The four-day International Conference on Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Agriculture (ICCCBSA) got off at the Assam Agricultural University (AAU) here today with the hope that the 1038 individual research papers to be presented would throw up at least 15 integrated researchable projects which would help mitigate climate change, conserve the earth’s bio-diversity and aid in sustainable agriculture.
Vice-Chancellor of the University K M Bujarbaruah said that the 1038 abstracts submitted here proved that a lot individual research was going on but to have an impact at the ground level, the need of the hour was to work together as teams and come up with 15 projects which could be further worked on and developed into technologies.
The VC said that another meeting on climate change was going on simultaneously at Poland where 200 countries were participating including the USA and the results were awaited.
The Vice Chancellor further said that in the past 100 years the temperature had risen only, point 74 which was not very alarming but the matter of concern was that from 1995 to 2010, the world has witnessed the 12 hottest summers and given this fact it had been projected that the temperature would increase by 1.5 per cent which could be very disastrous.
“In this case 6 per cent insects, 8 per cent plants species and 4 per cent of vertebrates would become extinct. This would double if temperature increase continued and if the Paris Agreements goal of reducing green house gas emissions by half by 2030 was not met.
“In India especially where 60 per cent of Agricultural crops were rain fed and depended on climate patterns, this could spell disaster, ” he said.
The VC further called for greater awareness in this regard so that individuals in India, which was ranked third after China and USA among the world’s most polluting countries could themselves try to reduce their carbon footprint.
Addressing the session professor Parimal Bhattacharjee, expert on biodiversity and primatologist, said that India had only 2.4 per cent of the land mass but 78 per cent of biodiversity, a large part of which was concentrated in the north east.
Referring to the Hoolock Gibbon, he said that only five per cent of it gene was different from humans and that there was need to identify the climate resilient species here.
He called for greater awareness on the National Biodiversity Act, the National Biodiversity Authority and the need for patenting what was produced from bioresources.
He said that the forests, grasslands and wetlands of the region were reservoirs of gene pools, means of livelihood and future innovation.
Guest of Honor Grant Singleton, Principal Scientist, international RI e Research Institute, Phillipines said that sustainable development of Agriculture was the need if the hour as by 2050, the earth would have to feed a population of 7 billion people.
Among the other speakers was AAU Dean Jayanta Deka, organising secretary and Professor of plant physiology Ranjan Das and Professor RP Singh, secretary, PHSSFSS, which collaborated with AAU in holding the meet. The meet was part of the golden jubilee year celebrations (April 2018 to March 2019)..