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South Asia Regional Climate Change Conference Highlights Vulnerabilities of South Asia to Climate Change

© Kathmandu 1 September 2009: Government leaders meeting in Kathmandu, Nepal, for the South Asia Regional Climate Change Conference “A Vision for Addressing Climate Change Risks and Vulnerabilities in the Himalayas” issued a Final Statement noting that South Asia, including the Hindu Kush-Himalayan region, is a climate change hot spot that influences the lives of half of the world's population, is highly vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change, and is characterized by critical knowledge gaps, especially of mountain ecosystems within and across its constituent units.

The Final Statement also stresses the need to translate the principles of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities and historical responsibility of the developed countries as envisaged in the UNFCCC into operational practice. It notes that the world has spent more on corporate/financial bailouts than on promoting sustainability and, least of all, on addressing climate change.

Regarding development and transfer of clean technologies, including capacity building, the Final Statement notes that the transfer of technologies should be provided by Annex I countries to non-Annex I countries and they should not be constrained by the high upfront costs of intellectual property rights. Appropriate indigenous technologies should also be promoted through channeling of funds to developing countries in accordance with the Convention's provisions. Both the public and private sector should be encouraged to address the impacts of climate change through the provision of clean technologies.

The conference was organized by the Government of Nepal in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the World Bank, the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), the UK Department for International Development (DFID). [The Final Statement]