My country, Nepal, is a country of the Third Pole –– the mammoth conglomeration of ice frozen in the Himalaya and Hindu-Kush mountains.
So many different national and global agencies have already highlighted the devastating effects of the climate crisis on our ice cover and water systems. Our topography and unique position in the world mean that as the world heats up, the 2 billion people downstream could be affected, in some cases leading to forced migration. Yet Nepal has just this year signed an agreement with China to start exploring for oil and gas.
Ultimately, Nepal will lose far more than a few oil companies will gain from drilling for oil. This is harming the ecosystem, water table and soil around the area. This is going to make Nepal more vulnerable to earthquake.
It has actually led me to act on the issue and starting a new agenda for anti fracking. It’s an urgent priority to strike and raise our voices – with support from our global friends – before this all plays out. We need to push for climate-friendly development and stop the government drilling for oil and gas. Nepal is blessed with an abundance of renewable and clean energy sources which must be prioritized.
So from the 20th to 27th of September, we are raising our voices by the hundreds in the Nepalese cities of Kathmandu, Pokhara, Butwal, Humla, and Lantang. There will be flash dances, a human chain, and traditional music.
So we ask you, whether you’re in Nepal or across the world, to join the Global Strike with your friends and family, colleagues, and schools for our nation, for the health and environment of our children, and future generations.
Sagarika Bhatta is the coordinator of Power Shift Nepal (PSN), part of Global Power Shift (GPS) grassroots movement advocating divestment from fossil fuel and promoting cleaner energy globally.