WWF sponsored documentary 'The Cost of Climate Change' wins award at the National Annual Journalism Award


International effort to drain dangerous Bhutan lake underlines costs and risks of climate change

Thimphu, Bhutan: A WWF sponsored documentary film titled “The Cost of Climate Change” won the best award in the environment category during the country’s 2nd National Annual Journalism Award. Six print and four broadcast journalists were awarded cash prizes and certificates at the award ceremony. The award ceremony was organised to coincide with world press freedom day on May 3.

The information and communication minister, Lyonpo Nanda Lal Rai, said that, with the potential role of media being recognised by all, media should always play a constructive role in informing people. “The government accepts the role of media in creating transparency and justice,” he said, adding media and the government share a hate-love relationship like anywhere else, which should be taken in a positive note.

The award winning documentary was one of the products of the “The Cost of Climate Change, the Story of Thorthomi Glacial Lake in Bhutan”, a communications project by the WWF Living Himalayas Network Initiative conducted in October 2009. The project highlights the plight of the Himalayas in the wake of climate change with a publication and a documentary.

Though Bhutan has experienced GLOFs in the past, the greater Bhutanese populace are not aware of its causes. Realising the importance of information sharing the documentary was produced for the Bhutanese national audience to raise their awareness on climate change and how it has affected and will continue effecting their environment and lives.

The documentary focuses on the GLOF mitigation works going on at the Thorthomi Lake, in the remote northern village of Lunana. It highlights the effects of climate change on Bhutan’s glaciers and the hardship faced by a small country like Bhutan to mitigate the causes of a likely GLOF. It also focuses on the tough terrain and the difficulty faced by the workers to carry out the mitigation works.

The documentary was produced in collaboration with Bhutan Broadcasting Services, the national television station with funding and technical support from WWF. It is produced both in the national language, Dzongkha, and English and is a regular program aired in the national television.

The Cost of Climate Change

The story of Thorthormi glacial lake in Bhutan

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© Tashi Tshering/WWF Bhutan
Yak herder's child, Ganglakarchung, Bhutan

Learn more about the cost of climate change in the Eastern Himalayas.

  • The Cost of Climate Change: The Story of Thorthormi Glacial Lake in Bhutan reports on the project and the growing risk to Himalayan nations by glacial lake outburst events. The report notes that although Thorthormi is the largest and most dangerous of the new lakes, some 16 new glaciers and 82 glacial lakes have formed in Po Chu headwaters alone as a result of climate change. Read the report