Climate Change Mission on track

Tamil Nadu hopes to top the table through nine components of the mission; it will focus on coastal habitats, climate smart villages this year

Published - May 19, 2022 10:10 pm IST

The government will promote mangrove plantations in coastal districts. 

The government will promote mangrove plantations in coastal districts.  | Photo Credit: S.S. KUMAR

Tamil Nadu is hoping to take the lead in tackling the impact of climate change through nine components under its Climate Change Mission for 2022-23. The State has already made climate change an integral part of its Environment and Forest Department.

This year, it has earmarked ₹77 crore for the mission, and ₹50 crore will be spent on the rehabilitation of coastal habitats for climate change adaptation through eco-friendly solutions. Formation of bio-shields through the cultivation of casuarina, palmyrah, cashew and other specialised species would be taken up. “Also, the government will propagate mangrove plantations in coastal districts where it naturally grows in local ecosystems,” says Supriya Sahu, Additional Chief Secretary, Environment, Climate Change and Forests Department.

The objectives are the protection of coasts, the reduction of soil erosion, salinity control and improvement of biodiversity. While palmyrah and cashew plantation are drought-resistant, the mangroves would act as coastal defense.

There will be focus on protecting and enhancing the growth of seagrass and coral reefs as they support the marine bio-diversity. An action plan and an atlas for sustainable coastal management would also be ready by the end of this fiscal, she said.

Another major programme this year would be the creation of Climate Smart Villages to understand the challenges and vulnerability of local community to climate change. “These demo sites would be used to develop future solutions to build climate resilience and increase adaptation and mitigation measures,” Ms. Sahu added.

Initially, village- and community-level agriculture would be implemented by setting up village-level climate change information centres for weather smart activities like agro advisories. Carbon/nutrient smart practices would be implemented for better management of agroforestry, land use, livestock management and bio-fuels.

Learning from smart villages would help the State understand ground-level climate-related interventions which could be upscaled to climate-proof various government schemes.

Besides, two temples, one at Madurai and another near Chennai, would be taken up for climate-proofing as pilot projects for climate-resilient green temples. The activities would include efficient solar lighting, water and heat management, greening, eco-restoration of temple tanks, removal of plastics and micro plastics. It would also include enrichment of temple gardens.

Under carbon enrichment programme, a demo site would be set up at the Nanmangalam Forest in Chennai. By using the bio-mined enriched soil from the Perungudi dump, the Forest Department, along with the Greater Chennai Corporation and Anna University, would try to enhance the growth of trees and forest expansion in the degraded forest landscape at Nanmangalam.

Earlier this year, the government set up a special purpose vehicle, called The Tamil Nadu Green Climate Company, to oversee the efficient implementation of the three missions — Green Tamil Nadu Mission, T.N. Climate Change Mission and T.N. Wetlands Mission — to achieve the desired goals.

While these Missions would be implemented through the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Forests, the special purpose vehicle would involve the academia, the private sector and society for transitioning the State to climate-friendly platforms, championing renewable energy, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, agriculture, management and protection of forests, resilience and adaptation to climate impacts.

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