Climate change: Need for ‘one state, one data mission’

Correspondent KOHIMA, AUG 9 (NPN): | Publish Date: 8/10/2018 12:00:00 AM IST

Nagaland chief secretary Temjen Toy said one of the biggest challenges for a mountainous and agrarian State like Nagaland vis-à-vis climate change would be its impact on agriculture and infrastructure. 

To meet these challenges, he said one would have to strongly rely on good and consistent data. He, however, lamented that the data Nagaland had were of “poor quality, inconsistent and at times unreliable”.
Addressing the orientation programme on climate change adaptation held for senior government officials at Hotel Vivor here on Thursday, the chief secretary said without good data, proper planning or evidence-based policy making would be difficult.
He called for giving proper attention to data management and its generation on a priority basis as “we need to embark on one State one data mission”.
To prepare for any eventuality, Toy said there must be convergence of policies, plans, activities and even finances. 
He asked the government officials to question the current growth pattern, whether it was sustainable and growing in the right tangent, keeping in mind the environment, and whether it was focused on capitalizing on the strengths and opportunities.
Temjen Toy also wondered whether the education system was geared to bring up new generation of not just engineers and doctors, “but also conscious and responsible global citizens”.
Asserting that climate change could not be met by piecemeal solutions, Toy said it must be through convergence and collaborative actions that were both innovative. He stressed the need for becoming realistic by not just remaining blinded by data, statistics, economics or science alone. 
Toy stressed on “climate proofing” for development which, he said, was a tool designed to support integration of climate change impacts as well as awareness on the challenges and opportunities in development planning at national and local levels.
He said national policies like National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) along with State Action Plan on Climate Change (SAPCC) should guide the nation and the States in planning strategies and development activities.  
Toy opined that architects, town planners and engineers should focus attention on climate proofing, the practice of making buildings and infrastructure usable, if changes to environment continued. To cite and instance, he referred to Canada where “cooling centres” had been set up for extreme heat with free travel tokens available to those who need to reach the centres in a hurry.
Likewise in the USA, he said generators for city halls had been moved to higher grounds in case of large scale flooding and people were being encouraged to paint building roofs white in order to increase reflection of the city and thus cool it down.
In Rajasthan, he said people had started promoting climate resilient farming system and diversification of livelihoods by engaging communities and their associations in concrete adaptation pathway.
He said climate proofing was not just consigned to buildings and infrastructure, but that the term could be stretched to include any mitigating action taken in preparation for changing climate.  
In her brief remark, Divya Mohan from Indian Himalayas Climate Adaptation Programme (IHCAP) said climate change was a growing concern for the world as it was impacting natural resources, ecosystem and communities.
In her welcome address, commissioner & secretary Dellirose M Sakhire spoke about Nagaland State Climate Change Cell (NSCCC) and its objectives.
The programme was attended by senior government officials of various departments.
The event was organized by NSCCC under Nagaland Science and Technology Council (NASTEC), the nodal department of science & technology, in collaboration with climate change cells of 12 Himalayan States.

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