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India: Mizoram Starts an Awareness Campaign on Climate Change

Himalayan communities are generally more vulnerable to climate change because they have fewer livelihood options

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Mizoram, Awareness, Climate Change
The government took action after a report stated that Assam, Mizoram and Jammu and Kashmir are among the 12 Himalayan states in India that are extremely vulnerable. Pixabay

The Mizoram government has launched an awareness campaign across the state on climate change and global warming, officials said on Wednesday.

The government took action after a report stated that Assam, Mizoram and Jammu and Kashmir are among the 12 Himalayan states in India that are extremely vulnerable to global warming and climate change.

The Mizoram Remote Sensing Application Centre (MIRSAC) and Deputy Commissioners of various districts are organising awareness campaigns involving government officials, NGOs, media persons, academicians, village council leaders and students, said a state Directorate of Information and Public Relations (DIPR) official.

Addressing an awareness-cum-workshop in Lunglei district on Tuesday, Lunglei Deputy Commissioner K. Lalrinzuali said that India’s 12 Himalayan states, especially Assam, Mizoram and Jammu and Kashmir, are the most vulnerable to climate change.

Mizoram, Awareness, Climate Change
The Mizoram government has launched an awareness campaign across the state on climate change and global warming. Pixabay

“Himalayan communities are generally more vulnerable to climate change because they have fewer livelihood options, limited infrastructure and a high dependence on natural resources,” she said while referring to a recent study conducted by the Indian Institute of Technology-Mandi, IIT-Guwahati and Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru.

Stressing on the gravity of the present situation, Lalrinzuali told people to plant more trees, use natural resources judiciously and adopt simple eco-friendly habits in their daily routines, a DIPR statement said.

Speaking at the event, Chief Scientific Officer of Mizoram’s Directorate of Science and Technology, R.K. Lallianthanga, highlighted the various initiatives and projects undertaken by his department to deal with the situation arising out of climate change.

According to an official of Tripura Science, Technology and Environment Department, states having low per capita income, low area under irrigation and low area under forests per 1,000 households and high area under open forests received a high vulnerability score in the joint study.

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“Assam has the least area under irrigation, least forest area available per 1,000 rural households and the second lowest per capita income among the other IHR (Indian Himalayan Region) states, and thus scores the highest vulnerability score,” the official said on condition of anonymity.

Based on this assessment, the vulnerability index was found to be the highest for Assam (0.72) and Mizoram (0.71), followed by Jammu and Kashmir (0.62), Manipur (0.59), Meghalaya and West Bengal (both 0.58), Nagaland (0.57), Himachal Pradesh and Tripura (both 0.51), Arunachal Pradesh (0.47) and Uttarakhand (0.45).Sikkim is the least vulnerable state with the index being 0.42.

The Himalayas are the largest and tallest mountain range in the world, bordering five countries and covering an area of about 43 lakh sq km.

Nearly 1.5 billion people depend on the Himalayas for water, food and energy. The Himalayan ecosystem is considered as extremely fragile and diverse but vital for India. (IANS)

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Climate Change Would Affect Health Of Indian Children: Lancet

Climate change would hit health of Indian children hard, says study by Lancet

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Children in India will be particularly vulnerable to the ill effects of climate change. Pixabay

Children in India will be particularly vulnerable to the ill effects of climate change such as worsening air quality, higher food prices and rise in infectious diseases, warns a new study published in the journal The Lancet.

Climatic suitability for the Vibrio bacteria that cause cholera is rising three per cent a year in India since the early 1980s, said the report.

“With its huge population and high rates of healthcare inequality, poverty, and malnutrition, few countries are likely to suffer from the health effects of climate change as much as India,” said study co-author Poornima Prabhakaran from the Public Health Foundation of India.

“Diarrhoeal infections, a major cause of child mortality, will spread into new areas, whilst deadly heatwaves, similar to the one in 2015 that killed thousands of people in India, could soon become the norm,” Prabhakaran said.

Through adolescence and into adulthood, a child born today will be breathing more toxic air, driven by the fossil fuels and made worse by rising temperatures.

This is especially damaging to young people as their lungs are still developing, so polluted air takes a great toll, contributing to reduced lung function, worsening asthma, and increasing the risk of heart attacks and stroke.

Later in life, a child born today will face increased risk from severe floods, prolonged droughts, and wildfires.

 

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Children in India breathe toxic air and may develop lung diseases. Pixabay

Most countries have experienced an increase in people exposed to wildfires since 2001-2004 with a financial toll per person 48 times larger than flooding.

India alone saw an increase of more than 21 million exposures, and China around 17 million, resulting in direct deaths and respiratory illness as well as loss of homes, said the report.

“Over the past two decades, the Government of India has launched many initiatives and programmes to address a variety of diseases and risk factors. But this report shows that the public health gains achieved over the past 50 years could soon be reversed by the changing climate,” Prabhakaran said.

The “Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change” is a yearly analysis tracking progress across 41 key indicators, demonstrating what action to meet Paris Agreement targets — or business as usual — means for human health.

The project is a collaboration between 120 experts from 35 institutions including the World Health Organisation (WHO), World Bank, University College London, and Tsinghua University.

For the world to meet its UN climate goals and protect the health of the next generation, the energy landscape will have to change drastically, the report warns.

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Nothing short of a 7.4 per cent year-on-year cut in fossil CO2 emissions from 2019 to 2050 will limit global warming to the more ambitious goal of 1.5 degree Celsius, said the report. If the world follows a business-as-usual pathway, with high carbon emissions and climate change continuing at the current rate, a child born today will face a world on average over 4 degree Celsius warmer by their 71st birthday, threatening their health at every stage of their lives. (IANS)