19 June 2009

Climate Change: Voices of Khumbu’s Children

Children express their concerns about climate change and its impact on their environment through art and letter writing competitions

(Kathmandu and Khumjung,19 June 2009 – EIN News)

The winners of the ‘Climate Change: Voices of Khumbu’s Children’ interschool art and letter writing competitions were announced at the Khumjung Festival on19 June in a celebration with award of prizes and certificates. The students from 16 primary and secondary schools in the Khumbu region near Mount Everest in Nepal had taken the opportunity to express their views on climate change and global warming through painting and writing. The competition, jointly organised by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and Initiatives for Development & Eco Action Support (iDEAS) in collaboration with Sherwi Yondhen Tshokpa, a Sherpa youth organisation based in Khumjung, was part of the ‘Imja Tsho Action Event’ held on18-19 June. The competitions were linked to World Environment Day (5 June) and planned to help raise awareness of the effects of climate change among the mountain community of the Khumbu region. These ‘voices of Khumbu’s children’ will also be taken to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP15) in Copenhagen in December this year.

In a message to the people at the Festival, Director General of ICIMOD, Andreas Schild said, “Children are very vulnerable to climate change and such competitions help to raise awareness of the impact of climate change on their own lives as well as ways they can contribute to combating it.“ Dawa Steven Sherpa, Chief Coordinator of iDEAS, adds “When conservation starts at a young age it becomes a part of daily life. The Art and Letter Writing Competition will encourage the children to look at the environment in a new way and assess their own impact. ICIMOD’s contribution to these grassroot initiatives will help generate a new generation of environmentally conscious and active mountain stakeholders.”

The ‘Imja Tsho Action Event’ included a popular ‘Beat the GLOF Action Run’ marathon on the 18th June organised by iDEAS and the local Khumbu youth. Some 115 local people, including 17 women, ran to raise awareness of the threat of climate change to mountain communities and environment, and especially of the threat to the lives and livelihoods of the people living downstream of Imja Lake, which has been growing at a particularly rapid rate as a result of glacial retreat.

Says Dawa Steven Sherpa, “Everest is the highest place in the world and the problems faced by this region are not only Nepal’s but of the entire world”. Climate change is affecting people and the environment around the globe and this is especially evident in the Himalayas. The greater Himalayan region has the largest concentration of snow and ice outside the two poles. Warming in the Himalayan region is greater than the global average. Although the Himalayan people contribute little to global warming, they experience some of the most severe impacts.

The painting and writing competitions were held in May to early June among 16 schools in three village development committees in Khumjung. The winning entries can be seen at http://www.icimod.org/?page=480 and http://www.icimod.org/?page=502.

Art Competition

First prize: Kamal Thapa Magar, Class 4, Khumjung High School

Second prize: Chandra Kala Rai, Class 6, Mahendra Jyoti Secondary School

Third prize: Sonam Wangdi Sherpa, Class 6, Khumjung High School

Runners up: Manisha Baraili, Class1, Shree Himalayan Primary School; Tshering Tamang, Class 5, Lukla School; Suman Magar, Class 5, Lukla School; Karma Sherpa, Class 5, Shree Pema Choling High School; Lhakpa Nuru Sherpa, Class 5, Pangboche Primary School; Dragon Rai, Class 6, Shree Janasewa Lower Secondary School; and Mana Kumar Rai, Class 6, Shree Mahendra Jyoti Secondary School

Nepali Letter Writing Competition

First prize: Furba Tenzing Sherpa, Class 10, Khumjung High School

Second prize: Dawa Futi Sherpa, Class 9, Khumjung High School

Third prize: Kabindra Rai, Class 7, Khumjung High School

Runners up: Lhakpa Thendu Sherpa, Class 10,Khumjung High School; Ngawang Chhutin Sherpa, Class 9, Khumjung High School; Ngawang Finjok Sherpa, Class 10, Khumjung High School; Pasang Gyalgen Tamang, Class 7, Shree Yuwa Varsha ; Ramila Rai, Class 7, Shree Yuwa Varsha; Shashi Kala Rai, Class 10, Khumjung High School; Sonam Dolma Sherpa, Class 8, Shree Mahendra Jyoti Secondary School

English Letter Writing Competition

Chirag Rai, Class 8, Khumjung High School
Pasang Dawa Sherpa, Class 8, Chauri Kharka High School


For further information contact:

Ms Nira Gurung, Communications Officer

International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, ICIMOD
GPO Box 3226, Kathmandu, Nepal
email: [email protected], [email protected]

Ms Roshani Malla

Initiatives for Development & Eco Action Support (iDEAS)

PO Box 23909, Nagpokhari Sadak, Kathmandu, Nepal

Email: [email protected],[email protected]

Notes to Editor

The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) is an independent ‘Mountain Learning and Knowledge Centre’ serving the eight member countries of the Hindu-Kush-Himalayas – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan – and the global mountain community. ICIMOD is a non-political intergovernmental organisation which, since 1983, has encouraged technical cooperation between governments in the region and whose primary objective is to help promote the development of environmentally sound mountain ecosystems and improve the living standards of the mountain population.


Initiatives for Development and Eco Action Support (iDEAS) a non-profit, non-governmental organization formed to act as a catalyst and facilitator to encourage initiatives against the broad spectrum of risks faced by mountain communities will work to stimulate and encourage local residents to take the initiative to propose sustainable projects that focus on education, health, the environment, and income-generation. These projects will utilize local skills and resources.