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

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms 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.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid