12/01/2009, 00.00
NEPAL
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Nepali cabinet to meet on Mount Everest to discuss Copenhagen and climate change

by Kalpit Parajuli
The Nepali government will hold a special session of the cabinet next Friday at 5,614 metres of altitude. Its agenda will include a resolution to present to UN Copenhagen conference, support for ‘Save the Himalayas’ campaign and the creation of a new conservation area at the foot of the ‘Roof of the World’.
Kathmandu (AsiaNews) – Nepal’s cabinet is scheduled to hold a meeting on a plateau at the foot of Mount Everest as a way to raise awareness of the dangerous impact global warming will have on the Himalayas. All 26 ministers, led by Prime Minister Madhav Kumar, will meet on the Kalapatthar plateau at Gorakshep, 5,164 metres above sea level in the high foothills of the highest mountain in the world to draw public attention to the United Nations conference on climate change, which will take place on 7 and 8 December in Copenhagen.

Forestry and Soil Conservation Minister Deepak Bohara told AsiaNews that the three main items on the meeting’s agenda are a “resolution on climate change for the Copenhagen summit, the creation of the Gaurishankar Conservation Area, an area rich in biodiversity of some 2,035 km2 between Mount Everest and the Langtang Mountain Subrange; and ‘Save the Himalaya Campaign’ slated for 11 December in Copenhagen.”

The cabinet meeting will last about 20 minutes and will be broadcast live on national TV.

Prime Minister Kumar will present the results of the special cabinet session in Copenhagen conference, which he will attend.

Himalayan glaciers are the main source of water for many regions in Asia. A number of experts have warned that global warming is causing the rapid melting of the ice sheet.

This will have very negative consequences for Himalayan ecosystems. Glacial lakes will expand, monsoon rains will intensify and landslides are bound to increase.

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