Indian National Climate Research agenda released - GulfToday

Indian National Climate Research agenda released


Illustrative image.

India’s National Climate Research agenda was released at the inauguration of the two-day International Climate Research Conclave (ICRC-2023) recently, with the aim to coordinate national efforts towards understanding and addressing climate change 2030 and beyond.

As per the official press release, during the release function, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology (DST), Dr. S. Chandrasekhar, highlighted that the damage caused by climate change has already taken its toll, and our response has been delayed. He pointed out that valuable lessons to tackle the situation can be taken from our experiences of positive changes in the environment due to altered human behaviour during the COVID-19 pandemic. He said these serve as a reminder that if we act responsibly, there is a real possibility of passing on a sustainable planet to future generations.

Climate scientists are not solely responsible for solving climate change. “It is a collective responsibility that extends to all individuals and sectors of society. Climate change is influenced by peripheral activities surrounding climate science, and it becomes the duty of scientists to identify the areas that have the most significant impact on the climate and work towards mitigating them,” Dr Chandrasekhar stressed.

“By acknowledging the collective responsibility and adopting sustainable practices across various sectors, we can make meaningful progress in mitigating climate change and preserving a healthy planet for future generations. It is a call to action for everyone to play their part in creating a more sustainable and resilient world,” he added while releasing the report on “India’s Climate Research Agenda: 2030 & Beyond’.

Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Dr. M. Ravichandran, emphasised the importance of understanding the cryosphere and the implications of climate change. He highlighted the importance of formulating policy decisions to address various aspects such as water resources, extreme rainfall, heat waves, and marine waves. These complexities need to be quantified and communicated with reduced uncertainty to facilitate better policy decision-making.

Dr. Ravichandran underscored the interconnectedness between different regions and bodies, including the Arctic, Antarctic, and Himalayas, as they directly impact water bodies. Recognizing this, the conclave aims to generate a multitude of recommendations that will benefit the country as a whole. “This conclave serves as a platform to discuss and propose recommendations that will contribute to effective policy formulation. By addressing these complex challenges and providing actionable insights, the conclave aims to enhance policy decision-making and benefit the nation as a whole in its quest for a more sustainable and resilient future,” he added.

Dr. Akhilesh Gupta, Senior Adviser, DST and Secretary, Science Engineering Research Board (SERB) referred to the progress made over the years and said that today, there are not only 12 Centers of Excellence but also 20 major progammes dedicated to climate change research. This extensive network encompasses a staggering 1400 institutes where climate change studies and research take place, with recent expansions to private institutions.

He added, “The conclave serves as a platform for collaboration, knowledge sharing, and setting the course for future research endeavours, all in pursuit of a more sustainable and resilient future.”

Over 200 climate scientists, students, experts, and policymakers from various parts of the country and around the globe participated in the Conclave and discussed India’s recent progress in climate research and its agenda and vision for 2030. The conclave also addressed a long-term research agenda for the country in the priority areas of climate research and plans for creating a Climate Consortium of several departments and ministries facilitating climate research.

States will have to formulate local climate adaptation plans, which will help create an expansive database on the impact of climate crisis, according to a Hindustan Times report on this agenda. The report adds that the DST has said in a proposal as pointed out by officials that all states need to formulate climate adaptation plans by studying the impacts of global warming and understanding how volatile microclimates causes extreme weather events. As part of India’s national climate research agenda, states will have to formulate local climate adaptation plans, which will help create an expansive database on impacts of climate crisis and preventive measure to adapt to increased instances in the future. The Department in its proposal has highlighted that local climate adaptation plans will be essential for fast and effective coordination and dissemination of forecasting information up to the panchayat level in the local language and fine-tune monitoring for effective implementation, compliance and feedback for further improvement. More thrust is required to reach remote locations in a timebound manner.

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