Image: Northeast Now

The North Eastern Regional Institute of Science and Technology’s (NERIST) Department of Forestry organised an one-day awareness programme in Arunachal Pradesh on Wednesday.

The programe on ‘Impacts of Climate Change on Bio-resources and Livelihoods of Local People’ was held at Government Senior Secondary School, Seru village near Tawang.

Around 70 people including students attended the programme that was supported by the Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi.

In his welcome address, programme convener Ashish Paul said local people of different age-groups representing various sectors need to be sensitized about the climate change scenario.

“The objective of the programme is to collect the views of the local people to identify the major causes for bio-resource depletion, and to suggest suitable remedial measures through applied research, monitoring, evaluation and rigorous planning by the authorities,” he added.

O P Tripathi of NERIST emphasized upon the climate change needs to be addressed at both global as well as local level.

He reiterated the need for a collaborative, community-based, and participatory approach to address climate change problems besides discussing the efficient management and water budgeting, and disaster-risk mitigation strategies.

He also explained how changing temperature and periodicity of precipitation effects on plant productivity and shift in cropping pattern.

LNCS chairman Rinchin Norbu emphasised on understanding and awareness about climate change at the individual level.

He cited local problems such as drying of water streams and springs, water pollution at a higher altitude due to anthropogenic activities and ever-increasing plastic menace.

“Preservation of indigenous food crops, domestic animals and traditional knowledge are serious challenges that need to be addressed at priority basis,” he said.

Special invitees S K Behera, Rajesh Bajpai and K K Rawat from the Lucknow-based CSIR-National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI) highlighted the need of awareness regarding deforestation and community-level participation in nature care and bio-resource conservation.

They encouraged the participants to at least plant a sapling on their special occasions to get themselves emotionally attached with the nature.

Biswa Deori from Arunachal University of Studies interacted with the audience and encouraged them to work at the local level starting from their home and discussed various activities that can be taken up at local level for combating climate change.

He also delivered the comparative climatic scenario vis-à-vis different parts of the country.

Earlier, Seru GSSS principal Rinchin Tsering underlined the gradual changes in local climate including snowfall period, a visible decreasing trend in local birds population, change in local agricultural practices and the gradual shift of the local economy from agriculture to other sectors.

To encourage farmers, the first prize winners in different categories were given Rs one lakh each and the second prize winners Rs 50,000 each.

DAMIEN LEPCHA

Damien Lepcha is Northeast Now Correspondent in Arunachal Pradesh. He can be reached at: lepcharaul@gmail.com