The School of Communication and Management Studies at Kalamassery is about to set up a Chair for Climatic and Environmental Changes and Risk Reduction in association with the Royal Institute of International Affairs, a London-based NGO working in the field of climate change.

G.P.C. Nayar, chairman of the SCMS Group of educational institutions, announced this recently at a press conference in Kochi in the presence of Cleo Paskal, associate fellow for energy, environment and development programme at the Royal Institute. Mr. Nayar said that the chair would be operational within two months.

The Royal Institute has agreed to provide the necessary inputs, including expertise and manpower support, for the chair.

Ms. Paskal emphasised the importance of such a chair in an environmentally dynamic place like Kerala. She said that a holistic approach towards disaster management, which includes monitoring and minimising natural and man-made hazards, reducing vulnerabilities of people and regions with effective disaster response and recovery mechanisms, will serve as ready fall back systems. Hence, Ms. Paskal said, the timing of instituting the chair was particularly meaningful.

Among the objectives of the proposed chair were to build capacities of a range of actors to understand issues of environmental and climate change; initiate and strengthen theoretical and empirical research on environmental change and disaster risk reduction; and enhance and upgrade environmental education in the region through outreach activities, education research programmes, publications and materials. The chair proposes to organise lectures and seminars and collaborate with other faculty and institutes.