to the area. Finally, the dispute may take on even greater salience as China plans to divert water and construct hydroelectric stations in Tibet.
Toad’s Eye Perspective: The Missing Element
in Climate Change Debates
Dipak Gyawali, Nepal Academy of Science and Technology and Water Conservation Foundation
Nepal’s 10-year Maoist insurrection ended in 2007, but its effects linger in the inability of the government to write a constitution and in its weak capacity to enact or implement policies and programs. Like Afghanistan and Bhutan, it is designated as a “least developed country.” There are planned large-scale dams, but small-scale, community-centered water management would be preferable to top-down planned projects and might provide greater flexibility in the face of climate change. The country has an active mountain-climbing and tourism industry (although agriculture dominates the economy), with glaciers being a strong attraction in the high-mountain landscapes.
Pakistan: Climate Risk and Vulnerabilities
David Archer, JBA Consulting
The viability of Pakistan’s economy depends on the state of the Indus River. Apart from the narrow ribbon of green along the Himalayan range, Pakistan is largely desert and semidesert. As a predominantly agricultural economy it depends on the Indus River for irrigation of both food and cash crops. In a normal year, about 75 percent of the river inflow is diverted, and in a drought year only a trickle of freshwater reaches the Indian Ocean. The Indus Basin Irrigation System irrigates 80 percent of Pakistan’s approximately 22 million hectares of farmland. Hence changes in flow in the Indus River arising from climate change or other causes, or in the balance between water supply and demand (mainly for irrigation) send a ripple effect through the entire Pakistan economy and have implications for food security poverty and prosperity and ultimately for personal and state security.