MORIGAON: A webinar on 'Impending Climate Risk and Floods of Assam' was jointly organized by National Institute of Disaster Management, Global Foundation for Advancement of Environment and Human Wellness, and SEWA – Assam on February 20.
Climate change is fast becoming one of the biggest environmental challenges of our times; across boundaries as well as geography around the world are already experiencing the adverse consequences, stated a release.
To discuss further on this issue and look at various mitigation measures, this session was organized. While speaking at the session Professor Anamika Barua of Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, an acclaimed expert on climate change and water issues, shared a wide ranging aspect of vulnerabilities. She mentioned how besides geographical features, socio-political factors and economics, dimensions too decide the extent of vulnerabilities. She spoke – how floods like situation can disrupt both life (including lives other than humans too) and livelihood.
Professor Arup Kumar Misra, Department of Chemical Engineering, Assam Engineering College, who was the Director of Assam Science Technology & Environment Council (ASTEC) and the Director of Assam Energy Development Agency (AEDA) until recently, spoke on a range of issues on climate risk and flood hazard, based on his ground level experience in Assam.
He said, given Assam's geographical formation, which is crisscrossed by a good number of water bodies including rivulets of the two major rivers Brahmaputra and Barak, it is very unlikely that this State will not face devastation of floods. However, what worries him, is the severity and frequency of floods or even drought like situations, which have increased over time due to adverse climatic conditions.
Coordinator of the session and CEO of Global Foundation, Dr Pranab J Patar, also shared his concern about vulnerability in the context of densely populated urban areas. Dr Pranab mentioned that while we can still incorporate adaptive planning in case of peri-urban areas or even rural expanses, it is the towns and cities, who will suffer the most on the wake of changing climatic conditions and that is already evident from the emerging trend, therefore he underscored the need for both pro-active and reactive flood mitigation efforts. Senior disaster management expert and Assistant Professor at National Institute of Disaster Management, Dr Sushma Guleria, while addressing the audience highlighted about various government interventions in the disaster risk reduction realms particularly the multi-stakeholder capacity development initiatives.
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