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Award winning reports on climate change in Himalayas

Feb 19, 2010

The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) has announced the results of a competition for journalists writing on the theme of climate change in the Himalayas. Seven of the winning entries captured the impact of climate change on mountains and livelihoods.

A competition was organised by ICIMOD from 24 September to 15 December 2009. The aim was to capture published media reports and to encourage journalists to write on mountain, and especially Himalayan, issues. 


It was open to written articles and reports first published in a printed or online publication between 01 August and 07 December 2009 (the start of 'COP 15' in Copenhagen). The judging criteria were based on composition, content, originality, and overall effectiveness in conveying the message.

Smriti Felicitas Mallapaty from Nepal received Outstanding Regional Young Journalist Award for drawing insight into the receding glaciers of the Himalaya which offer a critical case study of the region’s approach to climate change, in spite of and as a result of scarce scientific data.

She talks on how climate change has become a virtual sport since the first Assessment Report was published in 1990 by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Since then, a dizzying array of local, national and international interests have focused fierce attention on this endlessly complex issue, buttressed by a significant media engine spreading hard rumour and soft fact.


Also she threw light on glacial melt being a ‘visible proof’ of global warming, whose implications are global in a complex web of inter-relationships. In addition, as glacial melt accelerates, people will see heightened river levels in the short term and decreased runoff in the longer term as the ice mass decreases, making rivers less perennial.

The Himalayan ramparts are considered by some scientists as the ‘water towers’ of Asia. The rate of depletion of these ‘water towers’ will also partially depend on precipitation patterns. Apart from glaciers in the western regions of the Hindukush and on the Tibetan plateau, Himalayan glaciers generally accumulate more snow and ice in the summer than in the winter, as the southwest monsoon brings intense precipitation along the southern flanks.


For glaciers where accumulation and ablation (the loss of ice and snow) primarily take place during the summer, warm temperatures intensify melting because precipitation more often occurs in liquid rather than solid form.

Other winners include Anjali Derryn Nayar, Canada and Laurie Anne MacGregor, United Kingdom in International Category; and Farrukh Ahmed Chishtie, Pakistan and Ramesh Prasad Bhushal, Nepal for regional category. Mahfujur Rahman, Bangladesh and Joydeep Gupta, India received special mention for their contributions.

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Source : ICIMOD
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