Mountain Residents Most Affected by Climate Change

Mountain people add very little by way of emissions but bear the brunt of climate change, international development specialist David Molden has said. "It has been established by a series of research studies that people in the mountains release very small amounts of green house gases. This doesn't cause the problem but mountain communities bear the burnt (of climate change)," Molden, who heads the Kathmandu-based International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), told IANS in an interview. Farmers in the mountains have been not only facing shortages of water for irrigation but are also fighting disease in their fields to save their crops for their livelihood, he said. He noted in this context that people in the mountains of the Hindu Kush Himalayas feel the impact of climate change much more than those in the plains. "Mountains in the Hindu Kush Himalayas region are more vulnerable to climate change.It is a fact that several changes are fast taking place due to this," Molden said. "The global community is causing the problems and they should think seriously about helping poor communities of mountains to cope with climate change," he said. "Water resources are important not only for the people living there but also for people outside the mountains. The mountains are important for the eco-system and bio-diversity. That is also changing with climate change and they need to be protected for the future," Molden noted.

Daniel Horacio Agostini