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J&K third most-flood-prone state in India: Experts

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Srinagar, Jul 09: Asserting that the Himalayan region is one of the most vulnerable mountain systems in the world, climate experts Tuesday informed that Jammu and Kashmir is the third most-flood-prone state in the country.

This information was shared during a three-day workshop on the sensitization of media persons in the area of climate change and to engage them on climate change adaptation, which commenced here today.

The workshop themed ‘Climate Change Reporting in the Himalayas’ is being jointly organized by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Centre for Media Studies (CMS) and Indian Himalayas Climate Adaptation Programme (IHCAP) of Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). Ten such workshops have already been conducted in various states in India.

The experts informed that the Indian Himalayan region is one of the most vulnerable mountain systems in the world. “Jammu and Kashmir is the third most-flood-prone state in the country,” they said while adding that if effective measures are taken in time, it may be possible to prevent further degradation of the ecosystem.

The inaugural session of the workshop was attended by Director, Department of Ecology Environment and Remote Sensing, B. Siddhartha Kumar; Director, Indian Meteorological Department, Srinagar, Sonam Lotus; and resource persons from different government institutions and NGOs. Besides, dozens of journalists from various parts of Jammu and Kashmir, working with local, national and international media and the researchers from Kashmir University attended the workshop.

In his address, B. Siddhartha Kumar while speaking on global warming, said that environmental degradation through deforestation and other practices are the main cause.

He hoped that these workshops will enhance the capacity of environmental journalists and help them to highlight climate change adaptation issues in local and regional context.

On the occasion, media manual for journalists -- ‘Himalayas, Climate Change and the Media’ was also released.

In the first technical session, Sonam Lotus spoke on climate change – trends, adaptation and mitigation strategies with special emphasis on J&K.

Lotus urged the journalists to stop attributing every normal environmental process to climate change. “Many times journalists attribute the heavy rain or thunder to climate change, but these things have been happening from the early times and have no linkage to climate change. Sometimes there may be some connection, but not always,” he said.

Nodal officer and Scientific Assistant, Department of Ecology Environment and Remote Sensing, Majid Farooq gave the overview of the State Action Plan on climate change.

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