The glaciers in the Himalayan mountain range are melting faster than anywhere in the world, warned Lt Gen (retd) Nirbhay Sharma, governor of Mizoram state in India.
Inaugurating a three-day media workshop on climate change in Mizoram on Wednesday, he said: “The Himalayas have the largest body of snow after the Arctic and Antarctic. It is sometimes referred to as the Third Pole. When snow from the Arctic and Atlantic melts, it is widely covered by the media.
"However, the melting glaciers of the Himalayas are hardly ever reported, even though more people are affected. The water from the Himalayan glaciers feeds nearly 30% of the world’s population.”
Quoting the International Panel on Climate Change report, Sharma added: “Glaciers in the Himalayas are receding faster than in any other part of the world. If the present rate continues, the probability of them disappearing by the year 2035 and maybe even earlier is very high."
The Mizoram governor also spoke about incidents of environmental issues being diverted into international politics. i.e. when China recently declined to share hydrological data with India due to the Doklam standoff.
“This coincided with the torrential downpour in the eastern part of India, including the Northeast, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Experts say climate change is the main reason behind the floods and changing rainfall pattern in Northeast India,” the governor said.
The media workshop on climate change reporting on the Himalayas was organised by Indian Himalayas Climate Adaptation Programme of Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Department of Science and Technology of India, Mizoram State Climate Change Cell, Mizoram Science, Technology and Innovation Council, and the Centre for Media Studies.