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

Beijing Warns Hong Kong Protesters, Cracks Down at Home

In suppressing protest news, China reportedly has arrested more than 20 people on the mainland who acted in support of Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters More

Competing Goals Could Frustrate Efforts to Fight Islamic State

As alliances shift and countries re-define themselves, analysts say long-standing goals of some key players in Middle East may soon compete with Western goals More

Child Sexual Exploitation to Worsen in SE Asia

Southeast Asia’s planned economic integration is a key step for boosting the region’s productivity, but carries downsides as well 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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid