Sambalpur, September 16 (odisha.in) Climate change may make agriculture redundant in the state. While celebrating agriculture, it is also time to think ways to save it from climate change threats,Water Initiatives Orissa warned Saturday.
As Orissa celebrates Nuakhai, a festival that marks a good harvest, threats of climate change induced by global warming on local agriculture are more real than what scientists believed. Agriculture being weather-dependent is going to be badly hit by climate change impacts.
From this Nuakhai, Water Initiatives Orissa (WIO) aided by Manav Adhikar Seva Samiti (MASS), launches a massive public campaign to generate public awareness on climate change issues and also to involve people in finding ways to fight this crisis. The campaign is expected to reach out to at least 5000 people.
The feedback from the people will be taken to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) scheduled to be held – in Bali in Indonesia – from December 3rd to 14th where representatives from 180 countries will converge to discuss and decide of climate change issues. Such a campaign by the WIO is one of its first kinds in the region.
The WIO has been in the forefront to inform people about climate change issues and impacts on local livelihoods. Earlier it did a survey on desertification in the state.
Since people dependent on agriculture and natural resources are going to be hit the most by climate changes and accompanying disasters, thus WIO chose the NUAKHAI as the most suitable occasion to directly convey the message to the most vulnerable sections of the society about the urgency of the situation.
From Nuakhai, WIO will embark on a series of activities. The activities will focus on three inter-linked issues: 1. Understanding the link between poverty and climate change in context of Orissa, 2. Raising awareness about it among local communities and policy makers, 3. To propagate means of adaptation and mitigation to survive the crisis.
WIO is reaching out to 5000 people in this campaign. As they celebrate the festival a letter will be sent to them accompanied by a post card. The letter gives general information on impacts of climate change on their lives. The post card asks them to write down their experience, perception and suggestion on how to fight climate change.
The campaign targets at agriculture communities, besides urban dwellers. In future it expects to increase the scope of the campaign.
“WIO believes that a major reason for such climate change is human induced and can be checked or reduced,” said Ranjan Panda, Convener of WIO campaign.
“We sincerely feel that with wide scale awareness drives and action we can at least mitigate human induced climatic change”, he added.
“The basic idea is to learn from people’s own knowledge, disseminate their own information and make them involved in the process of combating climate change by integrating their knowledge and experiences with academic researches,” said Mr. Panda.
WIO will try to compile all collected and analyzed information into a systematic report on climate change in Orissa which will be prepared with complete support of people, researchers, experts and other concerned stakeholders.
While discussing about the launch of such a massive exercise, Panda sought co-operation, help and support of every one inside and outside the state to facilitate this gigantic task.
He appealed all to write back or inform WIO about their experiences and observations of impacts seen around their environment that they feel are due to climate change.
These could include changed behavior of animals, birds, plants and almost anything.
He has also appealed people to suggest actions to combat climate change. “WIO plans to cover at least five thousand people in this survey and compile these into a ‘first of its kind’ report on climate change in Orissa”, said Panda.