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NE should work out collective plan: Expert


GUWAHATI, June 6 - The NE states should prepare a collective action plan for mitigating the adverse impacts of climate change by involving all the stakeholders.

This was the observation made by renowned Assam-born climate expert and present Director of the ICRC-National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies (ICRC-NISTADS) Prof Prashanta Goswami. He was talking to this correspondent on the sidelines of a two-day NE regional conclave on the emerging technologies for clean energy at Cotton University campus here today. The conclave has been jointly organised by the ICRC-NISTADS and the Interdiscipline Climate Research Centre, of Cotton University.

Prof Goswami, a recipient of the 2001 Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar award in earth and planetary sciences for his fundamental contributions towards climate and environmental modelling, said while the Government of India (GoI) has active policy and a number of initiatives towards tackling the impacts of climate change, the NE region of the country with its unique climate and geography needs additional planning and measures which seems to be lacking till date.

The efforts of various academic institutions of the NE region in this respect are very often sub-critical and without being focused. Quite often, their projects are short-term ones with small funding. They are seemed to be without sustained long-term policy, said Prof Goswami.

It has now been established that the weather-related extreme events have increased in frequency and intensity. This phenomenon will have adverse impacts on agriculture, biodiversity, etc. Extreme events will affect our water availability and this will affect the flora and fauna species. In this respect, the NE region is more vulnerable.

He maintained that manifestation and impacts of climate change varies from region to region, depending on their local condition and practices. The areas which are mostly agricultural will feel higher impacts. Likewise, water-stressed regions will also feel much adverse impacts.

The GoI is doing reasonably well in meeting its global commitments in matters of climate change. It all depends on the local policy and initiatives of the NE states as to make them benefited from these initiatives, he maintained.

When his attention was drawn to the virtual lack of initiatives by the Assam Government in this regard, Prof Goswami said, �Assam needs to make a careful assessment of its preparedness and initiatives to adapt to climate change.�

But here, he said, in reply to a question, certain topics like agriculture, health and water resources are primary subjects and these are likely to be strongly affected by climate change. Therefore, states need to be pro-active in designing the mitigation policies and measures as well.

Funds for such projects can be availed from agencies like the World Bank. However, professionally developed proposals with proper feasibility studies and impact analysis are required to avail such funds, he asserted.

Globally, reduction in greenhouse gas emission and more use of renewable energy has been considered as the effective strategy to mitigate the adverse impacts of climate change. Country-wise, the stress will be on developing climate resilient crops, which are not much sensitive to climate change, he said.

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