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Climate change in NE, Panelist says Nagas lack awareness on climate change
Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, DEC 17 (NPN):
Published on 18 Dec. 2010 12:05 AM IST
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The Northeastern part of India, despite being a treasure trove of flora and fauna, has no in depth study on climate change so far. The abysmal news for all environmentalists was brought forth at the ‘Food security vis- a-vis climate change’ symposium being held at the NE Marketing summit, NE Agri Expo 2010 during Plenary session III on Friday.
Climate change leader, Ella Mary lamented on the lack of climate change awareness among the Naga people and unavailability of consistent data and said that the mountain ecosystems which were sensitive to global warming were already projecting species in high altitudes either shifting higher, habitat loss or extinction. She added that the most affected were the vulnerable poor who mostly depended on subsistence agriculture. Some of the vulnerable sectors pointed out by her included the land – soil, water resources, forests, biodiversity – ecosystems, agriculture– agro biodiversity, rural livelihood and health. Stating that the poor have been handling risks in diverse ways, Mary commented that most of them go unnoticed, uncoordinated and unaided by policy makers or agencies.
She suggested measures such as scaling up water conservation and management, strengthening local adaptive capacity through better climate information, exploring innovative risk-sharing instruments such as index-based insurance schemes, promoting (high value- low input) local products such as medicinal plants, horti, and honey, facilitating and supporting community managed forests, improving and adapting on traditional system of community land management and selecting climate change resilient varieties for cultivation, crop diversification.
Sharing excerpts of her interaction with the villagers, Mary highlighted on the geographical location and livelihood activities which was basically land-based and said that it reflected the strong attachment of the Nagas with land.
Director ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region Dr. S.V. Ngachan who gave a powerpoint presentation on the topic ‘climate proofing of agriculture in North east India’ also lamented on the lack of in depth study on the impact of climatic changes within the region.
Calling for a decisive direction shift at the policy level, Dr Ngachan pointed out that the most effective way to address climate change was to adopt a sustainable development pathway, besides using renewable energy, forest and water conservation, reforestation etc. He also further added that awareness and educational programmes for the growers, modification of present agricultural practices and greater use of efficient and eco-friendly green house technology as some of the solutions to minimize the effect of climate change.
Giving an example on the effect of climatic change on agriculture production, Dr Ngachan informed that the year 2002 and 2009 were classic example on how the food grain production was adversely affected by a fall of about 20 percent than previous years.
The other speakers who also shared their views included the executive director of Future Generation, Arunachal Pradesh Dr Tage Kanno and village council chairman of Kanjshou khel, Tuensang village Nasat Yimjung. The workshop was attended by host of officials both from all the NE regions, farmers and experts from various fields.
(With inputs from DIPR)

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