After the Underwater cabinet meet at the bottom of South Asia, a cabinet meet at Everest at the top of South Asia
Immediately after the news about Nepal’s plan to hold a cabinet meet on the base camp of Sagarmatha (the Mount Everest) flashed today by AFP, Nepalis from all over the world expressed their tongue-in-cheek reactions offline and online. Here’s a sampling of Tweets (the last by a non-Nepali).
“Wish they came up with new ideas. Only drama’s they do.”
“We might get lucky if they all perished.”
“The Maldivian effect in Politics & Ecology.”
The AFP report have been tweeted widely by the twitterers of the world with a great deal of passion and surprise. “How awesome is that,” said one.
It is, after all, the season that demands talking about climate change. But Maoists in Nepal clearly think this is also a season to talk about the change of cabinet in Nepal. Thus they have started a nationwide agitation since yesterday aiming to overthrown the Madhav Kumar Nepal-led government. So it remains to be seen if the cabinet, under MK Nepal, will be able to meet on the base camp of Sagarmatha.
The proposed cabinet meeting on the Everest is to highlight the impact of global warming on the Himalayas ahead of next month’s climate change talks in Copenhagen, according to forests minister Deepak Bohora. The entire cabinet will travel to Everest base camp at an altitude of 5,360 metres (17,585 feet) for the meeting, to be held later this month.
The Maldives, another South Asian nation that, unlike Nepal which is landlocked, is surrounded by sea, held an underwater cabinet meeting to focus global attention on rising sea levels ahead of the key UN summit on December 7-18. “The melting of the glaciers in the Himalayas is a serious concern for us,” Bohora is quoted by AFP as saying.
“We want to focus the world’s attention on saving the Himalayas from the effects of climate change before the Copenhagen meeting.”
Around 1.3 billion people depend on the water that flows down from the Himalayan glaciers, which experts say are melting at an alarming rate, threatening to bring floods and later drought to the region.
Here’s more from AFP
Campaigners say that while the effects of climate change on low-lying South Asian countries such as Bangladesh and the Maldives are now well known, there is little international awareness of the vulnerability of the Himalayan region.
Bohora said the visit would be an opportunity for ministers to gain first-hand information about the effects of climate change on the vast mountain range.
“Climate change has hit the Himalayas in general and Nepal in particular,” he said.
“Its effects are being manifested in different forms, from the rapid increase in the size of the glacial lakes to erratic monsoon patterns and unprecedented forest fires.”
Bohora also said the government was planning to take some of the world’s top mountaineers to Copenhagen to talk about their experiences, among them Apa Sherpa, who has climbed Everest a record 19 times.
Sherpa has said in the past that the amount of snow on the world’s highest peak has fallen since he first reached its summit in 1990, a trend he blames on global warming.