News / Asia

Indian States Share Climate Change Action Plans

Tourists look at clouds hanging over Chandra Taal Lake in the Lahoul & Spiti district, in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, July 15, 2009.
Tourists look at clouds hanging over Chandra Taal Lake in the Lahoul & Spiti district, in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, July 15, 2009.
Aru Pande
Earlier this year, the World Bank warned warming global temperatures would pose a significant risk to India, causing extreme drought in some areas and extreme flooding in others.  Indian officials this week are meeting with global industry leaders to exchange ideas on how to fight climate change and encourage sustainable development.

Sudripta Roy, the chief secretary of Himachal Pradesh said he has not had to look too far to witness the effects of climate change. Roy has conducted aerial surveys and found the glaciers in his northern, mountainous Indian state are receding at an alarming level.

A recent government survey estimated the amount of deglaciation at 21 percent in the last 50 years.

“I used to fly about 20 or 25 years ago, the number of lakes we used to see were much fewer in number," he said. "The lakes have gone up, that means that the ice is melting and the lakes have been formed. And whenever the lakes break down, they will come down into the catchment, and they are five or six major rivers that flow, and we can have floods.”

Roy is one of several officials from across India who are gathering in New Delhi this week to outline their climate change mitigation plans, while also learning from other city and state governments, private companies and the World Bank.

Experts say, while no two Indian states are the same, they can work together to find solutions to water shortages and drops in crop yields - potential challenges the World Bank says India faces if the world’s average temperatures increase between two and four degrees centigrade by the end of this century.

The World Bank report Turn Down the Heat, which was released in June, says climate change will make India’s summer monsoon season highly unpredictable, leaving some areas underwater while others are left with too little water for irrigation, power generation, or consumption.

World Bank Climate Change Practice Manager Neeraj Prasad said some states are already putting in place industrial and agricultural practices that help protect against climate change and minimize the impact on the environment.  He said these lessons are being shared beyond India’s borders to nations in Southeast Asia and Africa.

“Things like systemic rice intensification - increasing rice production, making do with less - less land, less water. Lessons that have been tested and run efficiently in places like [the Indian states of] Andra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are now being used in Kenya,” he said.

Officials like Prasad and Roy say as one of the world’s emerging economies, India does not have to sacrifice growth for environmental sustainability.  They say smart growth is possible and getting that message to industry and communities even at the grass-root level is key.

"The aspirations of the people are very high, they want to develop, they want to grow, and they want to create more and more buildings, infrastructure, schools, colleges, and hospitals. All of these are very important for a good quality of life, at the same time, if it comes into conflict with the environment, that is the challenge which is where to balance,” said Roy.

For the chief secretary of a state located in the Himalayan Mountains, not meeting the challenge could mean lives lost if and when the next natural disaster hits.

You May Like

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As tumult in Middle East distracts Obama administration, efforts to shift American focus eastward appear threatened More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Towni
X
Deborah Block
September 21, 2014 2:12 PM
A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid