Climate change and Bhutan

A simple definition of climate change according to me is, change or should I say increase in the temperature of the globe (earth) – global warming.

Climate change: like it or not is upon us. Melting glaciers and landslides are combining to create huge high altitude lakes in the Himalayas that could cut off water to millions of people and then sweep away towns when they collapse, a leading geologist said.

Earth quakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides and Tsumamis may become more frequent as global warming changes the earth’s crust, scientists heard on September 16 at a conference on the climate’s effects on geology.

Drying streams, lesser snowfall and dengue fever cases in Thimphu, the March 26 rain and storm. All these are indication that climate change is happening here in Bhutan, said the deputy minister of national environment commission (NEC) dasho Nado Rinchen.

The ice and glaciers are melting quickly and we have not experienced snowfall in many winters and also Bhutan experienced the driest winter in 2008. all these are indication of climate change.

We Bhutanese, though we quite often use the word ‘climate change’ has no idea what it is. It’s a threat to the mankind not only in Bhutan but the world at large.
Since we have no seas and oceans in and around Bhutan we have no threat from the rising sea levels but climate change is definitely going to affect our low volume agriculture and hydropower projects.

We have our share of Tsunami up in the mountains of Lunana. People have heard of “operation Thorthormi” and how the lake threatens to give way and wash us away. Bhutan being a mountainous country, we are vulnerable to the effect of climate change. It could dry up our water resources, decline in the crop production and put an end to our hydropower potential.

By 2020. 50 percent of the Bhutanese population is expected to live in the urban area which is going to have a negative impact on climate change.
Other issues of concern are the plastic bags, garbage and waste disposal.

However, Bhutan as a single country cannot contribute much, though it has taken various measures for the reduction of emission from deforestation and degradation, a strategy to reduce climate change by saving forest.
Also Bhutan has imposed the ban on the use of plastic bags. Today there’s hardly any plastic bags for sale in the market (except in black market), and used by he people. Another measure could be the introduction of “waste management and prevention” bill in the parliament. This is an indication that Bhutan is doing something.

But this isn’t enough because climate change isn’t happening to Bhutan only but the globe (world) at large. So it’s only through the effort of us, individually or collectively, to contribute something to the world for the reduction in the temperature of our mother earth.

Let’s all join our hands and do something. Because every individual effort counts. Let us pass on to our off-springs the good earth. Let us prevent the climate change. Remember! “Prevention is better than cure”.

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