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Effects of climate change on Great Himalayan Trail



KATHMANDU: Climate change is one of the burning environmental issues of the world and its impacts have begun to be felt in Nepal too. The melting mountains, heavy rainfall, drought, et cetera are some effects aggravated by the changing climate.

A documentary A Paradise in Waiting highlights such problems of climate change further capturing the pains and perils of people living in the Himalayas. Presented by the Himalayan Climate Initiative in association with the British Embassy, the documentary was screened at the Embassy on October 1.

The documentary features Great Himalayan Trail — lives of mountain people there, their hardships, impacts of climate change in those areas et cetera. The footages shot by British Council Climate Champion 2010 Saurav Dhakal during his journey on this trail has been used to make this 52-minute long documentary.

Dhakal, along with Mt Everest summiters duo Apa Sherpa and Dawa Steven Sherpa and few others, had travelled the Great Himalayan Trail covering a distance of 1,555 km from the east to west of Nepal in 99 days. And this documentary, highlighting their journey, brings forth issues of climate change and tourism development.

The documentary showcases Nepal’s natural beauty and portrays lives of mountain people from different ethnic backgrounds. It also depicts their lives and hardships in this pristine, beautiful and natural habitat. A Paradise in Waiting displays problems of people living in poverty. Carrying salt, that had been the major occupation of the people living in such areas, has changed these days. People have started migrating to foreign lands in search of jobs and the documentary features such issues. Despite all odds, tourism is the main source of income generation for the people living in these areas. The documentary is hopeful that poverty can be alleviated in these places as they have been opened up as new trekking destinations.

Nonetheless, the documentary also gives us a clear picture of the effects of climate change. Portraying the cases of dried springs, soil erosion and drought, it tries to depict the impacts of climate change. Ripening of fruits and blossoming of flowers ahead of their time are other outcomes of climate change, highlights the documentary. Lakes created due to melting of snow and people living amidst the fear that these lakes will burst are some other problems addressed by the documentary.

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