12/10/2009, 00.00
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Developing countries the main victims of climate change

by Santosh Digal
In Copenhagen, the Filipino delegates denounce damages for 4 billion dollars generated by typhoons the result of global warming. Developed countries urged to make greater efforts to reduce emissions. In Nepal Buddhists and Hindus offer prayers for the success of the conference.

Manila (AsiaNews) - At the Summit on Climate Change underway in Copenhagen the Philippine delegation has denounced the serious damage caused by global warming and called developed nations to "greater responsibility" in cutting emissions. Meanwhile in Nepal thousands of Hindus and Buddhists are praying at the same altar for the success of the conference.

"The Philippines is the country hardest hit by climate change," said Environment Minister Jose L. Atienza. To prove this he cites the passage of typhoons Ketsana, Parma, Liput and Mirinae in recent months that have caused damage to the economy for $ 4 billion, representing 2.6% of GDP.

For the minister it "is the responsibility of developed countries to take the necessary steps to reduce global pollution." "Our responsibility in the emission of polluting gases – he continues - is minimal and minimum will be our role in cutting emissions." He emphasizes instead willingness to support renewable energy projects in the Philippines and informs that 40 such programs, have already been activated in recent years. According to a recent study published by the World Bank, entitled "A Climate for Change in East Asian and the Pacific" the Philippines produces about 0.35% of greenhouse gases. The trend does not change in other developing Asian countries such as Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia where the level of emissions per capita does not exceed 10 tons per cubic meter. Nevertheless they are subjected to over 80% of the damage due to climate change.

Another region of Asia living with the problems related to climate change is the Himalayas. Some experts say the effects of global warming on the Himalayas will impact more than one billion people in South Asia. The water supply of populations from the Indian subcontinent depends in large part on the rivers that flow from the highest mountains in the world.

Worried about climate change, on 7 December thousands of Nepalese citizens prayed in Kathmandu for their delegates to the summit. From the same altar, Buddhist monks and Hindu priests have offered the so-called "6 prayers for the earth": Lok pujas for Buddhist tradition and Swastika mantras for the Hindu tradition. Nepal is in fact one of the countries most active in raising awareness on issues related to the climate. In addition to hosting scientific initiatives such as the International Center for Integration and mountain development (ICIMOD), much has been done in recent years to attract world attention to the issue of the Himalayas, especially in view of the summit in Copenhagen. One example of this is the meetings the Government held on the slopes of Everest and conferences made in recent weeks in Europe and America by dozens of Nepalese climbers.

(with the collaboration of  Kalpit Parajuli)


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