Preparing Next Generation Leadership in Sustainable Mountain Development in the Context of a Changing Climate - Tek Jung Mahat
Climate change is becoming one of the most influential environmental pressures on the sustainability of human life. A discussion started by a small group of people in the 1960s about increasing CO2 emissions, is now the centre of global attention. Serious action has to be taken to curb emission of substances causing climate change, mitigate their impacts, prepare people to cope with possible disasters, and adapt to unavoidable changes. Scientific estimations have shown that it will be impossible to stop impacts of extreme climate change, most importantly the effects of greenhouse gases (GHGs) which are already being emitted into the atmosphere and have impacts lasting many decades. Considering all this, climate change is now seen as a concern spanning many generations; and decades, even centuries, will be needed to bring the situation into its previous state.
According to the Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI), prepared by a global risks advisory firm (Maplecroft) in October 2010 after calculating the vulnerability of 170 countries to the impacts of climate change over the last three decades, developing countries will suffer most. Out of sixteen countries at ‘extreme risk’, five are from South Asia, meaning this part of the world is among the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Africa is another hotspot for climate change impacts. Most developing mountain countries are high up on the list, meaning they are comparatively more vulnerable to climate change, as they are limited in terms of infrastructure and income, have geophysically fragile landscapes, often have large indigenous communities highly dependent on natural resources, and have poor adaptive capacities.
Citation: Mahat, T. J. (November 2010), ‘Preparing Next Generation Leadership in Sustainable Mountain Development in the Context of a Changing Climate’ in the Asia Pacific Mountain Courier’s special issue on ‘youth and climate change’, Vol. 11, No. 1. ICIMOD, Kathmandu, NEPAL. Read online: http://www.icimod.org/publications/index.php/search/publication/727 .