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Pay heed to high mountain biodiversity, experts suggest


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2022 Dec 06, 14:38, Kathmandu
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In the wake of the UN Climate Conference, COP-27, where the Nepal government actively participated and put forth mountain issues, and the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP-15) beginning in Canada tomorrow, the experts on climate change and biodiversity have suggested the government that it pays heed to the conservation of high mountain biodiversity with comprehensive research.

In a recent Pani Satsang (water discourse) organized by Nepal Water Conservation Foundation (NWCF) in Kathmandu, Head of Fresh Water Biology Section at the Biology Department of University of Copenhagen, Dr. Dean Jacobsen, underscored the need of conducting thorough research on high mountain biodiversity so that it would be easy for adaptation to climate change.

"Nepal needs to protect alpine quality water sources. We need to know about the main drivers of change in high altitude biodiversity to develop effective adaptation plans and works," he said, adding that glacier-fed water has high diversity.

Unless we understand how change is occurring, it is difficult to make projections and launch proper interventions. Making a presentation on 'Biodiversity in High Mountain Waters: Features, Threats, and Needs', Dr. Jacobsen suggested the establishment of a monitoring protocol between researchers and the government with adequate funds so that research on mountain biodiversity could be sustained.

He further said the high mountain diversity is least studied issue, but it is time to launch a massive study on it as Nepal is a mountainous country and rich in diversity but vulnerable to climate change.

Dr. Jacobsn worried about the savage road construction, gravel mining, and hydropower dams which were posing serious threats to mountain springs in Nepal.

On the occasion, NWCF Chairperson Dr. Ngamindra Dahal said Jacobsen's research on the mountain ecology of water is beneficial to the Nepali case as well. He informed that it was the 71st episode of Pani Satsang. As Nepal is in the front row of climate change vulnerability, the lecture on alpine water would help build and transfer knowledge on pressing issues surrounding fresh water, he added. The research and study on high mountain biodiversity would also help shape government policy and efforts on climate change adaptation, he believed.

Similarly, the Professor of Science and Environment at Kathmandu University, Bed Mani Dahal, viewed Kathmandu University as keen on working together with an academic institution like NWCF and expert Jacobsen to amplify the research on water and mountain biodiversity because these areas bear huge significance.

The Himalaya is known as the laboratory of biodiversity.

Jacobsen shared at the program that he was interested in research on biodiversity in the Langtang Valley of Nepal and encouraged NWCF to carry out the work on it. A British team had conducted basic research on it three decades back, he reminded.

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Pay heed mountain biodiversity Experts UN climate conference COP-27 Nepal Government mountain issues Canada
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