India, China concerned over shrinking Himalayan glaciers: Minister

Panaji, Sep 16 (IANS) Holding climate change responsible for the shrinking of glaciers in the Himalayas, Union Minister Anil Dave on Friday said both India and China were “concerned” about the degradation in the world’s highest mountain range.

“Now each and everyone has a clear understanding that there is something wrong going on our globe. Those who visited the Himalayan ranges 30-40 years ago used to say that it was covered with a blanket of snow and now the snow cover is reduced to the size of a kerchief and is spread in patches,” Dave told reporters after a two-day discussion on global climate change and other environment issues at a meeting of Environment Ministers of BRICS countries at a south Goa resort.

The Union Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change said both India and China were concerned about the degradation in the Himalayas.

“Climate change at a global level is responsible for that. At a bilateral level we discussed all these things particularly with China. These are the two countries (India and China) on either side of mountain range,” he said, adding that the objective of the discussion was not to indulge in blame game but to find a solution to the problem.

“We all are concerned. They (China) are also concerned over that. We discussed the issues to find out the solution without holding each other responsible for the problem. This is not the level (where) we talk like this,” Dave said.

He asserted that the countries around the Himalayan ranges can not be held responsible for the change.

“It is not the countries that are surrounding the mountains that are responsible, but it is the effect of the global climate change. So we are thinking in detail about what to do and what not to do,” he said.

Dave said that issues related to air, industrial pollution, agriculture and the effects of climate change were discussed at the meeting.

The minister said that water bodies in BRICS countries were “not up to the mark” and were discussed in the meeting that started on Thursday.

“We have agreed that each and every water body and each and every river of the country must be preserved properly, so that safe and clean drinking water is available to the entire society. At present the rivers are dying and our water bodies are not up to the mark, they are dying day by day,” he said.

“We have all agreed that we should work on this and we have created a group which will exchange their views. We can have bilateral efforts to conserve rivers and ponds or we can have multilateral efforts or individual countries can work on that,” Dave said.

–IANS

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