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Speakers: Kamal Bawa, Distinguished Professor, University of Massachusetts and Sandesh Kadur, wildlife photographer and film-maker
Himalaya—‘abode of snow’, ‘land of the gods’, and ‘Asia’s water tower’—is in trouble. For decades, population expansion, land use change, and extraction of natural products have been putting growing pressure on this, the world’s youngest and most fragile mountain chain. Now climate change is exacerbating these pressures. Furthermore, mining of river waters for hydropower by the rapidly growing and energy-hungry economies of the Asian giants, China and India, is further threatening the ‘world’s roof’. Also under pressure is the unique biological richness and ecosystems of the Himalaya. Starting with biodiversity we will invite audience to join us on an incredible journey to the Himalaya. We will report on our recent work that shows that overall temperatures in the mountains are increasing at three times the global average, spring is arriving earlier, and variability in rainfall is increasing. We will argue that an environmentally healthy Himalaya is a prerequisite for a sustainable Earth. We will conclude with a brief commentary of our current work for “an environmentally healthy Himalaya,” and the making of Himalaya: Mountains of Life.
Kamal Bawa is a Distinguished Professor of Biology at the University of Massachusetts at Boston and President of the Bangalore based Ashoka Trust for research in ecology and the environment www.kbawa.com
Sandesh Kadur is an award-winning wildlife photographer and film-maker with a passion for conservation and education. He is a member of the International League of Conservation Photographers and Director of Felis Creations www.sandeshkadur.com