The Institute of Water Problems and Hydro Energy at the National Academy of Sciences in Bishkek has determined that 20% of glaciers across the nation vanished between the mid-1970s and the year 2000, with the remaining ice fields melting three times faster than previously.
Ilia Domashov, deputy head of the Bishkek NGO BIOM Environmental warned that the glacial melt is affecting not only communities downstream, but also the region’s rich biodiversity.
Although the country occupies only 0.1% of the Earth’s landmass, it is home to a full one percent of its biodiversity, some of which is also unique to Kyrgyzstan.
Mr. Domashov stated, “Certain animals are deeply connected to the glaciers, such as the snow leopard, and they will be affected by the rapid melting. What will happen is that in the short term the level of underground water will rise, but in the long term it will actually fall as glaciers disappear; this will have an impact on ecological systems…”
Our appreciation Mr. Domashov, BIOM Environmental and other scientists for this alert to the dangers inherent in rapid climate change.
Let us all quickly step toward the sustainable lifestyles needed to preserve the precious ecosystems of Kyrgyzstan and the world.
Speaking with concern during an October 2009 videoconference in Hong Kong, Supreme Master Ching Hai addressed the dire situation represented by the melting glaciers, while assuring at the same time of effective planet-cooling measures.