[27 September 2016, Thiruvananthapuram]: “Environment and climate change must be imbibed and imbued in every development program and project of the state. The Haritha Keralam program announced last week is driven by interventions in three key sectors, sanitation, agriculture and water conservations. Decentralization is central to the success of any such programs as it is the panchayats that have power to mobilise its people and ensure that they take ownership of the mission.” said Dr. Thomas Issac, Minister of Finance of Government of Kerala, speaking at the concluding session of a two day workshop on “Building a Climate Resilient Kerala” organized by Thanal and Climate Action Network South Asia (CANSA) in Thiruvananthapuram today.
“There is a need to demystify the issue of climate change and mainstream it into the development agenda of the state in a concrete form with clear budgetary allocations and requires iterative and multi-level planning from international organizations to panchayat level.” said Mr. Vijayanand, Chief Secretary of the state of Kerala.
“Climate change is something which we should not just talk about once a year, it should be embedded in our life style. If we find multiple ways to destroy our ecosystem, nature will find one easy way to destroy us.” said Mr. Mullakara Ratnakaran, former Minister of Agriculture of Kerala who addressed the gathering on the first day of the workshop.
The two-day workshop, brought together diverse civil society actors to provide inputs to the Kerala State Action Plan on Climate Change (SAPCC). The multilevel stakeholder consultation focussed on key issues of developing women and child centric adaptation planning, food security and climate resilient agriculture, climate vulnerability and preparedness, climate finance, role of local self governments, climate protection of western ghats forests waste management and climate resilience.
“The three major concerns are water resource management, transportation and afforestation. Managing the engineering and design intervention in Kerala should be the main focus. We need to identify the key sectors and break it into key elements. Then look at how these elements can be managed with technology & knowledge .” said Mr. M Sivasankar, Additional Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, Government of Kerala in the opening session of the workshop.
Climate resilience refers to the capacity of a socio-ecological system to adapt, reorganize, and evolve to be better prepared for future disasters and climate change impacts. Climate Action Network South Asia, a coalition of over 150 civil society organisations of the region has conducted similar workshops in Uttar Pradesh, Orissa and Sikkim.
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