Chief Secretary says they will help in recharging groundwater
CHENNAI: Sensitising the local community to environment-related issues and creating awareness are the two most important tasks, L.K. Tripathy, Chief Secretary, Government of Tamil Nadu, said here on Thursday.
Inaugurating a consultative workshop on ‘Climate Change Adaptation for Sustainable Rural Development’, Mr. Tripathy said such a move would help in combating the issues of climate change and global warming at rural and regional level.
To reduce the emission levels, the State Government had launched a massive afforestation programme on patta lands with an outlay of Rs. 10 crore. It was taking efforts to create ponds on every acre of wasteland. This would help in recharging groundwater.
Power sector operations, vehicular pollution, industrial pollution and mechanised agriculture practices were four major activities that increased carbon emission, R. Rajagopal, Secretary, Environment and Forests, Tamil Nadu, said.
The importance of low carbon economy had not been realised yet. When a country reduced carbon emissions, it should be rewarded with some other benefits, he suggested. “We must understand that climate change is like a world war, which we have to fight and win.”
Issues relating to climate change should also be included in the five-year plans, said C.K. Sreedharan, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Tamil Nadu. He was of the opinion that the State Government should frame clear land use policies to protect the environment. The Earth could endure natural changes, but the anthropogenic disturbances would increase the stress on nature.
Effects of global warming on the environment and human lives were numerous and varied, said N. Sundaradevan, Chairman, Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board. The main effect was increasing global average temperature, which, in turn, would result in rising sea levels, altered patterns of agriculture, extreme weather conditions and expansion of the range of tropical diseases.
Agriculture in tropical regions was more vulnerable to climatic changes, said S. Kannaiyan, Chairman, National Bio-Diversity Authority of India. Yields of major crops would come down due to increase in temperature.
Change in temperature levels would affect the soil conditions and it would pose a threat to agricultural production.
The programme was jointly organised by the Union Ministry of Forests and Environment, Department of Environment, Tamil Nadu, and German Technical Cooperation, New Delhi.