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Climate change: Water resource management need of the hour, says expert
IFP Bureau | First Published: November 15, 2019 00:53:51 am
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IFP Bureau | IMPHAL

‘Manipur State Legislator’s Dialogue Towards a Climate Resilient Manipur’ was held on Thursday at Imperial hall, Classic Grande to provide the much needed platform for the legislators and policymakers to deliberate on implications of climate change in Manipur.

The programme was organised by Manipur Forum for Sustainable Mountain Development (MFSMD) and Integrated Mountain Initiative (IMI) in support of Indian Himalayan Climate Adaptation Programme (IHCAP), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and department of Science and Technology (DST), government of India.

Briefing about the programme, secretary, Integrated Mountain Initiative (IMI) Fantry Mein Jaswal, said, climate change is one of the biggest challenges faced today and it has a direct impact on the livelihood of communities. 

This concern is especially central to hilly communities which rely heavily on natural resources and farming activities, she said. IMI has recognised the importance of policy influence and advocacy as means of affecting sustainable, systematic change in the mountain states and has been at the forefront of policy advocacy efforts, she stated.   

Water resource management is the need of the hour in Manipur with frequent flooding of valley areas, flash floods in the hills, degraded water sheds in the upper ridges of rivers, destruction of river basins causing serious challenge to agricultural productivity and affecting livelihoods, she noted. 

The dialogue will engage legislators, senior government officials, researchers and practitioners on measure taken by government towards climate change adaptation, responses of communities, challenges and policy recommendations for further actions, she further said.         

She also presented survey reports of climate change in Himalayan ranges and climate change projections for Manipur.

Professor, Centre for Sustainable Technologies, Indian institute of Science, Bengaluru, N H Ravindranath, said that Manipur is moderately vulnerable to climate change. In the last few years, Manipur has faced high rainfall, he said while adding increasing rainfall is more dangerous than shortage of rain. 

It is high time to take up measures to mitigate the effects of extreme high rainfall because biggest challenge of climate change is too much water, he noted. The changes what we are facing can happen anytime when not expected, he added. 

Science policy officer, Indian Himalayan Climate Adaptation Programme (IHCAP), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Embassy of Switzerland, Divya Mohan, also gave a presentation on climate resiliency. 

Deputy director, Directorate of Environment and Climate Change, T Brajakumar gave a presentation on state action policy against climate change in Manipur. 

Manipur is rich in biodiversity with 76.1 percent forest coverage, he said. About 2.85 percent of total geographical area (TGA) is under wetlands, the state had 541 wetlands now 167 wetlands remains. About 47 percent of springs and catchment areas have dried up. 

The State is facing challenges on rain fed agriculture due to climate change, he said. It has put restrictions in single cropping farming and caused failure of agriculture at hills, he further said adding livelihood issues have increased. Climate change have caused destruction of natural resources in the State and put challenges in food security and health he added. 

He also gave a presentation on action taken up in sector of water resource, agriculture, and forest, and appealed for inputs from the stakeholders to strengthen the policies and plans of the State.

The programme was attended by Lok Sabha MP (inner) RK Ranjan, MP (outer), Lorho Pfoze, PHED minister, L Dikho, chairman, Hill Areas Committee Manipur and representative from ADC, TT Haokip.

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