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8 Nov 2023 | COP28

ICIMOD plays key role at first global summit on Earth’s mountain glaciers and poles

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Photo: Alex Treadway/ ICIMOD

Representatives from the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) will play a key role at the first One Planet Polar Summit taking place in Paris, France from November 8 – 10.

The Summit, convened by President Emmanuel Macron, brings together researchers and scientists from over 40 glacial and polar nations. It will also be attended by the heads of international institutions, NGOs, representatives of indigenous peoples and local communities, the private sector involved in these regions, and the political leaders of countries present in the Arctic, Antarctic and terrestrial glaciers.

ICIMOD, a member of the summit’s partners committee alongside the World Meteorological Society and UNESCO, is playing a key role by bringing the perspective of the countries of the Hindu Kush Himalaya, whose mountains hold the third largest volume of frozen water after the Artic and the Antarctic.

ICIMOD Director General, Pema Gyamtsho, will address the November 8 high-level opening session. He will also present on ‘Human stakes: climate change in poles and glaciers and its direct impact on populations’, and contribute an official submission to the high-level segment.

“The cryosphere of the Hindu Kush Himalaya is a critically important water source for one of the world’s most populous and most biodiverse regions. We need immediate action from world leaders to make good on their commitments to limit temperature rise from fossil fuels and deforestation,” said Pema Gyamtsho, ICIMOD Director General. “And, given its extraordinary level of exposure to climate impacts, this region simply must be prioritised for investment: to support the millions that will be forced to move as we hit the hard limits to adaptation, to fund the fight to reverse nature loss and species extinction, and to turbo-charge the transition to renewables.”

ICIMOD’s attendance at the One Planet Polar Summit follows the recent visit of the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres to Nepal to witness the rapid retreat of the cryosphere. Guterres issued an emotional call to the world to “stop the madness” of continued fossil fuel use, in order to protect glaciers in the Himalayas and around the world. He said, “We must act now to…limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C, to avert the worst of climate chaos. The world can’t wait.”

The focus on high mountain areas and the polar regions at the One Planet Polar Summit comes at a critical moment ahead of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change COP28 when the international cryosphere community will call on global leaders to enshrine 1.5°C in the Cover Decision.

ICIMOD’s delegation in Paris will include Glaciologist Tenzing Chogyal Sherpa, Ecosystem Specialist, Sunita Chaudhary and Climate Change Adaptation and Governance Analyst Pradyumna JB Rana.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Annie Dare, Head of Communications | +977 1 5275222 Ext 114

Neraz Tuladhar, Media Officer | +977 1 5275222 Ext 115

Anshu Pandey, Media Associate | +977 1 5275222 Ext 193

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