Reaching the highest peaks in the world, the Mount Everest and K2 are one of those experiences that many dream to realize at least once in a lifetime. Surrounded by eternal snow and carefully stepping on glaciers in an expedition, is the image how the adventure reaching the top of the world looks like. However, studies are predicting that during this century, 45%~90% of glaciers’ volume of the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region might decline. HKH region includes eight countries including Nepal, China, India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Afghanistan and Pakistan, providing fresh water from glaciers’ flow into 10 major river basins, and home to 1,9 billion people. Climate change will negatively influence already fragile mountainous food production, increase the growth of invasive species and the risk of epidemics, but also the possibility of big migrations and violent conflicts. That being said, it is not only the quarter of the world population in risk, but much more as ice melt may push sea level.
Sixteen years ago I spent some time in Nepal and Tibet, experiencing beautiful natural landscapes, and communicating with locals made me feel and understand the spiritual richness they are filled with, even not having almost any so-called valued material items. More people live in the altitudes, more life conditions and opportunities for a wealth acquirement are sharply decreasing. The Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the right directions the humanity should put efforts to realize, as an ultimate goal. Nature is asking for our help and too many people are still ignoring its signs, probably believing that it will not be reflected on their lives. Maybe not theirs, but others’ already does. What we are talking about here is of much bigger scale, surpassing any individual or a single country interests.
Japan is often seen as a highly developed industry and high tech country. Recent years show that it is also a destination with a huge tourism potential, recognized by 31 million foreign arrivals and repeaters in 2018. One of the major trigger that Japan is chosen is not only the tradition, mangas and diversified gastronomy, but also the security. Tokyo is ranked no.1 and Osaka no.3 within 60 major cities by Safe Cities Index. Another aspect is the clean air. Today, when I am writing this article, Israel’s company BreezoMeter measuring the air quality with maximum 100 points shows; Tokyo 68, New York 63, Paris 56 and Beijing 16. Figures are the result of Japanese government and private sector’s efforts increasing the wellbeing environment. Japan has also developed sustainable conscience and Earth preservation.
Nature needs us!