Changes in the natural environment of the planet, we call home have fascinated mankind all through the ages. The latest scientific understanding of the processes driving the functioning of the Earth system has provided sufficient knowledge to understand its present climate, including its evolution and future changes.
All this has resulted in a system of monitoring and generation of global data sets, and enhancement in the basic theoretical understanding of complex processes involved in the science of Earth’s climate.
As a result of these efforts many holistic earth and climate system models have evolved during the last few decades. These models have proven to be successful in generating plausible scenarios of future climates and highlighting the role of human impact.
Realizing the role of anthropogenic influences on climate change, the last few decades have resulted in unprecedented activity and interest in the phenomenon of climate change in scientific, social, and political circles.
This understanding and awareness has brought the issues of climate change impacts, mitigation, adaptability, and remedial measures at the forefront of all developmental activities with a focus on conserving the environment and the sustainability of natural resources and regions.
One such region is certainly the Himalayan region with its rich biodiversity and climate sustaining capability.
But in spite of these accelerated developments, the major stakeholders with serious concern for their future as well as that of the generations ahead lack basic information and understanding on the subject to grasp and sensibly react to the issues in a broader perspective.
Why Himalayas? One would ask.
Because the Himalayas possess a unique weather system, large forest cover, extensive mountain ranges with rivers, glaciers, and snow cover as well as a highly fragile ecosystem. Western and Central Himalaya, the highest and largest mountain ranges of the world, are the major source of fresh water to many countries of the South Asian region.
The weather and climate of Himalaya plays an important role in the atmospheric general circulation systems which affect the large population living in the region and its biodiversity and abundance of flora and fauna.
Himalaya plays an important role in the establishment and sustainability of large scale monsoon systems over South Asia.
Yet, this beautiful mountain ecosystem is very delicate and highly susceptible to even minor changes in their complex environmental parameters, with a high degree of dependence on changes in global and local climate factors.
Many scientific studies and reports, particularly the IPCC reports on mountain glaciers, have highlighted the irreversible nature of the impact of climate change on the mountain regions especially the melting of snow and an accelerated pace of retreating glaciers.
The subject of Himalayan climate is very timely and of wider interest.
Keeping these things in mind, 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 through the media workshops and consultations.
In partnership with IHCAP or the Indian Himalayas Climate Adaptation Programme, CMS VATAVARAN is organizing a three-day “National Media Consultation on Climate Change reporting in the Himalayas” from September 21st to 24th. 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 Department of Science and Technology, Government of India and leading research institutes will be speaking about different aspects of climate change adaptation.
Centre for Media Studies (CMS), Indian Himalayan Climate Change Adaptation Program (IHCAP) of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and Department of Science and Technology (DST) GoI, have been jointly organizing a series of media workshops on climate change reporting in the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) under the program ‘State-Level Capacity Building Workshops and Fellowships for the Media.’ The project started in November 2016.
In a period of two years and ten months, CMS organized 11 media workshops on climate change including one National consultation in national capital during the CMS VATAVARAN festival in collaboration with Department of Science and Technology, GoI. CMS has oriented and sensitized almost 400 journalists from English and regional media houses other than media students and environment scholars.
The objective of each workshop was to provide intensive knowledge- based information about different aspects of climate change adaptation.
This objective was achieved by designing the format of each workshop in a way to make it interactive, while also exposing them to live examples and case studies through the field visits of innovative adaptation initiatives going on in different states.