BEIJING - China, Norway and the UN Development Program signed an
agreement on Monday to develop programs to combat the effects of climate change
in China's rural areas, including the melting of glaciers in Tibet.
The programs will help provincial governments assess potential risks caused
by climate change and develop ways to respond, the UNDP said in a statement.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and visiting
Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.
"The presence of the two top leaders shows the strong commitments of both
governments to responding to the global challenge of climate change," Khalid
Malik, the UNDP representative in China, was quoted as saying in the statement.
The statement said program will look at ways to help local governments
mitigate the effects of glacial melting in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.
Glaciers are the world's second largest store of fresh water and feed seven
of the great rivers of Asia, but are receding at a faster rate than any other
glaciers in the world.
"The project will help in particular the poorest and most vulnerable regions
and communities in China to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change
through developing and implementing provincial strategies and associated actions
and measures," Malik said.
The US$2 million (euro1.5 million) project will be funded by Norway and is
expected to be launched by the middle of the year by the National Coordination
Committee on Climate Change of the National Development and Reform Commission,
the country's top economic planning agency, and the UNDP.
The statement also said the project will look at ways to cut greenhouse gas
emissions in the largest coal-producing provinces of Shanxi and Inner Mongolia
by improving efficiency in regional industries.
In Ningxia and Gansu provinces, the project will work with governments to
develop crop adaptation techniques and increase water