Climate Resilience: Why Slow and Spread Beats Pave and Pipe

Jul 3rd, 2014 | By

When it comes to climate change impacts, estuaries are the proverbial canaries in the coal mine. These unique habitats, which are also home to 22 of the world’s 32 largest cities and are essential hubs for global commerce, face not just the threat posed by rising sea levels, but also a complex nexus of increasing

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10 things You Need to Know About Sustainable Agriculture

Jul 2nd, 2014 | By

The Guardian: In a recent live chat, a panel of experts joined readers online to discuss the future of sustainable agriculture in the face of changing weather driven by climate change and increasing competition for food. Here are 10 things we learned: 1. We shouldn’t just “accept” climate change Just because climate change is happening and its

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Need to Rewrite the Mountain Perspective!

Jul 1st, 2014 | By
Dhol-Keshar singh Bisht-a

Tagged as fragile, remote and marginal, these three aspects have featured prominently in discussions and deliberations concerning development in the mountains in our part of the world. Retired but active academician N S Jodha, a former senior staff with the Kathmandu-based Integrated Center for International Mountain Development, has been credited for using these three features

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Land Taken Over by Foreign Investors Could Feed 550m People: Study

Jun 29th, 2014 | By
Land grabbing in Ethiopia : an employee at Saudi Star rice farm, Gambella

The Guardian: The land grabbed in some of the world’s hungriest countries by foreign governments and corporations could feed up to 550m people, according to new research. The crops grown on grabbed land are frequently exported, or used to produce biofuel, but the new work shows it could end malnourishment in those countries if used to feed local

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Tackling Climate Change Would Grow Global Economy, World Bank Says

Jun 24th, 2014 | By

The Guardian: Fighting climate change would help grow the world economy, according to the World Bank, adding up to $2.6tn (£1.5tn) a year to global GDP in the coming decades. The findings, made available in a report on Tuesday, offer a sharp contrast with claims by the Australian government that fighting climate change would “clobber” the economy. The report

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Fighting Desertification Will Reduce the Costs of Climate Change

Jun 18th, 2014 | By

From the Philippines, Pakistan and the United States to the Middle East and Horn of Africa; death, food shortages, loss of homes and incomes or damage to infrastructure has followed in their wake. As disasters travel from one region to the next, many of us watch helplessly wondering what we can do about it. Yet, everyone

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Cutting Emissions is ‘Perfect Option’

Jun 6th, 2014 | By

There is no alternative. To limit global warming and contain climate change, societies have no real option but to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, according to new research. There might be additional useful steps that nations could take, but nothing will be as effective as simply not burning fossil fuels. Daniela Cusack,

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Bamboo, Rattan Offer ‘Opportunity’ in the Face of Climate Change

Jun 4th, 2014 | By

Reuters: Bamboo and rattan present an “enormous opportunity” for both mitigating and adapting to climate change, said Rajendra K. Pachauri, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), at a recent conference. Pachauri began the discussion at the Forests Asia Summit in Jakarta by enumerating a litany of impending threats to humanity due to climate change unless

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Bangladesh Uncovers the Crippling Cost of Climate Change Adaptation

May 23rd, 2014 | By

UNEP News Center: With a population of 140 million, Bangladesh is one of the world’s most populated countries in the world. It is also one of the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Cyclones, floods and droughts have long been part of the country’s history but they have intensified in recent years. As a

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World Must Adapt to Unknown Climate Future, Says IPCC

May 5th, 2014 | By

New Scientist: There is still great uncertainty about the impacts of climate change, according to the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, released today. So if we are to survive and prosper, rather than trying to fend off specific threats like cyclones, we must build flexible and resilient societies. Today’s report is the second

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Flat Denial Rejects ‘Very Likely’ Science

Apr 28th, 2014 | By

Climate News Network: The odds that global warming of almost 1°C since 1880 is just a natural fluctuation are very low: less than one in a hundred and probably less than one in a thousand, according to a study in the journal Climate Dynamics. Shaun Lovejoy of McGill University in Canada didn’t play with computer simulations:

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Long-term Food Production Must Factor in Potential Impacts of Climate Change – UN Official

Apr 24th, 2014 | By

UN News Center: Countries need to shift to more sustainable food systems to adapt to the effects of climate change, the Director-General of the United Nations Food and Drug Organization (FAO) José Graziano da Silva told a conference in Morocco today, warning that the phenomenon has the potential to reshape the planet’s food production scenario. “Everything

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Indian Climate Experts Slam Latest IPCC Report

Apr 17th, 2014 | By

Sci Dev Net: Climate policy experts from India have greeted the release of the latest report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) with ire. The draft report, a summary of which was released in Berlin, Germany, this week (13 April), is written by the IPCC’s third working group, which focuses on climate change mitigation.

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The First Climate Justice Summit: a Pie in the Face for the Global North

Apr 17th, 2014 | By
Huaorani Indian children play with scarlet macaws in Yasuni National Park

The Guardian: Today it is accepted, but 20-30 years ago campaigners were struggling to even get an acknowledgement that climate change was happening, let alone that it was manmade. It would have been hard to imagine that one day we might hold the developed nations responsible and start talking about redress for victims of climate change, as we

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New Study Shows Kenya’s Shift to Green Economy Should Generate USD 45 Billion by 2030

Apr 15th, 2014 | By

UNEP News Center: Kenya’s transition to a green economy could produce major economic benefits – equivalent to an estimated USD 45 billion by 2030 – as well as greater food security, a cleaner environment and higher productivity of natural resources, according to a new study launched Tuesday by the Government of Kenya and the UN Environment

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Urbanization Provides Unprecedented Opportunities to Transition to a Green Economy: Report

Apr 9th, 2014 | By

UNEP News Center: With over half of the global population now living in urban areas, cities are increasingly facing the challenge of ensuring decent standards of living for their inhabitants. Demand for a higher quality of life is increasing despite growing pressures on natural resources and ecosystems. In this context, a new report launched jointly today

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Leaked IPCC Climate Plan to Worsen Global Warming – Ecologists

Apr 8th, 2014 | By

The Guardian: A British environmental organisation that has reviewed the draft of a forthcoming UN IPCC report on mitigating climate change has questioned many of the document’s recommendations as deeply flawed. Dr Rachel Smolker, co-director of Biofuelwatch, said that the report’s embrace of “largely untested” and “very risky” technologies like bioenergy with carbon capture and sequestration (BECCS), will

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Corporates Weigh Risks, Opportunities of Changing Climate

Apr 6th, 2014 | By

Europe’s company board rooms are very much alive to the risks posed by climate change – and are also busy analysing business opportunities it might provide. That’s among the findings of a survey by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), an EU-based non-profit organisation specialising in corporate environmental information, and Acclimatise, a consultancy group which gives business advice on

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The Impending Crisis in Aryavarta

Apr 4th, 2014 | By

From the age of the Vedas—Hinduism’s oldest scripture—to modern graphic novels which revisit that idealized past, the word Aryavarta has come to define India. As an area, Aryavarta stretches from the western frontiers of modern Pakistan to India’s eastern edges, watered by three mighty rivers, the Indus, the Ganga and the Brahmaputra. This vast alluvial

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Crop Adaptation Seen as Key to Cope with Global Warming

Mar 26th, 2014 | By

Adapting crops to resist the onslaught of global warming is one of the key themes of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which opened a general meeting in Yokohama on Tuesday. In many parts of Japan, researchers are working to develop new varieties and cultivation methods to cope with heat waves and other

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Hydropower Needs ‘New Climate Knowledge’

Mar 25th, 2014 | By

Sci Dev Net: In a region where on average more than 60 per cent of electricity is provided by hydropower facilities — in contrast to a less than 20 per cent globally — the future of water availability matters. So, this issue dominated the second day of the Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC): Developing, linking and applying

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Reducing Risks to Urban Health and Building Climate Resilience

Mar 19th, 2014 | By

Why are the health prospects for residents in informal urban settlements so poor, and what future issues will contribute to making these better or worse? These were among the questions discussed at the 11th International Conference on Urban Health held recently in Manchester. As part of this event, a group of participants grappled with the ways in which

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Potential of Non Fossil Fuel Foams

Mar 13th, 2014 | By

Climate News Network: Every energy expert and scientist would agree that one of the cheapest and quickest ways to cut fossil fuel use and stave off dangerous climate change is better insulation of homes, factories and offices. A big problem is that the production of most insulating materials involves the use of fossil fuels. As the

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Exploring Resilience in Climate Compatible Development

Mar 9th, 2014 | By

What is resilience and what implications does it have for climate compatible development (CCD) in South Asia? This important question was raised by excellent presentations from CDKN’s partners carrying out action research on achieving climate-smart disaster risk reduction in South Asia during a CDKN/START session on February 8, 2014 at the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit

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Focus on Low Carbon Technology, Says Former UN Climate Chief

Mar 7th, 2014 | By
UNFCCC , Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer

The Guardian: Efforts to tackle climate change must urgently focus on implementing low carbon technologies such as wind and solar power rather than discussions of the science and quarrels over policy, the former United Nations climate chief has said. Yvo de Boer headed the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change from 2006 to 2010, and was the chief mover

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Environmental Degradation in Pakistan

Mar 3rd, 2014 | By

Daily Times: Due to the limited resources at its disposal, government efforts alone are not sufficient enough to address challenges resulting from climate change. A much larger participation and support from other stakeholders is needed to effectively respond to climate issues Environmental concerns need to be the linchpin of all development considerations on various levels. Major environmental

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Offshore Wind Could Calm Hurricanes

Feb 26th, 2014 | By

Climate News Network: US engineers have thought of a new way to take the heat out of a hurricane. Fortuitously-placed offshore wind farms could make dramatic reductions in wind speeds and storm surge wave heights. Hurricanes are capricious consequences of peculiar sea temperature and wind conditions, while wind farms are the outcome of years of thoughtful

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Geo-engineering No Holy Grail – Study

Feb 26th, 2014 | By

Far from offering a simple fix, sci-fi solutions to global warming may in fact make the problem worse, a probe of “geo-engineering” options said on Tuesday. Once mocked as unscientific, geo-engineering proposals are gaining traction as carbon emissions soar, placing Earth on track for warming of maybe four degrees Celsius (7.2 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100.

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Finding Common Ground Fosters Understanding of Climate Change

Feb 18th, 2014 | By

Grasping the concept of climate change and its impact on the environment can be difficult. Establishing common ground and using models, however, can break down barriers and present the concept in an easily understood manner. In a presentation at this year’s meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Michigan State University systems

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South Asia Needs To Enrich Regional Flood Information System Urgently – Analysis

Feb 17th, 2014 | By

Since a significant percentage of people are exposed to recurring riverine flood disasters mostly during rainy season an effective regional flood information system is needed urgently in South Asian heavily effected countries. People working with flood mitigation and climate change adaptation programs lay emphasis such a system which will avert flood catastrophes of transboundary scale effectively. The Pakistan floods

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Nations Will Face Big Political Question in Lima: Marcin Korolec

Feb 10th, 2014 | By

Times News Network: President of the Warsaw climate conference (COP19) and Poland’s secretary of state, Marcin Korolec, has said the “nature of contributions” from countries to deal with menace of global warming would be the “main political questions” in Peruvian capital Lima where leaders\negotiators from across the globe assemble for the next marathon meeting in December.

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Vertical Farming Explained: How Cities Could be Food Producers of the Future

Feb 6th, 2014 | By
vertical farming

The Guardian: Populations are growing and cities are booming – but could we soon see skyscrapers turned into centres for crop production? From Chicago warehouses to the south pole growth chamber in Antarctica, the concept of growing food indoors is catching on. Plant scientist Dr Erik Murchie, from the University of Nottingham, reveals how agriculture could be turned on its head. What

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Dams May Provide Resilience to Climate Change

Feb 2nd, 2014 | By

It’s official: Last year was Australia’s hottest on record. As temperatures go up Down Under, so do concerns about how to keep rivers cool in a warming world. Ironically, the soundest solution could mean tapping into what has long been considered a pollutant. Until recently, scientists only studied how cold water releases from dams can

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Global Governance Key for Sustainable Development, Says Doha Bank Group CEO

Jan 29th, 2014 | By

“Building green economies are the solution for climate change and for sustainable global growth. The practice will rebalance global growth and promote sustainability”, says Dr. R. Seetharaman, Group CEO, Doha Bank, the leading private commercial bank in Qatar. “Sustainable development meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet

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Coping With Climate Change

Jan 28th, 2014 | By

Even before filing his budget last week, Gov. Deval Patrick made clear that one of his final priorities in his final year is to help prepare Massachusetts for rising seas and increased storms. It may prove to be central to his legacy. Tuesday night, the governor will offer his state of the state address, in

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How the Threat to Lions, Leopards and Wolves Endangers Us All

Jan 28th, 2014 | By

They are the planet’s most prolific killers – and also some of nature’s most effective protectors. This is the stark conclusion of an international report that argues that lions, wolves, pumas, lynxes and other major carnivores play key roles in keeping ecosystems in balance. It also warns that the current depletion of numbers of major predators threatens

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Hundreds of Millions of Hectares, Nearly the Size of Brazil, Face Degradation Threat – UN Report Warns

Jan 25th, 2014 | By

Up to 849 million hectares of natural land – nearly the size of Brazil – may be degraded by 2050 should current trends of unsustainable land use continue, warns a report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The need to feed a growing number of people globally has led to more land being converted

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Pushing Plants up the Climate Change Policy Agenda

Jan 25th, 2014 | By

As flood warnings remain in place across many areas of the UK, the subject of urban cooling and the crucial role that plants can play in its support may not be uppermost in the minds of those concerned with the built environment. Nevertheless, the publication this week of research that proves the significant impact plant

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World can Double Renewables Share at Low Cost, Says Report

Jan 20th, 2014 | By

A strong carbon price and removal of subsidies could help double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix to 30% at almost no extra net cost, supporters of solar, wind and hydro told a clean energy summit today. Buildings, industry and transport would offer the biggest potential for growth in renewables if

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Low-Flatulence Livestock Can Cool Planet

Jan 19th, 2014 | By

Climate News Network: Stand by for a new breed of farm animal – the low-methane cow. European scientists are collaborating in a bid to find a cow that makes the same milk, but manages to do so while emitting lower levels of natural gas from the ruminant stomach. Methane is a fact of farm life: cows eat grass,

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Few Would Welcome Geo-Engineering

Jan 17th, 2014 | By

Climate News Network: Geo-engineering – the frustrated climate scientist’s last-ditch solution to global warming – is not likely to be a very popular choice. Members of the public have “a negative view” of deliberate large-scale manipulation of the environment to counteract climate change, according to new research in Nature Climate Change. Geo-engineering has been repeatedly proposed as

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Climate Change Is a Challenge For Sustainable Development

Jan 16th, 2014 | By

Climate change is the most significant challenge to achieving sustainable development, and it threatens to drag millions of people into grinding poverty. At the same time, we have never had better know-how and solutions available to avert the crisis and create opportunities for a better life for people all over the world. Climate change is

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Forget Development Goals. Focus on Community Empowerment.

Jan 15th, 2014 | By

There is a lot of talk about “paradigm change” and “transformational change” these days, both in the context of climate change and the post-2015 process. Transformational change takes knowledge and courage. Do we and our governments (in both developed and developing countries) have the stomach for it? Currently, the system of global governance for sustainable development is

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Biodiversity Panel Gives Indigenous Knowledge Core Role

Jan 13th, 2014 | By

Sci Dev Net: Indigenous and local knowledge is set to play a major role in biodiversity and ecosystem management, a meeting of an intergovernmental body has heard. At its second meeting — held in Antalya in Turkey, last month (9-14 December) — the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services (IPBES) decided to extend its focused assessments of such knowledge

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Knowing The ‘Who, What, Where And When’ of Climate Change

Dec 22nd, 2013 | By

“We need more information on this subject. We need to understand what we are facing before we can take action” For most problems, particularly the emerging and difficult to solve ones like climate change, this is the valid response from policy-makers when faced with the question ‘so what shall we do’. As a result there

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Is Genetics Key to Climate Change Solutions? (Op-Ed)

Dec 20th, 2013 | By

As the effects of climate change rapidly alter communities, economies and natural systems, the need to advance new solutions to what may be the most pressing biological challenge of our time has never been more urgent. Without question, there is no silver bullet. One important part of the puzzle, however, involves unlocking the natural genetic

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India’s Urban Mobility Plans Pathway to Sustainability

Dec 18th, 2013 | By

UNEP News Center: Improved urban transport strategies can bring a myriad of benefits to India, from reductions in CO2 emissions to a more mobile and inclusive society, according to a new report. The revised version of Toolkits for Urban Development: Comprehensive Mobility Plans was updated by India’s Ministry of Urban Development together with the Institute of Urban

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Report Backlash May Have Contributed To Uttarakhand Disaster – Experts

Dec 13th, 2013 | By
Flood aftermath in Kedarnath, a huge land mass towards Mandakini cut of

Thomson Reuters Foundation: A report warned a decade ago about the threat posed by a glacial lake that in June burst its banks and contributed to flooding that killed thousands in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. But fears that the report – and reporting about it – were too sensational may have contributed to a

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UN Climate Change Summit Framed By Landmark IPCC Study

Nov 21st, 2013 | By

The Huffington Post: The annual UN Annual Climate Change Summit began in Poland on November 11th and continues until the 22nd. This major international conference is a key stepping stone towards the goal of securing by end-2015 a comprehensive global climate change treaty to take effect from 2020 onward. The summit has been framed, in

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India and Climate Talks Imperatives

Nov 19th, 2013 | By

The Hindu: By all accounts, no dramatic developments are to be expected from the 19th edition of the Conference of Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that started in Warsaw last week. But it is generally acknowledged that the key issue at Warsaw, even if there are many other

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Developing World Pushes for Rescue of U.N. Carbon Credit Fund

Nov 15th, 2013 | By

Negotiators from Least Developed Countries are calling for the United Nations climate body to urgently establish a rescue fund to save Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism from collapse. Delegates, mostly from Africa and developing countries, fear that the CDM will fail if a special fund is not established to help it overcome the effects of the European

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Taiwan Bid For Observer Status At UNFCCC

Nov 14th, 2013 | By

Although Taiwan has sought observer status in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change for years, its governmental representatives were absent from the meeting in Poland on Monday [11 november 2013]. Nearly all of the world’s nations have membership in the UNFCCC. Dignitaries from 195 member countries began meeting Monday [11 November 2013] until

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Asians Are Feeling Climate Change And Want To Adapt

Oct 9th, 2013 | By

Asian Scientist: Extreme weather and hotter temperatures are reducing crop production, and Asia is struggling to adapt to climate change. Most people in Asia are experiencing the impact of climate change and are keen on changing their lifestyles, a study says. The ‘Climate Asia’ study, published by BBC Media Action, the UK media organization’s international

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Why We’d be Mad to Rule Out Climate Engineering

Oct 9th, 2013 | By
Tests to see whether climate engineering work could see water droplets sprayed into the atmosphere.

The Guardian: If climate change continues then all options to lessen its impact, including geoengineering, must be considered as a last resort. The release of the report by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) last month threw into stark relief the clear message on anthropogenic global warming and sounded the direst of warnings against our continued

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Mainstreaming Climate Adaptation in Himalayan Region

Oct 8th, 2013 | By
IHCAP policy report

SDC/IHCAP: This report looks at the interventions that the Indian Himalayas Climate Adaptation programme can make in the policy sphere to advance the cause of adaptations to climate change effects and sustainable development in the Himalayas. The principal findings of this preliminary report are two: There are policy prescriptions at the Government of India and State Government levels

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Indian Himalayan States Discuss Climate Change Action Plan

Oct 8th, 2013 | By
IHCAP region consultation

SDC/IHCAP: The state governments of the Indian Himalayan Region came together for the first ever regional  consultation meeting to discuss their State Action Plans on Climate Change (SAPCC) and specific linkages to the National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem (NMSHE) on September 18-19, 2013. The regional consultation meeting was organised by the Indian Himalayas

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Look Climate Change Issues in Indian Perspective Rather Blindly Following IPCC

Oct 8th, 2013 | By

Allvoices: Renowned environmental activist and Convener, Forum for a Sustainable Environment Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy suggested that there is a need to look in to climate change issues in Indian perspective rather than blindly following Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) model based hypothetical studies with low scientific integrity, which have their vested interests. In

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The IPCC Report – Where Now?

Oct 7th, 2013 | By

CNN: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has now published the first part of its Fifth Assessment Report, AR5. It says humanity is largely responsible for the recent warming of the Earth, it re-tells the Panel’s familiar story of rising temperatures and sea levels, of melting glaciers and ice sheets. Described by some as “conservative”

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Adapting to Climate Cchange in Bangladesh

Oct 7th, 2013 | By

SciDev.Net: Natural disasters — particularly tropical cyclones, tornadoes, storm surges and flooding — occur frequently in Bangladesh. With changing weather patterns, these disasters are predicted to become both more frequent and more intense. During the past century, over 400 tropical cyclones have struck Bangladesh’s coast, causing widespread devastation and death. Earlier this year, Cyclone Mohasen

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Himalayas Still Uphill For Climate Report

Oct 7th, 2013 | By

BBC: Although the latest global update on climate change says the vast majority of glaciers worldwide have continued to shrink, scientists have admitted that the Himalayas remain an area where they still have very limited information. Glaciologists involved in the cryosphere chapter of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) first phase report, launched last week, said there

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