International Mountain Festival begins in Pokhara with emphasis on climate change

Kathmandu: The eighth edition of the International Mountain Festival, organized by the Nepal Mountaineering Association on the occasion of International Mountain Day, commenced in Pokhara. The festival was inaugurated by Finance Minister Dr. Prakash Sharan Mahat on Friday.

Addressing the gathering, Minister Mahat highlighted Nepal’s susceptibility to climate change, asserting that the effects of climate change in the Himalayan region extend beyond its borders, impacting countries such as India and Bangladesh.

“Even though we may not contribute significantly to climate change, its effects are clearly visible in our Himalayas. The impact may not be limited to our daily lives, as it extends to regions like Northern India and Bangladesh,” stated Minister Mahat.

He shared information that despite Nepal aiming to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2045, the country continues to face challenges due to the impact on the Himalayas, affecting the lives of its people.

The Finance Minister emphasized that Nepal’s plea to the international community is not just for compensation for the damages caused by climate change but also for cooperation in addressing the issue.

While expressing concern about the adverse effects of climate change leading to erratic floods in Nepal, Minister Mahat urged the international community to consider the damages inflicted on Nepal’s Himalayas and mountains.

Deependra Bahadur Thapa, Minister of Industry, Tourism, Forest, and Environment of Gandaki Province, highlighted the interconnection between carbon emission reduction and the impact on Nepal’s Himalayas and the environment.

The festival will span five days at the International Mountain Museum in Rato Pairo, Pokhara. It will feature documentaries on mountain life and climbing, discussions on climate change, and an exhibition of various aspects of mountain culture.

Additionally, the event will showcase six documentaries related to mountain climbing and development, including presentations by Austrian climber Dr. Erika Hubacher and her daughter, Irmtread Hubacher.

The festival also introduces new elements such as a “Tag of War” competition, showcasing local talents in archery, traditional song and dance, and local products and services essential for agriculture and mountain climbing.

With 28 stalls, the festival aims to integrate local handicrafts with agriculture, necessary materials for mountain climbing, and daily consumables and services.