On Jan. 9, Maria Otero, Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs & Democracy, will bring together an expert panel to discuss the impacts of Himalayan glacier melt and identify important opportunities for mitigation, adaptation, and regional cooperation. The proceedings will open with a screening of the documentary “Revealed: Himalayan Meltdown,” co-produced by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Arrowhead Films, & Discovery Channel Asia.
A panel discussion will follow with Dr. Kerri-Ann Jones, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans & International Environmental & Scientific Affairs (Moderator); Geoffrey R. Pyatt, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South & Central Asian Affairs; Dr. Ajay Chhibber, United Nations Assistant Secretary General and UNDP Regional Director for Asia &; the Pacific; and Dr. Alton Byers, Director of Science & Exploration, the Mountain Institute.
The melting of glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau and across the Himalayan mountain range is among the greatest environmental security threats facing Asia today, affecting communities across the Tibetan Plateau, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, and China. Unprecedented variability of water flow is altering agricultural growing seasons, regional food security, livelihoods, and culture, without regard to national boundaries. The film examines how the shrinking Himalayan glaciers and rising sea levels are affecting people across Asia and compares strategies developed and implemented by different countries. The Forum will address the multitude of approaches under development as well as the needs for regional cooperation and information sharing.