Experts warn against interference in nature

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Panaji, Oct 19 (UNI) Environmental experts today warned people against interfering with the nature, giving rise to global warming and subsequent increase in sea level with several disastrous socio-economic consequences.

The impetus of the global warming could be felt in all the coastal regions across the world, including India where about 17 cities/towns from Porbandar to Mumbai and Kolkota were the most vulnerable, according to experts.

They were participating in the two-day national media workshop on ''Will we lose our cities to the raging seas?'' held at the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) complex here.

The workshop, being attended by 30 journalists from across the country including Goa, was organised by Goa Marathi Patrakar Sangh in collaborartion with the NIO, the World Wildlife Fund, besides the Goa Government.

Inaugurating the workshop earlier, Chief Minister Digambar Kamat had hinted at constituting a committee of experts to study the impact of sea level rise in the state as a result of global warming.

He had also stressed the need for taking all remedial measures to cope with the challenges owing to sea level rise.

India with 5700-km coastline is one of the 27 most vulnerable countries facing sea level rise, threatening several coastal cities witnessing rapid unscientific urbanisation, according to Goa University faculty member Nandkumar Kamat.

More than 25 per cent of the world population living along the coastlines were bound to face the deluge if the warning signal was ignored by the planners, he said.

The global mean sea level rose at least by 10 CMS in the 20th century and the trend continues.

The Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had projected that the global average sea level rise would be 1.4 metres by the year 2100, he said.

Noted environmentalist Claude Alvaris said sea level rise means wiping of economy in Goa, a half of which depends on beach tourism.

More than 60 per cent of the population living along the 105 km coast in the state would be affected due to sea level rise, he added.

He regretted efforts of the Centre to do away with the CRZ notification due to pressure of the builders lobby which would spell disaster for the country.

While Dr Savita Kerkar of the Goa University deplored rapid depletion of salt pans following urbanisation, Dr Kasturi Dessaqi bemoaned shrinking of sand dunes and attendant vegatation.

WWF expert Dr Arvind Untawale expressed concern over shrinking mangroves due to land reclamation and human greed. He recalled how the WWF had started preserving 65 species of mangroves at Kalibanki in Orissa by the National Mangrove germplasm preservation Centre.

Similar preservation centres all over the country for preserving sand dune vegations, sea weeds, corals, and other natural habitats on the lines of the ''sacred groves'' was the need of the hour, he said.

NIO experts Dr B S Ingole, Dr A S Unnikrishnan and Dr D Shankar explained in detail how human activities had been depleting the quality of the sea and interfering with the climatic cycle affecting ethnic life and subsequent food chain.


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