The most vulnerable group in the society are the rural poor as they often depend on natural resources for livelihoods such as agriculture, fisheries and forestry. Currently human activities are causing tremendous pressure on the natural resources. Human induced climate change poses an additional challenge, increasing the vulnerability of rural communities. The impacts of climate change currently predicted for India include rise of up to4OC in surface air temperature by 2100. This would cause decline in almost one third of the yields from rainfed grain crops, and a rising number of extreme weather events, such as droughts, floods and cyclones. Customised interventions are therefore the need of the hour to cope up with the specific risks indifferent states and regions. Scientific knowledge of the projected regional impacts of climate change need to be enhanced and combined with best practices from different sectors, and linked to suitable proven coping strategies, local knowledge and innovative ideas.
Climate Change Adaptation in Rural Areas of India (CCARAI) Project
CCARAI is an Indo-German development project that aims to strengthen the efforts of rural communities in India to cope with climate variability and change. The project has different components such as preparation of action plans on climate change, vulnerability and risk assessments, climate adaptation measures, climate proofing public investments, financial instruments for adaptation, information on knowledge management and human capacity building. It is implemented by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Government of India (GoI) and the German International Cooperation (GIZ). It is financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. The MoEF, four States and GIZ are using multi-level approach involving several different components to work towards this goal, guided by India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change.
The main responsibilities of the CCARAI project are financing, technical support, and institutional capacity building. Tamil Nadu has been chosen as one of the CCARAI four partner States in India, apart from Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and West Bengal, as these States encompasses India’s differing agricultural- climatic zones. Through the project a strong network of partners in the four States will be built relying on the existing institutions from the public and private sector partnerships.
National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC)
To prepare for the impacts of climate change, the Prime Minister of India launched the country’s National Action Plan on Climate Change in 2008. With an advanced institutional landscape providing a good knowledge base and expertise relevant to climate change, India is well prepared to deal with the multi-faceted nature of climate change. The challenge now is to develop cross-sectoral integrated approach. The NAPCC addresses the urgent and critical concerns of the country through a directional shift in the development pathway, including enhancement of the current and planned programmes. It provides multi-pronged, long-term and integrated frame work for addressing climate change as a core development issue. There are eight National Missions which form the core of the NAPCC which are:
- National Solar Mission
- National Mission for enhanced Energy Efficiency
- National Mission on Sustainable Habitat
- National Water Mission
- National Mission for Sustaining Himalayan Ecosystem
- National Mission for a Green India
- National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture
- National Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change.
These National Missions represents multi-pronged, long-term and integrates strategies for achieving key goals in the context of climate change. While several programmes are already part of the current actions, they may need a change in the direction, enhancement of scope and effectiveness and accelerated implementation of time-bound plans.
State Action Plans on Climate Change (SAPCC)
The Ministry of Environment and Forests has requested all Indian States to develop action plans to define how they will undertake activities and programmes aimed at adaptation and mitigation inconsonance with the objectives of NAPCC. This is because the NAPCC pursues the objectives of sustainable development that would increasingly guide India’s development policy in the future and hence the Government of India has encouraged the State Governments to develop State Action Plan on Climate Change (SAPCC). SAPCCs would address this need. It would help identify measures that promote our development objectives while also yielding co-benefits for addressing climate change effectively. It outlines a number of steps to simultaneously advance India’s development and climate change-related objectives of adaptation and mitigation. GIZ and other organizations such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UK Department for International development, World Bank are providing technical assistance to interested federal States in the development of SAPCC. The State-level plans are not only important for implementation of the NAPCC, but also inclusion of particular regional and local characteristics and specific concerns of vulnerable sectors and communities within each State.
Tamil Nadu State Action Plan on Climate Change (TN-SAPCC)
The Department of Environment (DoE), Government of Tamil Nadu has been designated as the Nodal Department/ Agency for the CCARAI Project, and GIZ is identified as a technical institutional partner. Preparation of SAPCC is one of the components of the CCA RAI Project. The DoE initiated the activities related to the SAPCC in the year 2010 in the following sequence.
- Inception Workshop with MoEF and GIZ
- Formation of a Steering Committee
- Identifying the different sectors for the Tamil Nadu State
1. Sustainable Agriculture
2. Sustainable Habitat
3. Coastal Area Management
4. Water Resources
5. Forest and Biodiversity
6. Knowledge Management
7. Energy Efficiency
8. Renewable Energy & Solar Mission
- Identifying Nodal Officers for each of the Sector.
- Identifying the Working Group Members for each of the Sector.
Following this, periodical Working Group Meetings for each Sector were carried out for preparation of the SAPCC. Further there were periodical meetings for reviewing the drafts prepared for each sector. This led to the final draft preparation which has been forwarded to the GIZ and Inter cooperation, New Delhi, and is currently under final editing. The Action Plan will also be integrating the prioritization of the adaptation and mitigation strategies put forth by each of the sector as specified mandatory by the MoEF, GoI. Further, the DoE has taken initiatives as per the guidelines of the SAPCC to conduct Agro-Climatic Zone-wise consultation workshops involving different stake holders such as NGOs, farmers, fishermen, tribal people, academic experts, students and general public (urban/ rural). All the inputs received from the seven agro-climatic zones are currently being collated to look at the zone-wise key issues related to climate change of the different sectors as well, which will also be integrated into the SAPCC report.
TAMIL NADU STATE CLIMATE CHANGE CELL (TNSCCC)
Realizing the importance of the impact of climate change, Department of Environment (DoE), Government of Tamil Nadu has initiated Tamil Nadu State Climate Change Cell (TNSCCC) responding to the call of India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC). The vision of the cell is to respond to global climate change by building capacity at local level particularly in the context of Tamil Nadu State and to make it as a resilient state to combat climate change. This will be addressed through effective climate change governance and climate services by connecting climate change science- policy-society by the climate change cell. However, the mission of the cell is to establish a platform to collect, collate and disseminate climate change information pertaining to Tamil Nadu State to various stakeholders ranging from farmers, fishermen, general public to policy planners, decision makers, bureaucrats and others in order to enable effective climate change governance and services. As part of this initiative, a web portal has been created to update and disseminate the information and activities of the cell (TNSCCC). Importantly, the web portal will act as a central hub of information, data and reports on climate change of entire Tamil Nadu State. Further, it provides a web-based platform to assist in capacity building and knowledge development on climate and climate-related issues.
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Source: ENVIS Newsletter