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The Haryana State Climate Change Knowledge Management Cell under NMSKCC

           Introduction of the Project:

Climate change has unequivocally been considered as one of the most serious threats to sustainable development with possible adverse impacts on natural resources thereby affecting food security and human health. The State of Haryana has great concerns being Agriculture State and the second largest contributor to India’s Central pool of food grains. Apart from being engaged in Agriculture sector in a large way which is highly sensitive to climate effects, the State of Haryana also occupy a pivotal role in the rural economy because of its contribution towards income generation, rural upliftment and the state is also stressing upon in investing in rural infrastructure and promoting new technology in micro scale and medium industries. Therefore, in order to have an overall sustainable development, it requires to keep the climate change concerns in the State view. Universally, it is felt that appreciable change in temperature, rainfall, glacial run-off, precipitation is expected to a great extent and will continue in the form of rising temperature, erratic rainfall which further results into disaster such as floods, draughts and health complications. The main reason behind the Climate change is considered to be increase in the Green House Gas (GHG) emissions from activities in the form of fossil fuel consumption, power generation and agriculture activities. The global temperature has approximately risen by 10 Celsius in the past 100 years and will continue to increase further. The further rise in temperature will be witnessed as the exemplarily disasters on the natural resources and human health at large, which needs to be work upon at the present hour.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) has recognized the goal to limit the global mean temperature increase since pre-industrial times to below 2°C. Global GHG emissions must be reduced by 50% compared with 1990 levels by 2050. Even if policies and efforts to reduce emissions prove effective, some climate change is inevitable; therefore, strategies and actions to adapt to its impacts are also needed.

The temperature in the State of Haryana is expected to increase by 1.50 Celsius by 2030 and productivity of wheat is likely to go down by 7%. The climate change is also expected to experience negative impact on milk production in the region along with reduction in rice production as indicated by the 2017 report tabled by the Lok Sabha committee.

The research by the State agencies also have proposed the need to meet the effect of climate change on crops, milk production, and falling water table, degraded forest, agro-forestry and human health. The state of Haryana has limited water resources and water table in Northern Haryana is steeply falling. It receives about 300mm to 1100mm annual precipitation and 40% of its ground water is brackish. Water quality has deteriorated due to pollution from domestic, industrial and agriculture activities and over-exploitation of ground water. Since the ground water table needs to be continuously recharged, it is a big challenge to ensure judicious use and uniform distribution of water resources to remove the stress on water systems, through efficient management, adoption (in the face of strong farmer reluctance) and maintenance of modern water-saving technologies like sprinkler/drip/pressure irrigation/volumetric measurement.

It is heavily depend on interstate river agreements for freshwater. Therefore, the state faces a gigantic challenge in providing water for irrigation (to support agriculture which is the backbone of the state economy) and drinking water to more than 2.5 crore people besides meeting the ever-growing needs of the upcoming urban areas as well as industry. Haryana currently struggles with sustainable agriculture development. Present agriculture practices within the state call for high consumption of water, fertilizers and pesticides in the fields. Focus is required to develop heat tolerant cultivars in wheat breeding programmes, a Soil Health Action Plan, strengthening of interventions to manage pests and weeds and the control of losses in total milk production due to heat stress.

Low investment in ground water and drought management and delays in completion of the Sutlej-Yamuna Link canal and linking of the Bhakra Main Line-Hansi Branch to the Butana Branch Multipurpose link Channel offer further challenges. Better inter-sectoral and inter-state coordination is required to irrigate the command area.

Climate change concerns need to be addressed at the local level. It is, however, felt that reliable state specific information and data on climate change is inadequate and the existing data is also not easily available. The information based on studies/research done by various institutes is mostly embedded within the organizations and is not disseminated for its wider use. However, sharing the existing knowledge and creating additional information is essential to address the climate change issues. Thus, there is need to collect, collate and compile existing data/ information for its wider use by multiple stakeholders. Therefore, action plan requires a cell which focus on inter departmental climate related programs so as to effectively deal with the emerging threats under changing climate scenarios. It will help to bring forward the issues faced at the local level and to find their scientific solutions. The Cell would also take up need based capacity building of various stakeholders for timely and better adaptability to the changing set of situations through informed decision making. Further, the Cell will aspire to take up mitigative and vulnerability assessment studies.