July 25, 2015, New Delhi : India needs to follow a development path that avoids both unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions and ensures that it is on track to achieve sustainable development goals. India’s Intended nationally designated contributions (INDCs) for adaptation to climate change must focus on empowering the poorest and vulnerable people with viable local adaptation strategies. Empowering women and the poor is critical as they have lesser resources, opportunities and authority but are more actively dependent upon and involved in managing natural resources.
These were some of the recommendations of the National Consultation on ‘Adaptation and Disaster Resilience in India’s INDC’ organized on July 23-24, 2015 in New Delhi. The consultation showcased several viable and scalable adaptation strategies for rural and urban poor and brought together government and non-government agencies to explore how they could build on each other’s knowledge and experience in India’s INDCs.
The Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) are submissions expected from all participating countries (Parties) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) before the global climate agreement conference (COP21) to be held in Paris in December 2015. These INDCs as Party commitments are expected to indicate the scale of efforts by the world to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and the kind and scale of resilient adaptive actions vulnerable countries such as India will take.
The consultation was jointly organized by Climate Action Network South Asia (CANSA), Alliance for Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction (AADRR), Alternative Futures and Development Alternatives (DA) in partnership with the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC). Representatives from Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Water Resources and CWC, and Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM) participated in the 2 day long consultation focused on three key areas: Food security and agriculture, Water security , Forests and biodiversity.
“Converging climate change adaptation (CCA) and Disaster risk reduction (DRR) at the local level, MoEFCC must work closely with the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to have coherent planning, implementation and monitoring processes while linking adaptation goals, the proposed Sustainable Development Goals and the newly agreed Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) targets,” said Harjeet Singh, Chairperson, Alliance for Adaptation and Disaster risk reduction (AADRR). “Adaptation in India needs to build on it’s rich experience of implementing Disaster preparedness work across the country at the district and sub-district levels,” he said.
“India’s INDC will harness the huge network of the ‘soft power’ of civil society groups to spread awareness, mobilise local communities, identify and pilot local adaptive possibilities, build local synergies between different actors and enable constructive engagement with local governance systems. “ said Dr S Satapathy, Director, Ministry of environment, forests and climate change.
“There are excellent models in the field especially dealing with the impacts of climate change on agriculture-related livelihoods and water security. We already have good policy framework for development and disaster risk reduction and there is an available and growing pool of state-of-the-art technologies for adaptation. “Combined with decentralised, inclusive governance system and the tradition of indigenous knowledge and locally-appropriate technology, India’s readiness for adaptation is indeed unique” said Aditi Kapoor of Alternatives Future in her introductory address on contextulising adaptation in Indian context.
“The recent decision to quadruple the corpus of National Adaptation Fund (NAF) indicates India is taking action even as the world is still operationalising the newly created Green Climate Fund. This strategy puts India in good stead to add strength to the demand of developing & least developed countries that the developed world must act and give due attention to adaptation and dealing with disaster risks.” said Sanjay Vashist, Director Climate Action Network South Asia.
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