Melting Opportunities

The third issue of the La Trobe Asia Brief explores the impact of climate and conflict on the Himalaya

Download La Trobe Asia Brief Issue 3 - Melting Opportunities: Climate Change and Conflict in the Himalaya (pdf)

The ice-capped peaks of the Himalaya are instantly recognisable and play a critical role in Asia's climate, hydrology, ecology and geopolitics. The mountains are home to more than 150 threatened species, and 3 biodiversity hotspots. The rivers that flow from them support nearly half the world’s human population and twenty per cent of its economy.

The mountains are also the site of international border disputes, ethnic unrest, competitive development and ongoing environmental and cultural destruction.

In issue 3 of the La Trobe Asia Brief, the authors examine the problem of climate and conflict in the Himalaya, and the implications it has for resources and security across Asia.

Contributing authors are:

  • Dr Alexander E. Davis (New Generation Network Research Fellow, Politics, La Trobe University)
  • Dr Ruth Gamble (David Myers Research Fellow, La Trobe University)
  • Dr Sonika Gupta (Chinese Studies and Global Politics,  Indian Institute of Technology Madras)
  • Dr Anwesha Dutta (Post Doctoral Research Felllow, Chr. Michelsen Institute, Bergen, Norway)
  • Dr Gerald Roche (Research Fellow, Politics, Media and Philosophy, La Trobe University)

In order to avoid an environmental catastrophe that will impact much of Asia,  the authors recommend:

  • Militaries in the Himalaya abide by strict environmental protocols and work towards demilitarisation.
  • Indigenous communities be given a greater advisory role in regional governance.
  • Language revitalisation programs are implemented and local place names are used.
  • ICIMOD (International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development) is funded and supported at a higher level by both its member states and internationally.
  • Linkages and supports are encouraged between Himalaya governance institutions and those in the Arctic and Antarctic.
  • The UN’s Clean Development Mechanism removes its support from large hydropower projects built near fault lines and ice packs in the Himalaya.


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