KU VC chairs first meeting of Working Group on Climate Change
Experts urge greater focus on mitigation and adaptation strategies
Srinagar: Vice-Chancellor of University of Kashmir Prof Talat Ahmad on Tuesday chaired the first meeting of a Working Group on Climate Change constituted by the varsity to address pressing concerns and challenges related to it.
Addressing the WG members from academia, government and civil society, Prof Talat said it’s important for everyone, especially youngsters, to understand climate change and how it’s going to impact various aspects of life in future.
“Kashmir has a fragile ecosystem where climate change is going to impact almost everything in future. It’s therefore important to involve youngsters in raising awareness about the short-term and long-term impacts of climate change,” he said, asserting that a lot of anthropogenic activities—unplanned industrialisation, biomass burning, deforestation, increase in traffic—are acting as catalysts for lots of environmental problems.
He said that it’s equally important to involve social scientists to disseminate the scientific findings among the masses.
“Any development taking place must lead to betterment of lives and should not, in any manner, adversely impact our ecology and ecosystem. Development has to be done in a manner that suits nature so that there’s no imbalance,” he said.
Prof Romshoo said the Government of India has allocated Rs 50000 crore in the union budget for National Research Foundation under National Education Policy-2020 with its prime focus on climate change.
Prof Mohammad Sultan from KU’s Department of Geography and Disaster Management called for undertaking micro-level impact assessment studies on impact of climate change on water resources in view of the significant depletion of ground water resources over the years.
Iftikhar Ahmad Kakroo, Chief Engineer I&FC Department Kashmir, called for doing away with misconceptions related to climate change, while understanding the importance of reliability of data on its key aspects.
Prof Nilofar Khan, Director, Institute of Home Sciences called for involvement of women at community-level to raise awareness on immediate concerns pertaining to climate change, while Prof Mohammad Shafi, Director of KU’s CCPC, said climate financing is important to develop short and long-term adaptation and mitigation strategies.
Development practitioner and civil society member Arjimand Hussain Talib said KU has an important role to play in addressing climate change concerns.
Sakib Qadri, environmental activist from the civil society, emphasised the need for developing a comprehensive framework for addressing the climate change impacts on various sectors in the mountainous Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions.
Dr Shazia from KU’s Department of Social Work (DoSW) said climate change has to be viewed from the prism of heterogeneity, especially its impact on women at different levels.
Sonam Lotus, Director IMD Srinagar, said it’s important to ensure that the recommendations of this Working Group are implemented at the policy-planning level. He said IMD would support the Working Group initiatives seriously for better outcomes.