U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Sunday, October 29 said that the glaciers in Nepal were melting at record rates and the situation was “dire and accelerating”, during his visit to Kathmandu.
Guterres spoke to media alongside Nepal’s Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal on the first day of his four-day trip to the Himalayan country.
“On this trip, I will visit Himalayas to see for myself the terrible impact of the climate crisis on the glaciers. The situation is dire and it is accelerating. Nepal has lost close to a third of its size in just over 30 years, and glaciers are melting at record rates. The impact on communities is devastating and I will meet local people in the Himalayas to hear directly from them about how they are affected.”
According to the assessment by the Kathmandu-based International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), an intergovernmental scientific authority on the region, glaciers in Asia’s Hindu Kush Himalaya could lose up to 75% of their volume by century’s end due to global warming, causing both dangerous flooding and water shortages for the 240 million people who live in the mountainous region.
The UN Secretary General touched down in Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital, on October 29, beginning a four-day official visit to the Himalayan country.
He also visited Patan Durbar Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Lalitpur on the first day of his visit. “I see that it is important for Nepali people to understand that a country that has this tradition, this culture, and these monuments is a country that is spiritual. Based on these rules, which are wonderful culture and well-known architecture, I am seeing Nepal–the peace process being completed and graduation to not be the least developed country–have a future for the upcoming generation,” said the Secretary-General after touring the ancient palace built before the unification of modern Nepal.
Patan Dubar Square was devastated by the earthquake of April 2015, but has been restored by the authorities.