Indian Minister emphasises regional cooperation for the environment

04 Oct 2010



The Honourable Shri Jairam Ramesh, Minister for Environment and Forests, Government of India, visited the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) today, Monday 4th October to discuss issues of climate change and transboundary cooperation. In discussions with ICIMOD staff, and a meeting with representatives of the international and national press, the Honourable Minister emphasised the challenges facing the region and the need for solid scientific information as a basis for political decision making and improving governance. The behaviour of Himalayan glaciers is fundamentally different to that of the glaciers in the polar regions, and they need special investigation and analysis. Biodiversity does not stop at geographical boundaries, and countries must work together for protection and management and to support adaptation.

“The future lies in regional cooperation based on strong national institutions,” he emphasised,” while highlighting the important role that ICIMOD plays as an anchor for regional cooperation and collaboration. Minister Ramesh stressed the importance of the collaboration between India, Nepal and China on the Kailash Sacred Landscape, which is facilitated by ICIMOD with the support of the United Nations Environment Programme and the German Technical Cooperation, and looked forward to supporting similar initiatives in three other transboundary landscapes with Indian sectors. He also looked forward to building strong ties for glacier research in the region.

In front of the press corps, the Minister handed over a cheque from the Government of India with the country contribution to ICIMOD of IRs 71 lakh, equivalent to $160,000, and committed to raise this to $200,000 in 2011. The Minister sees this in the frame of a stronger commitment to regional cooperation on issues relevant to the environment, including climate change.

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Nira Gurung
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