Monday, May 12, 2014

Meeting discusses Climate Change Adaptation Programme in NER

GANGTOK, 09 May: A meeting was held at Conference Hall, Mannan Kendra on 08 May regarding the GIZ-supported Climate Change Adaptation Programme in North Eastern Region (CCANER) with Officials of German Technical Cooperation (GIZ), Embassy of Germany and the nodal department of Climate change adaptation programme in Sikkim, Department of Science and Technology and Climate Change.
A press release informs that the meeting was chaired by Development Commissioner, Department of Personnel and Economic Reforms, N. Yethenpa. The officials from various line departments like Forests and Wildlife Management Department, Rural Management and Development Department, Agriculture Department, SIMFED, Land Revenue and Disaster Management Department, Human Resource Development Department, Tourisms and Civil Aviations Department, Urban Development and Housing Department, Department of Personnel and Economic Reforms, Irrigation Department, Animal Husbandry, PHE department were also present during the meeting.
At the outset of the meeting, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology and Climate Change, S.K Shilal welcomed Dr. Helga Fink [Project Director CCANER], Heiko Warnllen [Head, Development Cooperation, Embassy of Germany] and all the line departmental Officials of Sikkim and thanked GIZ, MoDONER [Government of India] for providing technical support for the entire Climate Change programme starting from Formulation of State Action plan on Climate change for Sikkim, Climate change adaptation measures and Awareness and Capacity building programme on climate change issues.
Mr. Shilal also briefed the works undertaken by GIZ, like training and capacity building in terms of climate change and disaster Risk reduction, programme on Oak regeneration in Sikkim, preparation of disaster management plan, where GLOFs, Landslides etc are the key concerns in Sikkim.
During the meeting, Special Secretary from RMDD, Dr. Sandeep Tambe briefed the work undertaken by him in terms of water security. Dr. Tambe stated that they are working on ground water recharge in Tendong, South Sikkim with a technical support from GIZ, Germany. He also focused on the Gram Panchayat involvement on water security Plan and informed that implementation of micro-scheme in water resource management is very crucial in context of present climate change. Mr. Heiko [Head Development Cooperation] appreciated the works carried out by Dr. Tambe, the release mentions.
Chief Conservator of Forests, FEWMD, Pradeep Kumar spoke on the importance of regeneration of Oak in Sikkim. Mr Kumar suggested undertaking the Niche Modeling for oak and use of very good resolution climate change models to study climate influenced distribution of Oak in the future. Use of Microwave SAR images, which penetrate the cloud, is very good for Oak mapping, he further stated.
Dr. Helga suggested studies pertaining to change in distribution of oak over the years and stressed on the importance of having a clear picture of species distribution of Oak in Sikkim. Mr. Heiko added that grazing also affects the regeneration of oak and that should also be taken care off.
Officials from SIMFED informed that marketing of organic products is a problem in the state, so tackling these issues is of great concern. Mr. Heiko appreciated the initiatives taken by Sikkim to become an organic state and further spoke on the importance of green economy. He also discussed the IPPC climate projections for the temperature increase in different climate change scenarios, which will bring catastrophic decrease in agriculture production, the release adds.
Discussions were also held on Green Index, which measures sustainable development in terms of climate change.
Officials from HRDD shared their views on school level awareness on climate change and disaster management wherein Dr. Helga informed about the Capacity Building programme implemented for North Eastern states.
Joint Chief Town planner from UD&HD, Dinker Gurung focused on the UNDP programme and Rajiv Awas Yojna (Govt. of India) where they are working on relocation of slums and also on the programme of Mountain City in Pakyong.  Mr Gurung urged for technical support from GIZ in this context for expert deliberation.
In the meeting, Dr. Helga also informed that Sikkim asked GIZ, Germany to look after disaster management in terms of GLOFs, Landslides, Floods, and earthquakes in their upcoming programme. DST&CC,S Secretary, Mr. Shilal requested the GIZ for long term technical support in terms of climate change adaptation programme in Sikkim.
In her key note address, Development Commissioner, Department of Personnel and Economic Reforms, N. Yethenpa thanked Dr. Heiko and Dr. Helga Fink, GIZ for the economic as well as technical support from GIZ and urged all the officials to contribute on the adaptation strategies in all the issues of climate change. Ms Yethenpa focused on recent indicators of climate change in Sikkim like rise in temperature, expansion of lakes, and probability of glacial lakes outburst floods (GLOFs).
The meeting concluded with the vote of thanks by DG Shrestha [Additional Director, Department of Science and Technology. Sikkim].

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