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COP 28: Climate Resilient Development in Indian Himalayan Region Takes Center Stage at Indian Side Event

DST officials, including Dr. Susheela Negi, engaged with other domain experts to explore long-term solutions to climate change, underlining the collaborative efforts of DST with central ministries and all Himalayan States/Union territories.

Shivam Dwivedi
COP 28: Climate Resilient Development in Indian Himalayan Region Takes Center Stage at Indian Side Event (Photo Source: PIB)
COP 28: Climate Resilient Development in Indian Himalayan Region Takes Center Stage at Indian Side Event (Photo Source: PIB)

On December 3, 2023, experts convened at the India pavilion of the UN Climate Conference COP 28 as part of a major side session to deliberate on the consequences and ramifications of climate change vulnerability in the Himalayan area. Making mountain towns resilient and green is crucial, and the program focused on ways to promote ‘Climate Resilient Development in the Indian Himalayan Region.’

Dr. Anita Gupta, Head of the Climate Change and Clean Energy Division, spearheaded discussions during two sessions at the side event, emphasizing the urgency of immediate action in response to the worsening impacts of climate change. The international audience was briefed on India's Climate Change Initiatives organized by the Department of Science and Technology (DST).

The first session featured representatives from Switzerland Development Corporation (SDC), International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) in Nepal, Directorate of Environment and Climate Change in Manipur, India, GBPNIHE in Almora, India, and DST, India.

Deliberations covered topics such as the Climate Change Programme (CCP) under the National Action Plan on Climate Change, Vulnerability and Risk Assessment in India, regional perspectives on the Cryosphere, Climate risk profiles for adaptation plans in Manipur state, and inclusive climate actions for sustainable development in the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR).

In Session-2, co-hosted with the Government of Himachal Pradesh, representatives from DST showcased initiatives under the National Mission on Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem. The Himachal Pradesh government discussed present climate policy interventions, Climate Risk Assessment (CRA) for transitioning towards ecologically oriented resilient villages, and climate-resilient practices in agriculture and horticulture.

The ongoing COP 28, held in Dubai, brings together representatives from 197 countries, marking the first formal assessment of progress under the 2015 Paris climate agreement. Delegates are engaging in discussions on adaptation and mitigation efforts to achieve positive outcomes in the coming years, particularly for vulnerable countries and fragile ecosystems like the Himalayan Mountain range in Asia.

The Himalayan region plays a pivotal role in India's climate, providing shelter to over 50 million people. Experts at the side event emphasized the need to assess the vulnerability of the Indian Himalayan region, considering impacts from natural causes, climate change due to anthropogenic emissions, and developmental pathways.

Highlighting the importance of the National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem (NMSHE), launched as part of the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC), experts discussed its role in understanding the linkages between climate change and the Himalayan ecosystem for improved adaptation.

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