(09 Feburary 2011) - 50,000 glaciers are rapidly shrinking in the Himalayan region threatening several hundred million lives and livelihoods throughout Asia. Revealed: The Himalayan Meltdown, a documentary co-produced by UNDP and Arrowhead Films, examines how communities in Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India and Nepal seek to adapt to their shrinking mountain habitat which is crucial source for irrigation, drinking water and energy.
Agricultural land in Nepal. Credit: Lawrence Hislop
The documentary shows lakes like Imja, in eastern Nepal, which did not exist before 1960 but are now filled with glacial meltwater. Imja is one of thousands of recently formed high-altitude glacial lakes in the Himalayas that risk flooding triggered by avalanches and earthquakes.
In Nepal, climate change is not only melting the Himalayan, it is also leading to drought, as shown in the documentary. Many communities have seen seasonal monsoon rains disappear. One of the solutions helping villagers adapt is the use of low-cost moisture-trapping nets that convert fog into drinking water.
The documentary was launched in Oslo at the Litteraturhuset on Thursday 9 February, and was followed by a panel discussion on the film, which included Martin Krause (UNDP Asia), Audun Garberg (adviser to the Ministry of Environment), Peter Myhre (Member of Parliament, Framskrittspartiet), Asuncion Lera St. Clair (Director for Climate Research, CICERO), and Lawrence Hislop (GRID-Arendal).
Further information on the documentary can be found on the UNDP website.