In the north, there stands Himalaya the King of the Mountains, having a divine soul.
It exists like a measuring rod of the earth, having reached the eastern and western seas.
The Himalaya and the Tibetan plateau to the north of it play a dominating role in influencing the monsoon systems of south Asia which is a subject of great scientific significance to the climatologists.
India is fortunate to have this vast and unique open space for observation, experimentation, simulation, and understanding of the behavior of changing climate and its environmental impacts.
Keeping in mind the role of the Himalaya in global and regional climate, the Himalayan range needs to be understood – in terms of its climate, the signals of change, and its impact on the sustainability of the total mountain system dynamics.
It is obligatory for the policy makers that framing of new rules, regulations, and laws must cover concerned sectors on clean development mechanism safeguarding the interest of all stakeholders.
What will it require?
Policy formulation will require a scientifically designated impact assessment mechanism using good quality high resolution quantitative data and models to provide necessary inputs.
This exercise must be supported by appropriate networking of existing data to create knowledge base in the area of research, development, and awareness programs.
The climate change vulnerability and impact assessment and also the mitigation measures must be supported by efficient use of emerging tools and technology for monitoring, analysis, and implementation.
The policies and programs relating to environment and climate in place and under operation at various levels of governance need to be periodically evaluated and updated.
These initiatives at the national level will percolate down to state level and require the incorporation of state specific issue in an overall policy document.
In general, the climate change-related policies have their focus on promoting the understanding of climate change, adaption, mitigation, energy efficiency and natural resource conservation while pursuing overall sustainable economic development goals.
The Himalayan ecosystem in general, experiences broad ranges of tolerance to environmental change and variability occurring in different timescales.
It is very likely that these might have survived many episodes of minor climate fluctuations in the past. In a complex ecosystem, there will always be some species which are highly location specific and less tolerant to extremes and with delicate survival instinct.
A stage in their life may arise when they may be pushed to the brink of likely extinction.
The forest ecosystem in Himalaya is most vulnerable to climate change particularly to the species surviving at the critical margins of temperature and soil moisture stress due to extreme climate conditions.
Based on the projections of the future climate change scenarios, it is expected that the latitudinally upward and northward shift of species reported by many research workers may start appearing over a wider area in a relatively shorter time span.
In addition, there are persistent phenological changes which may affect forest ecosystem.
Other significant examples of adverse impacts on forest ecosystem may be that the long dry periods during summer may increase the frequency of forest fires adversely impacting the ecosystem.
It is also likely that a prolonged warm and wet period may increase the instances of pests and deceases in agricultural crops and forests alike.
CMS Vatavaran is providing a platform to journalists and thought leaders to be closer to many such scientific ideas, deliberations, discussions, and differences of perceptions at its National Media Consultation on Climate Change in the Indian Himalayan Region to be held on September 21-24, 2019 in New Delhi, followed by field visit in Kullu, Himachal Pradesh. More than 30 environment journalists from all over the country, including Himalayan states, will participate in the consultation.
The objective of the workshop is to brainstorm and sensitize journalists and editors of all Himalayan states on climate change and adaptation issues in the Indian Himalayan Region. In addition, experts from DST and leading research institutes will be speaking about different aspects of climate change adaptation.