Home to most of the Himalayas, Nepal must be at the heart of any regional climate change initiative, says Murari Sharma.
The Himalayas, which affects much of the weather in Asia and holds immense promise for hydropower and irrigation, is already experiencing the effects of climate change — the temperature is rising, the snow line receding and ice caps are thinning.
Nepal, at the frontline of a potential ecological disaster, must strike the right balance between reducing poverty and underdevelopment, and preserving the environment, argues Sharma.
National efforts to raise awareness and apply 'green' development are underway. But more work at a regional scale is required to ensure sustainable energy use, land and water conservation, and reduced emissions.
Sharma says that regional work should be tied to global strategies, which must have "clear mandatory caps, measurable benchmarks of progress and concrete enforcement tools".