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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid