‘Eastern Himalayan landscape hit hard by climate change’

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The eastern Himalayan landscape extending from Nepal to Bhutan have been hit hard by the effects of climate change, says a report of WWF.

“Of all the threats to the region’s nature and culture, perhaps the most pervasive and difficult to tackle is that of climate change,” said the report entitled The High Ground: Sacred natural sites, bio-cultural diversity and climate change in the Eastern Himalayas.

The WWF report presented Bhutan’s Punakha Dzong palace located 77 kilometres away from Thimpu and its surrounding landscape as an example of a landscape hit hard by climate change.

Built in 1638, the historical palace and its surrounding areas have been hit by three disastrous glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs) in the past 60 years, according to the report.

These deadly flash floods are occurring with increasing frequency as temperatures rise across the eastern Himalayas due to global warming, according to WWF press release.

Referring to the eastern Himalayas, WWF’s International Director General Jim Leape said, “Its biodiversity and its cultural richness are to be celebrated and cherished.”

Nature and culture are intimately linked in the Himalayas, particularly through the deep reverence that the region’s faiths hold for the natural world, said Leape.

We believe that the leaders of communities, many of whom are already engaged in combating climate change at a local level, could do much to advance action at global scale ,”Leape said.

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