Water and climate experts at a conference has stressed working out different policies for the management of the Indus, Upper Ganges, Gandhaki and Teesta river basins for adaptation pathways in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region.
Need for adaptation should be prioritised more than mitigation while scientific framework on adaptation is emerging in the region, they observed at the third Climate Change Adaptation Policy and Science (CCAPS) Conference in Dhaka on Monday.
The CCAPS conference was organised by the Himalayan Adaptation, Water and Resilience (HI-AWARE) at a city hotel.
Explaining the adaptation challenges, Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS) Director and fellow Dr Dwijen Mallick said: “Climate science is still weak but emerging in this region fast.”
A HI-AWARE study on the Indus, Upper Ganges, Gandhaki and Teesta will look for different adaptation practices, such as, specific adaptation interventions in critical moments, alternative strategies, and adaptation pathways for short and long-term planning, he added.
Climate change is already affecting lives of over 1.3 billion people living in rural and urban communities across the Hindu Kush Himalayan region and its downstream basins.
International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) Director General Dr David Molden emphasised addressing gaps in research, practice, policy and adaptive capacities and climate resilience of the poor and vulnerable group of people.
“We need to create robust evidence to improve understanding of the potential of adaptation approaches and practices with an explicit focus on gender and livelihoods,” he added.
Dr Kallur S Murali, senior programme officer of Collaborative Adaptation Research Initiative in Africa and Asia, said: “If we stop carbon emission, things won’t change and continue to have the impact on climate change. There are scientific solutions in adaptation, and more than mitigation.”
ActionAid Bangladesh Country Director Farah Kabir, Energy and Resources Institutes (ERI) Director General Dr Ajay Mathur, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) Professor Dr Umme Kulsum Novera, Dhaka University (DU) Professor Dr Tasneem Siddiqui, BCAS Executive Director Dr Atiq Rahman, among others, spoke at the conference.