Int'l conference on climate change kicks off in Kathmandu

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An international conference on " mountain people adapting to change" kicked off in Kathmandu on Sunday, aiming at providing a platform to discuss best ways to help mountain communities to deal with adverse impacts of climate change.

The four-day conference, jointly organized by the Nepal government and the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), attracted more than 200 scientists, experts, government representatives and stakeholders from 22 countries.

Dr Govind Raj Pokhrel, vice chair of Nepal's National Planning Commission, said at the inauguration ceremony that Nepal's poverty rate, which stands at 23 percent now, could rise again "if we fail to tackle climate-induced disasters and climate change."

This year alone, natural disasters have cause huge damage to the country's infrastructure facilities, excluding individual houses, he said, adding, "If we cannot minimize the impacts of climate-induced disasters, more people will find themselves below poverty line."

Dr David Molden, director general of the ICIMOD, said that mountain people have developed a huge diversity of options to adapt to different mountain environments.

"An easy win (for us) seems to be to rediscover these and share that knowledge," he said.

Dr Krishna Chandra Poudel, secretary of Nepal's Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment, urged developed countries to support the Least Developed Countries like Nepal in building their resilience against climate change.

Participants of the conference will discuss varied topics under the theme of adaptation science as well as adaptation policy and action. Endi

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