Regional workshop on Mainstreaming Climate Change in Disaster Risk

Gangtok, 09 May (IPR): Two-daylong regional workshop on Mainstreaming Climate Change in Disaster Risk with special reference to Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF) and Forest Fire in the Himalayas concluded today. The valedictory programme of the workshop was graced by Chief Secretary, A.K. Shrivastava. He was accompanied by PCCF cum Principal Secretary Forest Department, Thomas Chandy, State Relief Commissioner cum Secretary, Land Revenue & Disaster Management Department, Tsegyal Tashi, Vice Chairman of Sikkim State Disaster Management Authority (SSDMA), Prof. V.K. Sharma, experts and delegates.

While delivering his valedictory address, Chief Secretary, Mr. Shrivastava, said “Sikkim is known for its unique bio-diversity, but at the same time is prone to multi-hazards like earthquakes, landslides, frequent rainfall.”

He added that Urban areas are also becoming vulnerable to various hazards, with Climate changing every year the problems get only compounded. He informed that the Sikkim State Plans for Climate Change states that the average temperature increased by 1.8ºC to 2ºC which is alarming in the sense that Sikkim has very little role to play in global carbon emission but has to bear the brunt. Due to effect of climate change there will rise in intensity of rainfall in Himalayan state. We must be prepared for these extreme weather events at the same time to plan ahead and focus should be on use of technology and knowledge.

He expressed happiness that this workshop has brought experts, academicians, researchers, government functionaries and climate change practitioners all under one roof to discuss encompassing issues. He however stated that more multi-sectoral intervention needs to be done to built resilience at all level.

“The State Action Plan is a good document to built resilience in every sector. Due to Climate Change we are facing several disasters like forest fire, Glacial Lake Outburst Flood, landslides etc. And I hope that this two days workshop will benefit entire Himalayan region,” said Mr. Shrivastava.

The two-daylong workshop was mainly focused on Mitigation of Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF) risk with developing a workable and dynamic EWS with integrated weather station of GLOF in the state and also to develop a forest fire mitigation strategy by bringing in experts to interact with stakeholders to come up with an augmentation plan for the forest fire take force with special focus on mapping of fire prone region with early detection.

Summarizing the proceedings of two days workshop, Vice Chairman, SSDMA, Prof. Sharma, informed that many new recommendations came out from this workshop.

“We are planning how many glacial lakes and how much our glacial lakes are in vulnerable condition, how much will be impact and which can be mitigating on time. SSDMA is having future plan, we are thinking for five to ten years ahead. Whatever recommendation from this workshop we will certainly incorporate in other capacity building programmes and district level plans,” he added.

Prof. Sharma informed that SSDMA is working with proper coordination with various state and centre agencies from past several years and have got very good results.

Earlier, PCCF cum Principal Secretary, Forest, Mr. Chandy, said that whatever recommendations were made by the experts from this regional workshop would definitely help the State to overcome the problems related to disasters and also enable the state to be prepared to tackles disasters better.

State Relief Commissioner cum Secretary, LR&DM Department, Mr. Tashi, said that the two-daylong deliberation educated everyone and have also yielded positive results which will help to tackle disasters in future.

The valedictory function was also addressed by Central Water Commission Chief Engineer, Ravi Shankar, Technical Advisor of UNDP, Dr. S. Satapathy, Officer from State Disaster Management Authority, Nagaland, W. Jamir, and Assistant Country Head, UNDP, Dr. P. Soni.

The pre/post lunch technical sessions were addressed by experts from UNDP, Sikkim Forest Department, Forest Department, Uttrakhand, Tribhuvan University, Amrita Centre for Wireless Networks and Applications, UNDP.

The valedictory function had the presence of State Disaster Management Authority Nagaland, representative from Mizoram, experts from Uttrakhand, neighboring countries; Bhutan and Nepal, representative from various central government agencies, NDRF, Civil Defense, SDMs, researchers from different Universities, faculty and students from various colleges and school students.

The two-day workshop was organized by SSDMA in collaboration with Swiss Agency for Development & Corporation (SDC), United Nation Development Project (UNDP) and assistance from Indian Institute of Planning and Administration (IIPA), Delhi.

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