Saturday, 23 August 2014

Environment and climate change:The human factor(August 23,2014, Saturday)

Today , on 23rd August ,2014(Saturday), I inaugurated the  seminar/event on Environment and climate change:the human factor, organized by Swayam Siddha(A reputed NGO  based in Lucknow),Directorate of Environment ,Government of U.P.,State bank of India  and IRITIM , Lucknow.The venue was Indian Railways Institute of Transport Management, Lucknow.Dr. H N Dutta,DY. Director(former), national Physical Laboratory, and Sri K. Sekar , CGM, SBI , Local Head Office ,UP were the two Guests of Honour, while I was the Chief Guest as Agriculture Production  Commissioner, and Principal Secretary, Environment and forests , Government of UP.Dr. R K Sardana , Director of Environment , UP gave a vote of thanks.Here is the text of what I said there:
  I started with a quote by Cecil Rhode, a British statesman.He migrated from Britain  to South Africa  for health reasons.In South Africa, he made a vast fortune in gold and diamond  mining.He used a part of his fortune to endow the famous Rhode Scholarship programme.Lewis Mitchell, who was at Rhode's bedside in his cottage near Cape Town, heard the dying man murmur:"So little done , so much to do."
                      IPCC,Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was constituted in 1988.Al Gore and R K Pachauri were awarded Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for spreading awareness about climate change.United Nations framework on Climate change was adopted and Kyoto Protocol was signed in 1992 by about 130 countries.Now more than 150 countries are signatories.The idea is to reduce Green House gases emission.GHG emission (Carbon dioxide,Methane , Nitrous Oxide) contributes directly in increasing the warming of the Earth's surface.UP is the highest emitting state of India and contributes nearly 14% of national greenhouse gases.Three highest emitting districts are Sonbhadra,Rae Bareli and Gautam Budh nagar.Most of these emissions are due to presence of thermal power plants , industries, increasing population , deforestation and felling of trees,increasing number of vehicles, inadequate disposal of waste of all kinds like municipal waste, sewerage, biomedical waste and industrial waste.
            On one hand , climate change impacts on environment, forests, energy , biodiversity and human life.On the ther hand, our present development and life style  contributes to climate change .We have to find ways to mitigate the impact of climate change.
                 We need to prepare a State Action Plan for Climate Change(SAPCC).It shall have seven missions as below:
1.State Strategic Knowledge Mission:We need to create a UP State Climate Change Authority,with a corpus of Rs 20 crores or so .
We also need to introduce climate change as a subject at primary and high school levels.
2.State Solar Mission:
We need to promote three things:a)Solar light systems. b)Solar pumps  for irrigation. c)Solar power plants of 1MW or more.
3.State Mission for enhanced energy efficiency:
a)Energy audit of all government buildings and installation of APFC(Automatic Power Factor Corrector.)
b).Use of LED light.
c).Use of star rated fans , air conditioners.pumps and motors.
d).Procurement of vehicles on the basis of cost and emission norms.
e).Timers to switch off lights , when not in use.
f).Energy conservation building code(ECBC) be made mandatory for new government and commercial buildings.
g).Replace existing transformers by compact secondary sub-stations.(CSS.)
4.Mission for Green India,Green UP.
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago.The next best time is now(A Chinese Proverb)
a).Green belt plantation.
b).Plantation within degraded forests and moderately dense forests.
c).Social forestry.
d).Agro forestry.
e).Decreasing dependence on fuel wood and encouraging solar stoves in the villages.
5.State Mission on Sustainable  habitat.
a).green belts in planned townships.
b).Building bye-laws be amended so as to encourage energy efficiency.
c).Installation of Sewerage treatment plants.
d).Municipal solid waste management.
e)Local public transport infrastructure.
f)Four- laning of state highways.
6.Mission on water
a)Quality of drinking water free from Arsenic  and Lead  and other impurities.
b)Lake development authority needs to be created.
c)Promote water efficiency through drip and sprinkler system.
d).Diversify  into water efficiency crops.
e)Reduce subsidy in water pricing.
f)Use existing irrigation capacity more efficiently.
7.Mission on agriculture
a)Promotion of green and organic manures.
b)Crop residue management  with modern farm machinery like Laser Leveller, Rotavator,Seed trills , etc.
c) Diversify into dairy farming and poultry farming.
d)Cultivation of pulses , oilseeds, vegetables and fruits.
e)Promotion  and encouragement of agricultural research  to develop Climate Resilient  Agriculture.
                    So little done , so much to do.The agenda seems so big.No single person can achieve it .The community has to join in this cause of mitigation of the effects of climate change.
                  I compliment Swayam Siddha and its founder Dr. Shikha Tripathi for dedication , discipline , hard work and honesty ,in organizing this event.