A three-day workshop on the sensitization of media persons in the area of climate change and to engage them on climate change adaptation commenced here today.
The workshop themed ‘climate change reporting in the Himalayas’ is being jointly organized by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Centre for Media Studies (CMS) and Indian Himalayas Climate Adaptation Programme (IHCAP) of Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). Ten such workshops have already been conducted in various States in India.
The experts informed that the Indian Himalayan Region is one of the most vulnerable mountain systems in the world. “Jammu and Kashmir is the third most vulnerable to climate change state in India”, the experts informed. They added, if effective measures are taken in time, it may be possible to prevent further degradation of the ecosystem.
The inaugural session of the workshop was attended by Director, Department of Ecology Environment and Remote Sensing, B. Siddhartha Kumar; Director, Indian Meteorological Department, Srinagar, Sonam Lotus; and resource persons from government institutions and NGOs.
Besides, dozens of journalists from various parts of Jammu and Kashmir, working with local, national and international media and the researchers from Kashmir University attended the workshop.
In his inaugural address, B. Siddhartha Kumar spoke on the causes leading to global warming. He said that environmental degradation through deforestation and other practices are the main cause of global warming.
He hoped that these workshops will enhance the capacity of environmental journalists and help them to highlight climate change adaptation issues in local and regional context. On the occasion, media manual for journalists ‘Himalayas, Climate change and the media’ was also released.
In the first technical session, Sonam Lotus spoke on climate change – trends, adaptation and mitigation strategies with special emphasis on J&K.
While speaking on the topic, Lotus urged the journalists to stop attributing every normal environmental process to climate change. “Many times journalists attribute the heavy rain or thunder to climate change, but these things have been happening from the early times and have no linkage to climate change. Sometimes there may be some connection, but not always,” he said.
Nodal officer and Scientific Assistant, Department of Ecology Environment and Remote Sensing, Majid Farooq gave the overview of the State Action Plan on Climate change.
Managing Editor, India Science Wire, Dinesh C Sharma gave the overview of ‘Media and climate change’ and also shared his experience on environment reporting with a special focus on climate change.
Later, a question-answer session was also held wherein various participants put forward their questions which were answered by the experts and resource persons.
In the second technical session, resource persons including Founder and Advisor SECMOL, Sonam Wangchuk; Assistant Professor, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Kashmir, Dr Irfan Rashid; Dr Anurag Saxena from ICAR-Central Arid Zone Research Institute, regional Research Station, Leh; Assistant Professor and Head, Division of Wildlife Sciences, SKUAST, Dr Khursheed Ahmad shed light on the theme.
Presentations and short films for the better understanding of the climate change in Himalayas were also displayed.
During the three-day workshop, experts from environment, agriculture, wildlife and earth sciences will be speaking on science and policy related to climate change and adaptation initiatives in context of Jammu & Kashmir.