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Himalayas fading owing to climate change: Experts

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CHANDIGARH: Not many people are coming forward to save the environment from climate change, which is clearly evident in the Himalayas, Justice Rajiv Sharma of the Punjab and Haryana High Court said on Saturday.

Sharing his concern about the condition of climate change in Uttarakhand, he said: “Today, we don’t see many people coming forward to save the environment from climate change, which is clearly evident by the change in colour of the Himalayas from pristine white to grey.”

“Whenever we take a policy decision, we must take the future generation into consideration. We can still salvage and pass the baton to the next generation more responsibly,” he said.

He was delivering the presidential address at the fourth International Dialogue on Himalayan Ecology in Chandigarh.

The dialogue emphasised on the paradigm climate change that has been evident since the past few years and its influence on the prospect of agriculture.

Dialogue Highway Managing Trustee Devinder Sharma highlighted the relationship between agriculture and climate change.

“The Himalayas support about 20 per cent of the world’s population. Bordering eight countries, the Himalayan mountain range is the tallest in the world but its present scenario rather appears to be bleak,” he said.

The ecologically fragile region and the storehouse of the third highest amount of frozen
water on earth is highly vulnerable to climate change.

“Studies have shown that the low-altitude Himalayan glaciers are losing
water at a faster pace than the ones in higher reaches due to rising temperatures creating
water risk in these regions. We all must not forget that we’ve inherited the environment from our future generations and we need to sustain them for the years to come,” Sharma said.

Punjab Chief Principal Secretary Suresh Kumar said: “Today we are facing an agrarian crisis which is ultimately causing climate change.”

He laid an emphasis on the dire need to leave sufficient breathing space for agriculture land and take efficient measures in the direction of G20 Summit for climate change.

Tej Pratap, Vice Chancellor of G.B. Pant University for Agriculture and Technology in Patnanagar in Uttarakhand, drew attention to unfolding the scenario of Himalayan agriculture and stated that carbon dioxide is the game-changer.

“The climate change in Himalayas will pave the way to warmer winter, lesser snow, erratic rainfall, longer drought periods and fewer days of intense rainfall. In such a situation, it is important to think ‘without’ a box and ensure sustainable farming,” he said.

Harjeet Singh, International Climate Policy Manager with Action Aid, stressed on the need for changing agriculture and climate change landscape globally.

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