“We will have to undertake information, education and communication activity on a largescale to sensitize people about climate change- Bamang felix, Minister, IPR, Arunachal Pradesh .
The minister for information and public relation and water supply, Mr. Bamang Felix called for environmentally sustainable development policies in State . The state being relatively young has to catch up with development and infrastructure activities, but this should not be done in ways that harm the environment.
The minister stated this while inaugurating a three-day media workshop on climate change adaptation in the state capital on Tuesday. The workshop, organised jointly by the Indian Himalayas Climate Adaptation Programme (IHCAP), Department of Science and Technology and Centre for Media Studies (CMS), aims at encouraging accurate reporting of climate change science and adaptation measures in the Indian Himalayan Region.
Mr. Felix said legislation alone was not sufficient to promote sustainable development and climate adaptation. “We will have to undertake information, education and communication activity on a largescale to sensitize people about climate change and encourage them to take necessary steps at their level.”
Mr. Omkar Singh, PCCF and principal secretary, Department of Environment and Forests, Arunachal Pradesh, said the state action plan on climate change, which was formulated in 2013, was being reviewed and updated.
“Inadequate or ill-informed coverage of climate change does not help in sensitizing people, policy makers and politicians. Clear and authentic media coverage on climate change mitigation and adaptation can help motivate people and communities to act,” said Ms. P N Vasanti, Director General, CMS.
Ms. Shimpy Khurana, Communication officer, IHCAP said a range of activities were being carried out under the project in the region. For instance, under IHCAP, a series of training and capacity building programmes for developing adaptation projects including their financing are already underway across the 12 Himalayan states. “We intend to train over 2,000 state-level officials through these training programmes. In addition, a new tool called a common framework for Climate Risk and Vulnerability Assessment for the Himalayan States has been developed in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Science, which will soon be available,” she said.
Also, under IHCAP, there will be training of State Climate Change Cells on application of framework, and a map for vulnerability and risk assessment for the state of Arunachal Pradesh will be developed.
Mr. Dinesh C Sharma, Managing Editor, India Science Wire, Mr. D. Dohu Robin, Nodal Officer, Climate Change Cell, Prof. S K Patnaik, Rajiv Gandhi University, Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh, Mr. A. K. Shukla, Additional PCCF, (Environment & CC), Government of Arunachal Pradesh and Dr. Vijay Paul, Principal Scientist, Animal Phycology, ICAR, National Research Centre on Yak, Arunachal Pradesh also addressed the participants.
Media workshops give participants a platform to interact with state level experts on climate change and media fraternity on various aspects of climate change. Six such workshops have been held before in Almora (Uttarakhand), Imphal (Manipur), Gangtok (Sikkim), Shillong (Meghalaya), Aizawl (Mizoram) and Kohima (Nagaland). The objective of these workshops is to improve qualitative reporting on climate change in the media.
The Indian Himalayan Region is one of the most vulnerable mountain systems in the world. If effective measures are taken in time, experts believe it may be possible to prevent further degradation of the ecosystem. It is also expected that these workshops would enhance the capacity of environmental journalists and highlight climate change adaptation issues in local and regional context.