cabinet officials will fly to Gorakshep on a helicopter to attend the cabinet meet scheduled to take place on December 4 at an altitude 5,165 metre near the Everest base camp, said Bishnu Rijal, the prime minister’s press advisor.

He said the cabinet meeting at the gateway to the Everest will pass a resolution on climate change.

A medical team will accompany the government officials along with oxygen cylinders to facilitate the cabinet meeting, he said.

The unique meeting comes after the Maldives Cabinet met underwater in October to symbolically flag the threat of global warming ahead of a crucial UN Summit.

The government of the Maldives had held the underwater cabinet meeting in a bid to draw global attention towards the rising sea levels that threaten the existence of the island country.

Earlier, mrime minister Madhav Kumar Nepal underlined the adverse impact of climate change on his country. He said Nepal is the most affected by the melting snows and our melting glaciers are inviting a bigger catastrophe in near future though it contributes minimum to the global climate change. Prime minister Nepal said his country will raise the issue of global warning in a big way at the Copenhagen conference in Denmark from December 7-18.

The Nepalese cabinet meeting, which had earlier been planned at an altitude of 5,360 metres in November, was postponed due to the ill health of the prime minister. The officials also visualised logistic problem in holding the meet at an higher altitude.

The landmark cabinet meeting would provide an unique opportunity for the top Nepalese leaders to have a first-hand information about the adverse impact of climate change on the Himalayan range, the PMO official said.

According to experts, glaciers are melting at an alarming rate, creating lakes whose walls could burst and flood villages below.


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