Lack of consistent data a challenge for Climate Change combat
Kohima, Dec. 13 (EMN): Lack of consistent data makes policy planning for Climate Change in the eastern Himalayan region including Nagaland a challenge.
This observation was made by Amba Jamir, a policy analyst who is also a member of the Integrated Mountain Initiative (IMI) during the concluding session of the three-day media workshop about Climate Change Reporting in the Himalayas.
The event was organised by Delhi-based Centre for Media Studies (CMS), Indian Himalayas Adaptation Programme (IHCAP) of Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), department of Science and Technology; and the Nagaland State Climate Change Cell. It was conducted in Hotel Japfü in Kohima town.These were the main topics during the session on bridging the gap among the media, the civil society and the scientific community during the concluding day of the three-day workshop: Questions about how state-specific the Nagaland State Action Plan on Climate Change (SAPCC) is; ground realities of the impact of Climate Change on the agriculture community which makes up about 70% of the state’s population; what stakeholders are doing about it; the departments’ climate action plan; vulnerability projections of the rural populations; adaptation strategies for farmers etc
The issues that were raised included the need for journalists to study the impact on centrally-sponsored schemes or externally-aided projects about how climate-friendly they were to Nagaland. The viewpoint was that when it comes to vulnerabilities from Climate Change, they are not just about climate and weather—there are many other implications including market forces.
The need for the media to have objective reporting on local climate issues and make linkages across the globe, and how to overcome challenges to be able to do so was discussed. However, the media was advised against focussing too much on the risks of Climate Change ‘which often tend to create a lot of confusion.’ The need to focus more on what one can do individually in terms of contributing toward meeting the Climate Change challenge was emphasised.
On the role of Civil Society and the media, he pointed out that the former plays the role of a bridge in terms of bringing together stakeholders, debate and negotiation. He remarked that the policies which village councils make and implement in their areas were more effective in many ways than the policies made at the state level. Jamir said it was because in a state like Nagaland ‘things are done as strategized when a community decides to do something, and because the government level presents a very macro policy. At the community level, he explained, it becomes a very micro-action, specific evidence-based initiative.
Although the Civil Society in Nagaland may not be equipped to talk about the issues of climate sciences yet, he said, they have stories and evidence that are related to the issue. The challenge is how to ‘capacitate one another in creating awareness’ in the process of engaging them.
Other climate and environment issues that were discussed included rampant coal mining in Mokokchung, Wokha and Mon districts; stone quarrying along the sides of highways, and issues about ‘attitude’ of landownership: it should not obstruct public health, life or thoroughfare.
Taking note of the vocally raised issue of inaccessibility to information and opinion of subject experts, the State Climate Change Cell has assured that it would open its doors to the media to any data available with it and link journalists pursuing Climate Change stories to experts.
Dinesh C Sharma, managing editor of India Science Wire; Supongnukshi, chief conservator of Forests and state nodal officer for Climate Change; and Annu Anand, head of advocacy CMS were the panellists for the session.