Erosion leaves Kutubdia Island

published on:26/11/2013
The once-treasured lighthouse on Kutubdia island is sinking due to rising sea levels and unabated erosion that has caused half the island to disappear in a matter of decades.

The once 60 sq km island has been reduced to a mere 25 sq km since the 1960’s, says Coast Trust executive director Rezaul Karim Chowdhury. Islanders are losing their centuries old homesteads, while rising population density—as the island’s more than 100,000 inhabitants are forced to occupy less and less land—gives rise to social and economic unrest.

SAARC Meteorological Research Centre (SMRC) also records the sea levels rising along the coast of Bangladesh.

An SMRC study pointed out that the sea level at Hiron Point in the Sundarbans, at the island of Char Chhenga and at Cox’s Bazaar are registering significantly increased tidal heights.

SMRC’s senior research officer Mizanur Rahman told that with higher seas, salinity and coastal erosion was also increasing.

Farming, one of the two main livelihoods on the island—the other being fishing—is gradually being abandoned due to shrinking arable land, while people are made homeless refugees.see details

India’s farmers turn ‘climate smart’

Bihar, Haryana farmers turn ‘climate smart’

Sandip Das Nov 26, 2013
New Delhi : Horil Singh, a farmer from Rajapakkar village of Vaishali district in Bihar, has been seeing fluctuations in rainfall pattern and temperature for almost a decade now.This has impacted his paddy and pulse produce to a large extent till a global initiative launched in 2010, to help small farmers in dealing with climate change, helped him in creating vertical drainage systems that let excess rainwater seep quickly back into a natural acquifer.

Vikas Chaudhary, a farmer from Karnal in Haryana, has adopted conservation farming methods such as zero tillage, direct seeding and soil health-based fertiliser application for the last three years.

Farmers like Singh and Chaudhary are being helped under this initiative. Farmers from around 40 villages are being trained through this method and ‘climate smart’ villages are being piloted in Bihar and Haryana.

Many farmers in the two districts of Bihar and Maharashtra have been trained on the usage of technology such as increasing carbon content in the soil through agro forestry, manure management and optimum application of nitrogen through ‘crop sensors device’, which saves cost and keeps in check greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Through collaborative efforts of various international agencies including ministry of agriculture under Research Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) platforms, hundreds of farmers have been trained on various agronomic practices that save the crop from excessive rains and drought through ‘climate smart’ villages concept.

“With encouraging response for the climate smart villages concept, the programme would be implemented in Maharashtra in a larger scale shortly,” Pramod Aggarwal, Regional Programme Leader, CCAFS told FE

He said the focus of climate smart village programme has been integrating available local knowledge on conservation technique along with global prospective on climate change mitigation. “We want more villages to adopt these techniques,” Aggarwal said.

Agriculture ministry and Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) provide support through various schemes and data on weather to farmers, global agencies are bringing in technical know-how to help farmers impacted by climate change.

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) helps farmers in prioritising adaptation and mitigation options, International Water Management Institute (IWMI) has been helping farmers in dealing with water-logging through vertical drains. International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) is providing inputs on conservation agriculture through precise use of fertiliser.

“The challenges faced by farmers are going to be more pronounced as climate change worsens. Let’s hope that sustainable agricultural practices show promising results and lower costs.,” said Ashok Gulati, chairman, Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP).

The India Problem

A powerful but unpredictable force is rising in the battle over the future of the climate. It’s the type of powerful force that’s felt when 1.2 billion people clamor for more electricity—many of them trying to light, heat, and refrigerate their ways out of poverty; others throwing rupees at excessive air conditioning and other newfound luxuries. And it’s the type of unpredictable force that’s felt when the government of those 1.2 billion is in election mode, clamoring for votes by brazenly blocking progress at international climate talks.

Hundreds of millions of Indians live in poverty, wielding a tiny per-person carbon footprint when compared with residents of the West and coming out on top of environmental sustainability surveys. But the country is home to so many people that steady economic growth is turning it into a climate-changing powerhouse. It has developed a gluttonous appetite for coal, one of the most climate-changing fuels and the source of nearly two-thirds of the country’s power. India recently overtook Russia to become the world’s third-biggest greenhouse gas polluter, behind China and the United States. (If you count the European Union as a single carbon-belching bloc, then India comes in fourth).

Continue reading at Slate …

அணுசக்தியும் புவி வெப்பமயமாதலும் 3: சூழலுக்கு இசைவானது எது?

புவி வெப்பமயமாதல், காலநிலை மாற்றம் ஆகியவை குறித்து விழிப்புணர்வு ஏற்படுத்தி வரும் விஞ்ஞானிகளில் முக்கியமானவர் அமெரிக்காவைச் சேர்ந்த ஜேம்ஸ் ஹான்ஸன். காலநிலை மாற்றம் தொடர்பான அவரது களப்பணிக்காக பல முறை கைது செய்யப்பட்டிருக்கிறார்.

நவம்பர் மாதம் முதல் வாரத்தில் அவரோடு, காலநிலை மாற்றம் சார்ந்த மேலும் மூன்று நிபுணர்களும் சேர்ந்து, அணுசக்தி வேண்டாம் என்று சொல்லும் அதிகார வர்க்கத்தினருக்கு ஒரு கடிதம் எழுதியிருக்கிறார்கள். காலநிலை மாற்றத்தின் வேகத்தைக் குறைக்க அணுசக்தியை பயன்படுத்த வேண்டும் என்பதுதான் கடிதத்தின் சாராம்சம்.

இங்கிலாந்தைச் சேர்ந்த விஞ்ஞானியும் களப்பணியாளருமான ஜார்ஜ் மானிபாட் தீவிர அணுசக்தி எதிர்ப்பாளராக இருந்தவர். இப்போது அவர் அணுசக்தியை ஆதரிக்கிறார். காரணம்: காலநிலை மாற்றம். “ஆபத்து இல்லாத மாற்றுகள் இருக்குமானால் அணுசக்தியை முற்றிலும் ஒழித்துவிடலாம். ஆனால் முழுமையான தீர்வு என்ற ஒன்று இல்லை” என்கிறார் அவர்.

காலநிலை மாற்றம், புவி வெப்பமயமாதல் ஆகியவற்றை அணுசக்தி குறைக்க உதவும் என்று இவர்கள் எப்படிச் சொல்கிறார்கள்? பிற எரிசக்திகளோடு ஒப்பிடும்போது அணுசக்தி, காற்று சக்தி மற்றும் சூரிய சக்தியை உற்பத்தி செய்யும் போது நிகழும் பசுமையில்ல வாயுக்களின் வெளியேற்றம் மிகவும் குறைவு என்றுச் சொல்லப்படுகிறது.

மரபு சார்ந்த எரிசக்தி உற்பத்திக்குப் பயன்படும் பிற தொழில்நுட்பங்களால் (உதாரணம்: நிலக்கரி) உருவாகும் பசுமையில்ல வாயுகளின் வெளியீடு மிக அதிகமெனவும், அதனால் காலநிலை மாற்றம் வேகமடைவதாகவும் விஞ்ஞானிகளும் அணுசக்திக்கு ஆதரவான சூழலியலாளர்களும் சொல்கிறார்கள். காற்று, சூரியசக்தி போன்ற மாற்று எரிசக்திகளிலும் இந்த பசுமையில்ல வாயுக்கள் வெளியீடு பிரச்சினை இல்லை. ஆனால், நிரந்தரமான எரிசக்தி உற்பத்திக்கு காற்றையும், சூரியசக்தியையும் நம்பியிருக்க முடியாது என்று அவர்கள் வாதிடுகிறார்கள்.

சர்வதேச அணுசக்தி கழகம் (international atomic energy agency) தன்னுடைய அறிக்கை ஒன்றில் 2030க்குள் கார்பன் டை ஆக்சைட் வெளியேற்றம் மிக அதிக அளவில் உயர்ந்திருக்கும் என்று சொல்கிறது. பசுமையில்ல வாயுக்களின் வெளியிட்டை 2050-க்குள் 50 முதல் 85 சதவிகிதம் வரை மாற்றவில்லையென்றால் காலநிலை மாற்றத்தால் கடுமையான விளைவுகளை உலகம் சந்திக்க வேண்டியிருக்கும் என்று கழகம் சொல்கிறது. புகுஷிமா விபத்திற்கு பிறகான அறிக்கை ஒன்றிலும் இதே கருத்தை வலியுறுத்துகிறது சர்வதேச அணுசக்தி கழகம்.

விபத்திற்கு பிறகான ஆண்டு அறிக்கையில் “சர்வதேச எரிசக்தி தேவைகளை சந்திக்கும் அதேவேளையில், எதிர்காலத்தில் பசுமையில்ல வாயுக்களின் வெளியீட்டை கட்டுப்படுத்துவதிலும் அணுசக்திக்கு முக்கிய பங்கு உண்டு. அணு உலைகளின் செயல்பாட்டின்போது எந்தவிதமான பசுமையில்ல வாயுக்களின் வெளியீடும் நிகழ்வதில்லை. ஆயுள் வட்டத்தில் அது வெளியிடும் பசுமையில்ல வாயுக்களின் எண்ணிக்கை மிக மிக குறைந்த அளவிலேயே இருக்கிறது” என்று சொல்லியிருக்கிறது. அதேசமயம் பாதுகாப்பு நடவடிக்கைகளை பலப்படுத்த வேண்டும் எனவும் அது சொல்லியிருக்கிறது.

மொத்தத்தில் அணுசக்தி சூழலுக்கு இசைவான ஒன்று என்று ஒரு தரப்பினர் பிரச்சாரம் செய்து வருகிறார்கள்.

இப்படி காலநிலை மாற்றத்துக்கான பதிலாக அணுசக்தியை முன்னிறுத்தும் குரல்கள் அவற்றின் பிற அபாயங்களை பார்ப்பதில்லை என்று சொல்கிறார்கள் மற்றொரு தரப்பினர். அணுசக்தி ஆதரவாளர்கள் முன்னிறுத்துவது போல அது சூழலுக்கு இசைவான ஒன்று இல்லை என்கிறார்கள் அவர்கள்.

ஹான்சன், மானிபாட் போல அணுசக்திக்கு எதிரான தரப்பினரும் வலிமையானவர்களாகவே இருக்கிறார்கள். அவர்கள் யார்? அவர்களது வாதம் என்ன?

அணுசக்தியை மாற்றாக முன்னிறுத்தும் சர்வதேச அணுசக்தி கழகம் எரிசக்தி செயல்திறன் பற்றி என்ன சொல்கிறது?

விரிவாகப் பார்ப்போம்.


Cascade of Climate refugee in Jamalpur

Published on:11/11/2013

Erosion by the Jamuna River has taken a serious turn at four villages in Chinaduli union of Islampur upazila. Recently, the Jamuna river erosion threatened thousands of families at Islampur upazila in Jmalpur district. In the last month, the river erosion marked severe damage to lives and livelihoods while leaving people in danger. The badly affected unions are Kulkandi and Pathorshi. Pathorshi union has already been vanished to the river while Kulkandi is on the way to demolish.
Riverbank erosion is a perennial problem in Bangladesh. Large monsoon flow transporting extreme amounts of sediment from the Himalayan Mountains to the sea flow through the delta of Bangladesh formed by the same soils. These fine soils have no resistance to the flowing water and are easily transported and deposited. As a consequence the large rivers have quite an unpredictable behavior with the permanent risk of riverbank erosion. Riverbank erosion can exceed one kilometer per year and poses a substantial risk to floodplain dwellers. The loss of land is accompanied by a loss of infrastructure such as flood embankments, schools, hospitals, cultural and religious monuments and, of course, agricultural lands and assets.
According to BWDB It has been estimated that tens of thousands of people are displaced annually by river erosion in Bangladesh, possibly up to 100,000. From the 1970s to early the 1990s, the extent of mean annual erosion was about 3,300 hectares along both banks of the Jamuna River. During the last decade erosion along the river seems to have diminished slightly ranging from 1,000 to 2,500 hectare per year.see details

Indian govt to pilot climate change mitigation for agri sector in three states

Sandip Das

With recurrent floods, storms and erratic rainfall adversely impacting farmers and agricultural productivity, the government will soon commence pilot programmes in Jharkhand, Orissa and Chhattisgarh for climate change mitigation through district-level contingency plans.

An agriculture ministry official told FE that in the last three years 450 district-level contingency plans have been prepared to save agricultural crops from damage, and promote the usage of varieties of seeds which deal with erratic weather conditions.

“The effectiveness of these contingency plans would be tested through these pilots to be carried out in six districts in three states,” Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture (CRIDA) director B Venkateswarlu said. CRIDA is a Hyderabad-based body affiliated with the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR).

Initiated by the agriculture ministry through ICAR and the respective state agricultural universities, a complete district dossier has been prepared which is expected to help the administration in dealing with the vagaries of weather for protecting the crop.

During the next one year, contingency plans for 520 districts would be prepared, Venkateswarlu said. The district-specific documents have been prepared in collaboration with state agriculture universities and the dossiers provide steps to deal with weather-related eventualities.

“This is the most comprehensive initiative in dealing with eventualities in case of deficient rainfall and drought conditions across districts,” an agriculture ministry official said.

The official said farmers in coastal Andhra Pradesh and Orissa could manage to save their paddy crop this kharif season from the fury of cyclone-Phailin as they had sown submergence-tolerant varieties. Similarly in Bihar and Jharkhand, paddy nurseries were grown in a staggered manner, thereby providing seedlings to farmers in villages which faced delay in monsoons this year.

Venkateswarlu said in terms of dealing with drought and flood-related issues, agricultural scientists have developed various seed varieties for saving crops. “We have not developed adequate capability to deal with the impact of cyclones on the crop as there is a dearth of technology at present,” he observed.

CRIDA, which is coordinating the preparation of the contingency plans, has divided the country into five zones. Each district plan contains basic agricultural statistics, physical characteristics of the district (soil mapping) and details of the crops and methods of cultivation to be adopted in the case of exigencies.


Dhaka Under pressure of Climate Refugee

Published on:20/11/2013

Climate change is driving an increasing number of Bangladeshis to migrate from rural areas to the cities, E&E reporter Lisa Friedman writes in “A City Exploding with Climate Migrants.” The article is part three of a special Climate Wire report on Bangladesh and climate migration. Friedman notes that some 500,000 people move to the capital, Dhaka, from coastal and rural areas each year – roughly the equivalent of the entire population of Washington, DC. Many of these people leave their homes because environmental factors have changed and they can no longer earn a living. Coastal flooding is occurring more frequently, destroying crops and rice fields that sustain villagers as saline water pushes further inland. Ferocious storms demolish homes and, in some cases, entire towns. Most of the migrants who come to Dhaka end up in the slums, home to an estimated 3.5 million people – 40 percent of the city’s population. According to the International Organization for Migration, some 70 percent of slum dwellers in Dhaka moved there after experiencing some kind of environmental hardship.see details

Climate refugee: Bhola would be lost within the 40 years

Published on: 18/11/2013

Bhola, the island district of Bangladesh, was of 6400 skm in area in 1960s. 3000
skm of it have been inundated in the last 40 years only. The renowned growth centres like Old Daulat Khan, Mirja Kalu, Molong Chora, Swarajganj, Choumuhony, Taju Miar Hat etc are totally submerged to the sea. Now also any one of the localities is being eroded. If this rate of erosion continues entire Bhola would be lost within the next 40 years.

Magnus Krantz coduct a field based research on `COASTAL EROSION ON THE ISLAND OF BHOLA, BANGLADESH ‘The results show that the erosion has been big, 68.4 meters/year or 4.3 km2 over 5 years. The accretion has been 20.9 km2 during the same period. The erosion occurs on the East Side of the Island of Bhola, and the accretion on the West Side and up in the north. This phenomenon depends on the current conditions around the island of Bhola. People living by the embankment have had to move between 2 to 4 times during a period of 20 to 30 years due to the erosion. Many of these people have been landless, and are now living illegal by the embankment in serfdom. some 500,000 people move to the capital, Dhaka, from coastal Island bhola.

In this regards environmental based rights group Demand for the rights of environmental refugee. UNHCR, the United Nations refugee agency, does not recognise climate or environment refugees, as they are not listed under the UN’s 1951 Refugee Convention. Now some experts suggest the Convention should be amended to allow for environmental displacement.see details