South Asian officials, experts discuss climate change

July 1st, 2008 - 11:51 am ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, July 1 (IANS) Officials and experts of South Asia began the region’s first-ever parleys to discuss a joint action plan to fight climate change and adopt a common stance at global forums. The talks, which began here Tuesday, include mobilisation of funds for the efforts. The conference is expected to work out ways of raising funds internally before approaching international donors.

Their recommendations are expected to be endorsed at the minister-level meeting Thursday.

The meeting takes place amidst growing concern over the adverse effects of climate change, particularly a sea level rise that may partially or fully submerge countries like Bangladesh and the Maldives, New Age newspaper said.

“The expert-level meeting would make an in-depth assessment of the probable impacts of climate change on the region and suggest measures to tackle the situation through regional cooperation,” said an official at Bangladesh’s ministry of environment and forest on the eve of the conference.

The eight member nations of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) - Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka - are readying for discussing the issue at global conferences where it is gaining growing importance.

The issues to be covered are how the climate change has already affected the Saarc countries and how it would affect the region in future, fixing work strategies, sharing experiences, identifying financial sources in facing the impacts of climate change, officials said.

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