The Himalayan glaciers are not shrinking at an alarming rate under the influence of the global warming syndrome. This was the assertion made by Dr Akhilesh Gupta, Advisor and Head of the Climate Change Programme of the Government of India (GoI). He was delivering the keynote address at a consultation workshop organised by the Assam Science Technology and Environment Council (ASTEC) in collaboration with the Assam Energy Development Agency (AEDA) here on Friday.
He maintained that there is a variation marked in the behaviour of the region’s glaciers. Moreover, he said, though the rainfall regime in the North West Himalayan region has remained more or less the same, temperature is rising in this region under the influence of the global warming syndrome.
Preparations are on to set up a National Centre for Himalayan Glaciology at Mussoorie. Even as a joint working group has been set up with Switzerland, efforts are also on for establishing bilateral cooperation with a few countries like Norway, United Kingdom etc, on capacity building in glaciology, Dr Gupta informed.
State level consultations have also been launched to develop human resources and also for capacity building programme for the Himalayan region, he said.
Inaugurating the function, State’s Chief Conservator of Forests, Biodiversity and Climate Change, A K Johari asserted that there is no need to panic so far as the affects of climate change are concerned. However, there is the need to act to fight the phenomenon.
He maintained that the NE region as a whole has so far lost an area of 549 square kilometers of forest cover. At its individual level, the State has lost forest cover over 16 square kilometers of its area. Though it is still very green, it has faced the developments like loss of wetlands and ground water crisis, among others. The State is yet to adopt its draft action plan on climate change, as, the financial aspects concerning the 12 th Five Year Plan are yet to be incorporated into it, he said.
The function was also addressed by ASTEC Director HC Dutta, Scientist F of the Union Department of Science and Technology Nisha Mendiratta and Head of the ASTEC Environment Division Jaideep Baruah, among others.
Scholars from the educational institutions and environmental and social activists took part in the interaction that followed the presentations. Dr Gupta, Mendiratta, Rajesh Kumar and Dr Anand Kamavisdar of the Union Department of Science and Technology and State Government officials took part in the interaction.
Started in year 2010, ‘Climate Himalaya’ initiative has been working on the mountain and climate related issues in the Himalayan region of South Asia. In the last two years this knowledge sharing portal has become one of the important references for the governments, research institutions, civil society groups and international agencies, those have work and interest in Himalayas. The Climate Himalaya team innovates on knowledge sharing, capacity building and climatic adaptation aspects in its focus countries like Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan. Climate Himalaya’s thematic areas of work are mountain ecosystem, water, forest and livelihood. Read>>