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Monday, July 11, 2011

bangladesh meet draws attention to regional water security issues

Water towers of Asia, Bhutan, Bangladesh, India and Nepal, will be hosting the regional expert group meeting on the four thematic issues on water, biodiversity, food, and energy this month
Bangladesh hosted the first regional expert group meeting on water security last week where Bhutan also presented its recommendations for the regional level action.
The state minister for environment and forest of Bangladesh, Dr Hasan Mahmud, at the inaugural session, stressed on strengthening collective action for regional water security guided by the principle of equity, fairness and internationally agreed climate adaptation policies.
“Water is fixed in the planet. A stronger collective action is very important in the South Asia region to make water available for the people, biodiversity and others animals,” he was quoted as saying in UNB Connect.
The four south Asian countries identified areas of cooperation and agreed to assess the existing hydro-meteorological network and enhance data collection process. They agreed to review climate modeling and appropriate modeling tools to develop hydrological scenarios at different scales in the region will also be selected. The member countries also agreed to enhance ecosystem management practices to minimize the impacts of climate change-induced disasters.
The Executive Secretary of the Bhutan Climate Secretariat, Tashi Jamtsho, said all four countries have already developed their national road map on all the four thematic issues. “Bhutan has also developed its papers on the four issues and will be presented at the four different meetings,” he said.
Bhutan will host the biodiversity meeting on July 12 and 13 in Thimphu. India will be hosting the food meeting on July 25 and 26 in Delhi while Nepal will host the last meeting on energy on July 28 and 29 in Kathmandu.
Last year during the a high-level technical consultative meeting in Kathmandu, Nepal, the agriculture minister, Lyonpo Pema Gyamtsho, said countries should work together in developing medium and long term strategies as citizens of the eastern Himalayas. “We share a common geography, common problems, and a common destiny and need to take collective action to tackle the problems posed by changing climate,” he said.
The outcome of the four regional meetings on the four issues will feed the Bhutan Climate Summit 2011 which aims at adapting and endorsing a 10-year roadmap for the adaptation to climate change in the region for ensuring food, water and energy security while maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.

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