|Colombo Declaration of the 15th SAARC Summit - Environment|
|Friday, 08 August 2008 00:00|
Page 6 of 22
10. Being increasingly aware of global warming, climate change and environmental challenges facing the region, which mainly include sea-level rise, deforestation, soil erosion, siltation, droughts, storms, cyclones, floods, glacier melt and resultant glacial lake outburst floods and urban pollution, the Heads of State or Government reiterated the need to intensify cooperation within an expanded regional environmental protection framework, to deal in particular with climate change issues. They were of the view that SAARC should contribute to restoring harmony with nature, drawing on the ancient South Asian cultural values and traditions of environmental responsibility and sustainability.
11. The Leaders expressed satisfaction at the adoption of SAARC Action Plan and Dhaka Declaration on Climate Change by the SAARC Environment Ministers at the SAARC Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change held at Dhaka on 3 July 2008. In this context they stressed the need for close cooperation for capacity building, development of CDM projects and promotion of programs for advocacy and mass awareness raising on climate change. They also expressed satisfaction at the adoption of a SAARC Declaration on Climate Change for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) by the Twenty-ninth Session of the Council of Ministers.
12. The Heads of State or Government expressed deep concern over global climate change and its impact on the lives and livelihoods in the region. They also noted the urgency of the immediate need for dealing with the onslaught of climate change including sea level rise, on meeting food, water and energy needs, and taking measures to ensure the livelihood security of the peoples in the SAARC region. They resolved to work together to prevent and address the threats to the livelihoods of the peoples and to provide access to remedies when these rights are violated and also to find an equitable distribution of responsibilities and rights among the Member States. They also emphasised the need for assessing and managing its risks and impacts. In this regard, they called for an in-depth study on “Climate Justice: The Human Dimension of Climate Change,” to come up with a rights-based approach that would highlight the human impact when responding to the impacts of climate change.
13. The Heads of State or Government affirmed that every citizen of this planet must have an equal share of the planetary atmospheric space. In this context, they endorsed the convergence of per capita emissions of developing and developed countries on an equitable basis for tackling climate change. They were of the view that any effort at addressing climate change should take into account historical responsibility, per capita emissions and respective country capabilities.
14. The Heads of State or Government expressed concern at the human loss suffered through natural disasters in the region and stressed the need for the timely provision of relief in humanitarian emergencies. In this regard they directed that a Natural Disaster Rapid Response Mechanism be created to adopt a coordinated and planned approach to meet such emergencies under the aegis of the SAARC Disaster Management Centre.