At the 21st climate change conference of the parties (COP-21) being held in Paris, France, there was a session held with Climate Action Network South Asia (CANSA), Development Alternatives (DA) and Indian Youth Climate Network (IYCN) on building climate change resilience in South Asia.
Experiences were shared at this international forum from all South Asian countries with Government of MP representing views of Indian state government and their experiences on ground. Mr. Lokendra Thakkar, Coordinator of State Knowledge Centre on Climate Change (SKMCCC), EPCO said while on the panel, “Madhya Pradesh is growing from no carbon to low carbon and has shown its commitment to the low carbon development agenda through the Vision 2018 document, State Action Plan on Climate Change (SAPCC) and by developing knowledge products”.
Zeenat Niazi, Vice-President of Development Alternatives (DA) highlighted that food security, biodiversity conservation and managing urbanisation and economic development were key priorities for not only India but the rest of South Asia as well. She said, “Natural resource management is the base of economic development (…) energy services are to be provided for last mile to transition to a low carbon resilient future”. Development Alternatives is currently working with national and state governments on several projects on climate change, including one in Madhya Pradesh with the Environmental Planning and Coordination Organisation (EPCO) providing technical assistance and developing key research knowledge products eg. District vulnerability assessments, GIS-based climate information systems and providing capacity building support.
At the interactive session following the panel discussion, attendees asked about the interactions within government stakeholders and between CSOs. Mr. Thakkar responded by explaining the hub-and-spoke model of SKMCCC as the knowledge centre in Madhya Pradesh, and referred to the Simhastha National Conference organised in November 2015 providing a platform for CSOs and political support to come together. He also said, “The central and state governments have taken responsive actions against climate change and built capacities within the state governments”. He also stressed the need to get the SAPCC in tandem with national missions/schemes, and the pressing need to convert knowledge to action.
The panel discussion had representation from all stakeholder groups like civil society organisations, government institutions, youth bodies etc. The event was well attended and well appreciated.