Adopted in the South Asia Regional Conference on Climate Change
1-2 January 2011
We the representatives farmers’ organisations, political organizations and parties, civil society organizations and non-government organizations from Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Nepal having gathered at Katmandu on 1st and 2nd January 2011, with the objective of discussing multiple impacts of climate change including its impact on food sovereignty in the South Asia express our deepest concern over the vulnerability of the region to climate change, devastating impacts of climate change on lives, food sovereignty, culture of people and especially marginalized people and women, and voice our dissent in the strongest possible manner on the outcomes of ongoing UNFCCC negotiations, and lament lack of serious and effective policies and steps of our National governments to tackle this climate crisis. We also call upon UNFCCC, national governments in South Asia and other developing countries, regional Institutions like SAARC, and the civil society to lead expedited efforts to intensify the struggle for seeking pro people solutions to this crisis, based upon the principles of common but differentiated responsibility, climate equity and justice and other principles enshrined in international human rights covenants including UNFCCC, and human rights based approach to development.
We express our grave concern on climate change impacts in South Asia, that it is already having serious impacts especially on our food sovereignty. South Asia is the region of world highest number i.e., 40 % of poor population, and is also highly conflict torn region. Though the regional per capita emission of South Asia is around 0.2 to 10 tons; South Asia is the worse victim of climate impact. According to the IPCC one third of Bangladesh and all most all coastal area of India will be lost due to sea rise. Himalayan glaciers has the probability to complete meltdown, which will create severe drinking water crisis over the entire region. Due to temperature rise and climate variability there will be 35 to 40 % crop loss especially in rain fed regions. Displacement of more than 50 million people mostly farmers and poor is also predicted. Economies of the almost all the countries will be severely affected slowing down the rate of growth and equitable development in the region.
We have already observed the impacts in recent (2010) Pakistan floods, which affected all most half of the country and 20 million people and their life and livelihood. Repeated cyclones in Bangladesh recently (cyclone Aila in 2007 and Sidr in 2009) caused loss of 4500 lives and damages amounting to $ 3 billions. We stand in solidarity to the people whose lives have been devastated in these calamities.
We have also observed challenges presented by the climate crisis to the highly stressed food sovereignty situation in the region,. Which will not only affect the region but the entire world. Bangladesh is a major importing country, while Nepal, India and Pakistan are also hardly food self sufficient. Internally in South Asia, food distribution is also unequal, commensurate to the enhancing trend of income disparity, a large (not less then 30 to 40% of the population) number of population depends upon subsidized food supply or by safety net programs. We also observed that how climate change is impacting farmers and farming in the form of rise in temperature, reduction in rainfall and number of rainy days, salinization of soil and water, reduced farm outputs and income, and decrease in production of food, fodder and feed.
We also express our strongest resentment on the inadequate and unbalanced outcomes of the UNFCCC process highly favoring the developed countries and carbon capitalism, and undermining the rights of developing countries, least developed countries and Small island nations. We strongly resist the diversion of the negotiations away from the principles enshrined in the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol in the COP 15 and COP 16, and also condemn the Copenhagen Accord and the Cancun Agreement and developing countries submitting to the capitalist and neo-liberal forces.
We call upon our South Asian leaders to take a common position in next UNFCCC, CoP 17, in view of the grave impacts of climate change in the region and demand;
We also urge upon our South Asian leaders,;
We also call upon our national governments in our South Asian regions to take steps to strengthen our national climate resilience and adaptation capacities including;
We also call upon our fellow movements, farmers and labors organizations, civil society organizations to