In what can be seen as an initiative towards adapting to the climate change challenge, the National Steering Committee on Climate Change (NSCCC) yesterday approved the Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) submitted by governments of Telangana, Mizoram, Jammu & Kashmir, Meghalaya and Chhattisgarh.
The projects are to be implemented in these states at a total cost of approximately Rs. 108 crore funded under the National Adaptation Fund on Climate Change (NAFCC).
Few salient points of the projects are:
- ‘Resilient Agricultural Households through Adaptation to Climate Change in Mahbubnagar district, Telangana' is a project worth Rs. 25 crore for four years, with the objective of enhance the climate resilient agriculture for improving livelihoods, particularly that of small and marginal farmers. 30% to 50% of women will be overall beneficiary under the project.
- With focus on micro-nutrients and institutional interventions ,‘Climate Resilient Sustainable Agriculture in Rain fed Farming (Kandi) Areas of Jammu & Kashmir' aims at reduction in the agricultural vulnerability of farmers in water stressed zones with focus on integrated farming systems.
- ‘Climate Adaptation in Wetlands along the Mahanadi River Catchment Area in Chhattisgarh' aims to promote water conservation, demand side management as a major adaptation strategy and include switching over of 1,500 farmers from commercial farming to climate smart agriculture practices.
- The project from Mizoram titled "Sustainable agriculture development through expansion, enhancement and modelling in the state of Mizoram" will enhance resilience of agriculture covering crops, livestock and fisheries through development and application of improved production and risk management technologies.
- ‘Spring-shed development works for rejuvenation of springs for climate resilient development in the water stressed areas of Meghalaya' seeks to maintain and improve the integrity of the natural water bodies.
US President supports Indian energy needs:
US President Barack Obama called for the need of passing clean coal technology to countries like India and China, which rely on coal, heavily, for power generation.
"In order to grow the economy, we have got to have energy. In fact, there are countries like India where it is even more desperate," Obama said in his address to the Democratic Governors at the White House adding that this is not an either/or issue. Energy production and dealing with climate change will have to go hand in hand.
Noting that technology and research and development are accelerating rapidly, the President said thanks to the Paris climate change agreement there would be more investment from the private sector that would accelerate progress even more.
Bill Gates on India's energy paradox:
Acknowledging India's need for electrification coupled with the fact that there is acute poverty in the country, Bill Gates has said that to meet the power requirements India will be burning a lot of coal.
Stating that very poor countries should be unconstrained, Gates said: "If they can figure out how to get power with coal or natural gas, they should go ahead because they are so poor and they have not emitted any of the greenhouse gases that are up there."
The richest man in the world, Gates himself has announced of investing $1 billion in clean energy projects and is hopeful that a new technology for producing clean energy at very low cost will resolve this extremely thorny problem for economies like India.
Prime Minister challenges students to find solutions:
While addressing the convocation ceremony of the Benares Hindu University (BHU) Prime Minister Narendra Modi called out to the students to come up with solutions to the climate and energy challenges these through innovation and research.
"I want to throw this challenge before young men and women of this country. Come up with innovations that may help the world in bringing down temperatures a bit, help the humanity overcome the grave energy crisis it is likely to face if renewable and sustainable alternative sources are not found," said the Prime Minister addressing the gathering of BHU scholars and academics.
Emphasizing on the need for research and innovation, Shri Modi also said that we need technology that can help us realize the goal of increasing our solar energy output, thereby making use of clean energy and reducing carbon emissions.
Climate change threatens bee community:
Recently, researchers have cautioned against the loss of honey bees previously found in abundance in the Nilgiris mountain range in southern India, adding that this may become disastrous for the whole ecosystem if not tackled at the earliest.
Attributing the sharp decline in the populations of the giant rock bee (Apis dorsata) to the changing rainfall patterns which has caused droughts and loss of many species of trees and flowers, scientists have also blamed it on tourism causing forest land to be lost and become covered in concrete.
Dr S Manivanan, a senior scientist at the Central Soil and Water Conservation Research & Training Institute, opined that the government should stop approving construction on steep slopes.
"It is visible that climate change has affected agriculture and the food chain in Nilgiris. The yield of vegetables and fruits is very low because of inadequate moisture content in the soil. Changes such as heavy rainfall in unseasonable months and severe water shortages at regular intervals indicate climate change," said Manivanan.