The India Pavilion on Thursday witnessed two major side events on Climate Change Adaptability, organised by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation (MoWR, RD & GR) and The Ministry of Agriculture.
The opening session, “Climate Change Adaptation – Preserving Water Resources” was moderated by Advisor, Ministry of Water Resources, RD & GR Dr.M.Satyanarayana,. He introduced the topic and briefly outlined the water resources scenario in India and made a presentation on the National Water Mission. He highlighted the initiatives taken by National Water Mission, established by the Government of India under the National Action Plan on Climate Change formulated by the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change for adaptation and mitigation of impact of climate change on water resources in particular and elaborated on various goals of the NWM and emphasized the achievements of the Mission in the sphere of integrated water resource management and development.
Member (Finance), Central Ground Water Board and Mission Director, NWM Dr.Ariz Ahammed Mahammed, explained various traditional forms of water conservation as a strategy for climate change adaptation and gave details of Aquifer Mapping of Ground Water Resources. Later, Joint Secretary (Policy and Planning), MoWR, RD & GR, Mr. Sanjay Kundu, highlighted various initiatives taken under the National Mission for Clean Ganga for maintaining ecological flows, ensuring water quality, infrastructure development such as establishment of effluent treatment plants and sewage treatment plants etc. He further elaborated on the role of people’s participation in Namami Gange programme and informed that the MoWR, RD & GR is working in partnership with various central ministries, state governments and national and international organizations in this gigantic task.
Scientist, National Institute of Hydrology informed that the Indian National Committee on Climate Change Dr.Sharad Jain, has initiated a number of studies for assessing the impact of climate change on water sector by downscaling the global circulation models to region models basin-wise.
The second session for the day, hosted by Ministry of Agriculture, was held under the chairmanship of Dr. V. Usha Rani, Director General, MANAGE, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India. She shared that through various policy initiatives and efforts around afforestation, food security, waste reduction, employment for agriculture labours, sustainable agriculture; the Government is trying to keep pace with the time and mitigate severe impacts of climate changes in agriculture.
Representing Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Dr. Rath, provided a detailed presentation on various policies and schemes of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, on integrated farming systems, agro-forestry, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana and integration of various departmental activities like irrigation, agriculture, rural development is ensured.
Dr. VP Sharma of MANAGE made the presentation of District Level Contingency Plans to deal with changing climatic scenarios. While, Mr. Navin from GIZ presented about innovative approaches on knowledge and advisories management to help farmers adapt to climate changes using simple ICT tools. Dr.Kirit N.Shelat and V.V. Sadamate made a presentation on success story from Gujarat on taking agriculture knowledge to farmers involving various stakeholders and taking innovative extension methods to reach out large number of farmers. Festive like approaches (farmer fairs) were effectively organized. This resulted in attaining almost 10% growth rate in agriculture in Gujarat.
While concluding, the chairperson mentioned that culture plays a key role in agriculture in India and to deal with climate changes. She reiterated that the way forward is to establish networks and collaborations among passionate people who are concerned and working relentlessly for safeguarding farmers from climate change and ensuring food to all global citizens.
The presentations were followed by discussion and participants actively participated. The session was well attended and it presented various initiatives of the two Ministries to the international community, which were well-appreciated.