Action plan on climate change not yet ready

Though the flood threat has eased, waterlogging woes continue in parts of Kuttanad. A view of a waterlogged road at Pulinkunnu in Kuttanad, Alappuzha, on Thursday. Suresh Alleppey   | Photo Credit: P.R. SURESH;TH

The State is yet to put its act together regarding the preparation of the State Action Plan on Climate Change (SAPCC) even as it is reeling under the impact of extreme climate events, including heavy rain, flooding and landslips.

It was seven years ago, in 2014 that the Department of Environment and Climate Change (DoECC) came out with the SAPCC along the lines of the National Action Plan for Climate Change. Though the update of the document was taken up three years later, it lost steam.

The lack of patronage from successive governments is attributed to be the key reason for the delay in updating the document. The last three years witnessed six IAS officers being posted and shunted out of the DoECC as its directors.

Those who headed the department were also overburdened with other responsibilities, which resulted in officers paying less attention to the crucial job. It was in 2016 that one officer was given the first independent charge of the DoECC, pointed out those familiar with the developments.

According to Padma Mahanti, former director, the revision of the SAPCC was taken up in 2017 with the support of the Action for Climate Today under the Department of International Development. Three additional sectors of women, children and disability were incorporated in the plan documents for the first time in the country, she said.

Besides the sector-wise discussions with various stakeholders, the department had also tried the Financial Framework for State Action Plan on Climate Change with various State Government Departments to promote climate proof financial planning, said Ms. Mahanti.

The department lost much time as it had to rework on the document in tune with the guidelines issued by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in 2019, said an official.

When contacted, Suneel Pamidy, the Director, DoECC, said the document would be ready by March 2022. Currently, the department was in the process of discussing the climate vulnerability aspects with various stakeholders. Though the document was not binding on the government agencies and line departments, it was expected to guide them to plan climate-resilent projects and mitigation measures, he said.

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Printable version | Dec 5, 2021 5:50:52 AM |

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