Guwahati: The average temperature in Assam is expected to rise by up to 2.2 degrees Celsius by 2050 due to the impact of climate change, state minister Keshab Mahanta informed the assembly on Friday (September 16). Extreme rainfall incidents will also increase by 38 per cent, the minister said citing the Assam State Action Plan on Climate Change (ASAPCC) report. Replying to a query by BJP MLA Mrinal Saikia during Question Hour, the Science, Technology and Climate Change minister said Assam has the highest overall vulnerability index in the country concerning extreme climate events.
It also ranked as the fifth vulnerable state as per the Department of Science and Technology, Assam.
Climate change projections for Assam indicate that mean average temperature is likely to rise by 1.7-2.2 degrees Celsius by mid-century with respect to 1971-2000 (the baseline). The annual mean temperature in the state has increased by 0.59 degrees Celsius from 1951 to 2010, he said.
Mr. Mahanta said that the climate change projections in the state action plan also predict that extreme rainfall events will increase by 5-38 per cent.
All across the state, except the southern districts, droughts weeks are going to rise as well by more than 75 per cent with respect to the baseline (1971-2000), he said.
Floods have also been projected to increase by more than 25 per cent, the minister said. Assam is highly vulnerable to climate change due to its geographic proximity to the delta region and poor socio-economic conditions and it is reflected in the exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity of the local population to climate-induced extreme events such as floods, Mr. Mahanta said.
Citing a study, he pointed out that there has been widespread loss of livelihood options for thousands of people across Assam due to climate change disasters, particularly floods and erosion. Giving an example of Golaghat district, which has not witnessed a normal monsoon in the last 30 years, the minister said that rainfall intensity is changing and the wet regions of the state were hit by a severe drought in 2021.
Drought conditions lower the production of agriculture commodities, which in turn pushes their prices up. There is an exponential increase in the frequency of flood events since 2010, he added.
Last year, over 14 lakh people were displaced by flooding along the Brahmaputra river, while the state received 625.3 mm rainfall against the average of 792.3 mm, Mr. Mahanta said.
Noting that the Assam government has taken various steps to fight climate change, the minister said the state rolled out the Chief Minister’s Institutional Plantation Programme (CMIPP) in July this year. The government had published its first State Action Plan on Climate Change (SAPCC) in 2015, addressing the climate change concerns related to agriculture, water resources, forest and biodiversity, urban habitat, and energy sectors, he said.
The SAPCC was updated to align it with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), he said, adding “this plan will remain in currency during 2021-2030”.
Our government has renamed the Science and Technology Department as Science, Technology and Climate Change Department and the department is now initiating various programmes to address the climate change issues, Mr. Mahanta said.
He also informed the House that a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), Assam Climate Change Management Society, was set up in 2018 to tackle the problems of climate change.
The Government of Assam through the SPV is getting a study done on the agricultural vulnerability and risk assessment at the district level to support climate-resilient actions, Mr. Mahanta said.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.