Monday, October 2, 2023

AP govt sets up cell to tackle climate change

Express News Service

VISAKHAPATNAM: The State government on Tuesday issued orders to create a climate change cell in the Environment, Forests, Science & Technology (EFS&T) Department, as part of its green initiatives.As per the GO, the cell will address climate change issues through Ecosystem based Approach (EbA) on par with India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change and paving way to tackle the global challenge of climate change.

“Climate change poses a challenge to sustainability of social and economic development, livelihoods of communities and environmental management in Andhra Pradesh. Building capacities for climate change actions (mitigation and adaptation) to make AP a climate resilient State through improved climate change governance and services linking climate science, policies and people are very important in the present context,” the GO read. The cell is said to be focusing on mitigation of climate change and protecting the vulnerable sections of society through an inclusive and sustainable development strategy that also enhances ecological sustainability.

It also read that the cell will coordinate the preparation of Climate Change State Action plan (being undertaken by APPCB through NCSCM and take focused steps to implement the same, besides liaising with the Government of India, external funding agencies and different departments of State government to identify projects and schemes for implementation of the Climate Change State Action Plan. 

The ongoing schemes in the EFS&T Department – Green Climate Fund (GCF), Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project (ICZMP) – will be transferred to be implemented and monitored through the cell, as part of implementation of the Climate Change Action Plan.

The cell will also interact and coordinate with other State governments, different regulatory authorities, R&D institutions, NGOs etc, including interaction with the international institutions for exchange of information on climate change issues and develop in depth knowledge on climate change issues impacting the State and bring best practices to the State.Welcoming the move, environmentalists maintained that scaling up climate action at home is more urgent than ever. Such actions spur hope, said JV Ratnam, founder and secretary of Green Climate. 

He pointed out that Andhra Pradesh’s extensive coastline, agriculture and forestry sectors will most likely to see significant climate change issues.He went on to explain that agriculture is significantly impacted by variations in rainfall and temperature patterns, while coastal areas are challenged by rising sea levels and severe marine phenomena like cyclones.

Also, many Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports in the past noted that since climate change is certain to have an impact on the seas, there will also be an impact on coastal cities. 

The entire coastal belt in Andhra Pradesh has a 974-km-long coastline. IPCC reports also mentioned Visakhapatnam among one of the six cities named by scientists as potentially vulnerable to coastal flooding if the sea levels rise by 50 cm as a result of global warming.Ratnam said evidence also suggests that the Bay of Bengal is experiencing long-term changes in seawater temperature, and sea level rise. 

It impacts marine ecosystem’s productivity, and the changing climatic conditions do not support fishing throughout the year in Srikakulam, which is driving fishermen to migrate, he said, adding that he is hopeful of mitigating action with the climate change cell in place.

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