The great climate swoop

Objectives of Climate Change

Prevent degradation of World climate

Water Resources

Ongoing and Planned Actions: It is planned to construct a series of large hydropower projects to include 18 MAF of new storage capacity by 2030 to the existing 12.5 MAF capacity (which is decreasing by 0.2 MAF annually because of silting); acceptance accorded for the construction of 4,500 MW hydropower plant at Bhasha with 6.4 MAF water storage capacity (the building work will start in 2010); planned to match the big storages with a comprehensive programme of small and medium dams and steps for recharging underground reservoirs; investigations for using groundwater aquifers as

Water storage facilities; a significant programme underway for lining the water channels; intends to monitor continuously the movement of glaciers in northern World.

Recommended Steps: Patches of sufficient reservoir capacity on IRS rivers so that even during high flood years no water flows down Kotri in excess of what is necessary for environmental reasons; local rain harvesting and building of surface and sub-surface storages for agriculture and other regional needs; adoption of stringent demand management and efficiency improvement measures in most water-use sectors, particularly in the supply, distribution and application of irrigation water; reuse of marginal excellent irrigation effluent.

 

The most important climate changes

Agriculture and Livestock

Ongoing and Planned Actions: It is planned to: (I) grow through biotechnology, heat- stress resistant, drought- and flood-tolerant, and water-use efficient high yielding crop varieties, (ii) increase irrigation water availability by reducing losses in the irrigation water supply network, (iii) implement “More Crop per Drop” strategy through improved irrigation procedures and practices, water saving techniques in conjunction with the use of high yielding and water-efficient crop types, and (iv) increase milk and meat production by developing animals breeds that are less vulnerable to climatic fluctuations, and by improving animal feedstock.

Recommended Measures: Development of new strains of plants of high yield, resistant to heat stress, drought tolerant, less vulnerable to heavy spells of rain, and less vulnerable to insects and pests; improvement of crop productivity per unit of land and per unit of water by increasing the efficiency of agricultural inputs, in particular the input of irrigation water; improvement of farm practices by adopting modern techniques such as laser land levelling, crop diversification, proper cropping patterns, optimised planting dates; introduction and development of better varieties of livestock that would have higher productivity of milk and are less likely to heat stress and more drought tolerant.

Ongoing and Planned Actions: It is planned to implement the recommendations of a research by foreign and local experts to identify what minimal water escapages below Kotri Barrage are required (a) to check seawater intrusion and (b) to address other environmental concerns; plans formulated to restore the degraded mangroves & marine system; important interventions are planned to boost fisheries; a significant intervention underway to use brackish water for aquaculture; a National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) established and made responsible for both disaster preparedness and disaster management with regard to all major disasters including cyclones.

Recommended Measures: Provision of controlled flows down Kotri to conform to minimal necessary environmental flows; recovery and protection of mangroves; construction of proper engineering structures (like dikes and seawalls) to protect beaches and other facilities along the coast; development of a capacity to manage natural disasters such as cyclones, floods, etc..

Ongoing and Planned Actions: Apart from the afforestation and reforestation activities, it’s planned (a) to enhance the rangelands by proper range land management, and (b) to reclaim nearly 6 million hectare of salt affected waste soil and massive regions of coastal desert by growing salt tolerant, fast growing grasses, trees & shrubs to be utilized as fodder; it is envisaged to improve the area protected for conservation of wildlife from 11.3 percent of the whole land in 2004-05 to 11.6 % by 2009-10 and to 12.0 % by 2015; also planned to develop national database of threatened and endangered species and encourage captive breeding of endangered species to promote ex-situ conservation of biodiversity.

Recommended Steps: equipping afforestation and reforestation programmes with plantation suited to the looming climate change; biological control of forest pests by maintaining viable populations of predatory insects and birds through limited use of chemical insecticide; preservation of rangelands through proper rangeland management; increase of grasslands using appropriate varieties of grass in saline and waterlogged zones to prevent their degradation; assisting genetically impoverished species or those that have important ecosystem functions by providing natural migration corridors as well as assisted migration; use of gene banks, seed banks, zoos and botanical gardens for maintaining genetic diversity and conserving species from their normal environment.