The Department of Environment, Science & Technology, Government of Himachal Pradesh in association with The German Development Cooperation (GIZ) successfully concluded the two-day climate conference on 18th December 2021 at the iconic Hotel Peterhoff in Shimla.
Titled ‘SECURE HIMALAYA – SAFE INDIA”: Reducing Climate Change Induced Risks & Vulnerabilities due to GLOF-Glacial Lake Outburst Floods in Himalayas’, the conference discussed climate risks, community preparedness, role of financial institutions and climate change action plan in the region to reduce climate-induced risks.
The day had three technical sessions and focused on ‘Approaches for mainstream CCA and DRR at sub-national level’, ‘Risk preparedness and community response’ and ’Financial instruments for climate change and disaster risks’.
Along with the delegates, Dr. Ashish Chaturvedi, Director, Climate Change, GIZ, India, Kunal Satyarthi, IFS, Joint Secretary, NDMA, Government of India, Dr. Jonathan Demenge, Head, Swiss Development Cooperation, Delhi, Prabodh Saxena, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary (Env, S&T, Fin, Planning) to the Government of Himachal Pradesh, Ram Subagh Singh, Chief Secretary, Government of Himachal Pradesh, Vidya Soundarajan, Director-WWF, Dr Shiraj Wajih, President, Gorakhpur Environmental Action Group, Dr Hari Kumar, Regional Coordinator Geohazards International, Harjeet Singh, Senior Advisor Climate Impacts at Climate Action Network, Dr. Sher Singh Samant, Director, HFRI, Shimla, H.P., and Sanjay Kumar, Founder and CEO Geospatial World, New Delhi were also a part of the event.
Sonam Wangchuk was the chief guest in the concluding session and also chaired the first technical sessionof the day and said, “we seem to have set community at the backseat and system as the primary. community always has to be prepared only then as a nation we will be secure. More forums should be held among communities through various channels that work with communities to make them aware of the risks and the challenges. So we have to really work on community preparedness and awareness. Our major focus should be on how to engage communities to be the leading rather than the following, and then the rest of the system will be actively engaged.”
Dr. RR Rashmi, Former Special Secretary, MoEFCC, GoI and Distinguished Fellow, TERI said”I think today we are actually going to hear from a lot of people who are actually practicing on the ground. So, we have amongst the speakers here of course, very experienced policymakers but also practitioners on the ground.”
Ashish Tiwari, IFS, Secretary, Environment & Climate Change, Govt. of Uttar Pradesh expressed his opinions as, “All sorts of Watershed mapping has been done but should be one step ahead. We should map out the places to construct check dams and water harvesting. These are actions for mainstreaming climate change.“
On the occasion,Sonam Wangchuk released the CAFRI Factsheet and Report of Deliberation, Declaration of Roadmap which will be used capacitate the existing government institutions regarding climate change adaptation as well as disaster risk reduction under the CAFRI project. Experts from around the country came together to share their valuable views and opinions making the conference a success.