Climate change represents one of the greatest environmental, social and economic threats facing the planet, and we in Nepal are among the most vulnerable although we are probably the least responsible.
But as a young Nepali businessman I am worried we may not be doing enough ourselves to avert the impact of climate change. To address climate change we first have to change the way we do things.
In recent years there have been economic fluctuations, dramatic environmental changes and shifts in population dynamics. Our traditional methods of adaptation are quickly losing their efficacy. The impact of global warming, pollution and the loss of biodiversity exacerbates existing problems of poverty, underdevelopment and the degradation of nature.
With changing rain patterns and an expected increase in temperature, the unique plants that grow in fragile environments may die out as well as the fauna that depend on them. This has serious implications for the livelihoods of the people who use them.
Human activity, the burning of fossil fuels and the destruction of forests have contributed to the situation we find ourselves in today. It can't be business as usual in business. Which is why even industries in Nepal have to change and build a long-term sustainability strategy.
Climate change may result in adverse business outcomes, including business interruption, increased investment or insurance costs, or declining financial measures such as value, return, and growth, or other measures of business success. How businesses adapt to these changes and how flexible they are will determine how well they cope with climate variability in the future.
It is not just a matter of individual responsibility: we are all collectively responsible for climate change. Apportioning blame or singling out rich or poor countries will not help us surmount the challenges we face.
The Chaudhary Group (CG) has always been a big supporter of giving back to society and making changes happen at the grassroots level. We know that although climate change is a global problem, it will have local impacts. It will affect every one of us regardless of geography, caste, creed or profession. At CG, we are determined to lead by example and demonstrate that we can make a difference by working with conservation organisations such as the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
Success doesn't always mean being first today, it also means being better than what you were yesterday. Please remember that you may sow a seed today, and tomorrow it will give you shelter.
We have to find ways to convert the challenge of climate change into an opportunity to be more efficient in energy use so that saving the environment is good for business as well. As young entrepreneurs, we lead the way towards a truly economically and environmentally sustainable Nepal. We need to be climate smart and the time to act is now.
Nirvana Chaudhary is Executive Director of the Chaudhary Group and also Campaign Ambassador for the WWF's Climate for Life Campaign.
In full retreat - FROM ISSUE #466 (28 AUG 2009 - 03 SEPT 2009)
Climate climax - FROM ISSUE #466 (28 AUG 2009 - 03 SEPT 2009)
"Nepal is a potential winner" - FROM ISSUE #466 (28 AUG 2009 - 03 SEPT 2009)
Climbing to keep the Himalaya alive - FROM ISSUE #466 (28 AUG 2009 - 03 SEPT 2009)