Khurshid Ganai calls upon youth to help save natural resources in Kashmir

He said that people in Kashmir need to make many life style changes particularly in food habits and housing preferences for sustainability.
He said that people in Kashmir need to make many life style changes particularly in food habits and housing preferences for sustainability. Special arrangement

Srinagar: Former IAS officer and former Advisor to the Governor, Khurshid Ahmed Ganai has called upon the youth of Kashmir to come forward to help save the natural resources in Kashmir which are facing an existential crisis.

Ganai referred to the deteriorating condition of Kashmir’s water bodies including lakes and rivers, wetlands, forests, soil and karewas etc. He was addressing the students of Islamia College of Science and Commerce as part of the college’s activities celebrating India’s presidency of G-20 group.

In his address Ganai gave an insightful introduction to the problems of greenhouse gas emissions, global warming and climate change. Ganai then enumerated the components of the Nationally Determined Contribution ( NDC) targets for India upto 2030 as communicated to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate change ( UNFCCC) in terms of the COP decision at Glasgow in 2021.

He also informed about the  seven elements of India’s long term low carbon development strategy , national climate action plan for climate change including mitigation and adaptation measures, role of research and innovation in the fight against climate change and LIFE ( lifestyle for environment) proposed for adoption by all the citizens in the country.

Ganai referred to many impending changes in our day to day life style expected as a result of policy changes in the run up to 2030 and after including shift to renewable and non- fossil energy sources, shift to electric vehicles and changes in the transport systems, low carbon based  industry and adoption of many new environment friendly technologies .

He said J& K is ideal for contributing substantially to the 2.5 to 3 billion ton carbon sink that India is committed through its NDC to create till 2030 by undertaking massive reforestation , afforestation and plantation across the country. Ganai also emphasized upon the need for new urban planning and housing policies in Jammu and Kashmir for sustainable growth of the urban and housing sectors.

As regards the role of students and youth, Ganai exhorted the youth to take note of India’s commitment to adoption of lifestyle changes to reduce green house gas emissions and for sustainable economic growth. He said that people in Kashmir need to make many life style changes particularly in food habits and housing preferences for sustainability. 

He said the people in general have to take measures individually and collectively to protect agricultural land, karewas, rivers and lakes , other type of water bodies like streams, springs and wetlands, prevent plastic menace by way of robust and doable solid waste management and prevent rising air pollution which reportedly kills about 2 million people annually in four South Asian countries namely, Nepal, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Ganai said that without public awareness about unsustainability of our present life style leading to serious threat to

J&K’s natural resources , not much progress can be achieved. He however said that the UT government must immediately announce many policy changes in Jammu and Kashmir to transition smoothly to a low carbon development strategy and to meet the targets assigned to Jammu and Kashmir as part of the targets under  NDC and National Climate Action Plan , particularly in the creation of forest and plantation cover as carbon sink.

He also called for policy changes to shift to sustainable tourism instead of tourism focussing exclusively on  economic growth and income to the stakeholders. He said unplanned expansion in the tourism sector will not be good for Kashmir’s  natural resources and natural beauty. Similarly, population growth needs to be reduced for sustainability. 

Towards the end of his address, Ganai highlighted the importance of mitigation and adaptation measures needed  to protect the people , particularly the vulnerable sections of society from the impacts of climate change.

Ganai then enumerated the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals ( SDGs)  required to be achieved till 2030 by all the countries, about 190 in all,  who are signatories to the agreement on SDGs.

Ganai also expressed the hope that the youth of Kashmir and all other citizens will rise to the occasion and play their part in creating a  sustainable life style and take urgent positive action to protect the environment, ecology, biodiversity and natural resources of Kashmir.

Ganai said, the world has reached the tipping point in global warming and if urgent actions are not taken to reduce and control green house emissions, the very survival of human civilisation may become difficult.

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