Climate Change and its Impact on the River Water System
Partner: Stimson Centre Washington DC, Energy and Resource Center New Delhi
The areas of Middle East, East Asia and South Asia have ancient and extensive river systems. Over the centuries, Nile, Mekong, the Indus, Ganges and Brahmaputra have been a source of sustenance for civilizations. However, the massive ecological deterioration of the last century will eventually make these river systems incapable of providing for human and wildlife needs. In an effort to highlight the importance of the impact of climate change on these river systems, SDPI participated in a Climate Change and Water International workshop. The workshop organized in New Delhi by the Stimson Centre Washington DC in collaboration with the Energy and Resource Center New Delhi had experts from East Asia, South Asia and Middle East participated. The conference was held in the background of social traditions and government policies that intersect with the greenhouse challenge faced globally. Both these factors contribute to climate change vulnerabilities and as mitigation and adaptation strategies. A review of existing and potential institutional arrangements for managing water resources was made. SDPI emphasized the region’s climate concerns in a paper on the Impact of Climate Change on Agriculture. The importance of the agriculture sector’s vitality to the economy of the country and sustainability in the region was highlighted. The agriculture sector in Pakistan is mainly dependent on the Indus river water system for irrigation water. The glacier in the Himalayas, the Karakorum and the Hindukush are the primary source of water for the indus River. The present day ecological concerns and the climate change concern in the region threaten these sources. There is a dire need to save these glaciers from the environmental degradation. Regional cooperation amongst South Asian countries to save this ecological heritage should be initiated.