How Madhya Pradesh is Fighting Climate Change
"Madhya Pradesh is endowed with rich environment and long tradition of symbiotic relationship between people and natural resources"
Vulnerabilities and adaptation are key activities of any climate change action plan. India has a National Action Plan on Climate Change announced in 2008, with the intent to develop sectoral response towards vulnerability of climate change as well as its mitigations and adaptation. As part of the climate change policy, various States are expected to give their action plans consistent with the strategies outlined in the national action plan.
Looking at the priority list of states, Madhya Pradesh the ‘heart of India’ with 72% of its population in rural areas, has high vulnerability to the vagaries of climate change in its most regions. This land-locked state is rich in minerals and has several major river basins. Its eleven agro-climatic zones and five agro-ecological zones with nine national park and twenty five wild life sanctuaries make it rich in biodiversity. The state has low average per capita income, low per capita GHG emission of 0.66 tons and a medium contribution to country’s GDP as compared to many other states, hence is on the path of rapid development.
Highlights of SAPCC
State Action Plan on Climate Change (SAPCC) for Madhya Pradesh has been strategised by state level nodal agency Government of Madhya Pradesh Climate Change Cell (GoMP-CCC) established in 2009 within Environment Planning & Coordination Organization of the Housing and Environment Department. The cell adopted bottom-up approach to develop the SAPCC by holding a number of consultations/workshops with academia, educational institutions, government departments, society representatives and other stakeholders in its all eleven agro-climatic zones. As climate change will impact large number of sectors across different regions, the draft Plan prepared under GoMP UNDP project provides mandates for each key stakeholders. Focus has been on strengthening of capacity building and to ensure efficient implementation.
The major highlights of SAPCC include pro-active approach in identification of policy reforms, institutional arrangements, stakeholder participation, and estimation of regional climate change vulnerabilities. Mainstreaming of climate change concerns in various inter-sectoral schemes and development projects has been devised as a strategy. However, in the absence of regional climate modeling studies about the future climate scenario until the end of the century, estimated vulnerability of some districts is seen more than others. District ranking on vulnerability scale has been attempted requiring more rigorous adaptation actions in some.
State Knowledge Management Center on Climate Change (SKMCCC) envisages to address cross-cutting issues in environment protection & climate change. It proposes to develop state-of-art evaluation tools to provide policy makers with choice of strategies to be implemented - viz sectoral greenhouse gas inventorization and generation of Marginal Abatement Cost Courses (MACC). The industry, classified as mineral based and non-mineral based, is both large and medium. Actions are being taken to adopt Perform, Achieve and Trade mechanism for energy efficiency improvement (in line with National Mission on Enhanced Energy Efficiency-NMEEE). Management of waste, application of clean development marketing and capacity building needs form part of the agenda. The SAPCC of the state incorporates the need for reviewing the State Industrial Policy 2004 and Mineral Development Policy 1995 to integrate climate change considerations.
SAPCC Sectoral Approach
In this era of economic globalization, energy is the driving force for economic growth. In the energy sector Madhya Pradesh has 8324 MW of installed capacity, energy shortages are prominent. In the planned capacity addition of 11,000 MW during next 5 years, more coal based generation has been targeted with related policies to reduce GHG emissions. Improvement in efficiency of generation technologies, development of low carbon pathways through application of carbon capture & storage, and switch to clean fuels are identified strategies. Renewable energy share however, remains low at about 3%. Much is desired in research & development and application of technology from biomass and solar energy generation.
Rural populations of the state are vulnerable to shifting cropping patterns, uneven rainfall and longer dry spells. Adding to these are health hazard impacts of climate change. Strategies to institutionalize climate change concerns in the annual plans of Panchayat look promising. In this context, under a GIZ supported project a beginning has been made to introduce sustainable pattern of livelihood with the help of local Panchyat and community participation The case study of Nivas and Bichhia blocks of Mandla district by Oneworld revealed effectiveness of a ‘Village Institution Model. Such models need to be replicated through policy mandates to handle challenges of sustainability, natural resource conservation and overcome risks of climate change.
The SAPCC projects strategies for improved understanding of for Agriculture, Forestry, Animal Husbandry, Water and Health among other sectors. In view of state’s large endowments of fresh water resources and ground water reserves, improved water resource management practices, water conservation augmentation and preservation of water resources at all scales are high priority areas for the state to fight climate change.
Towards a Climate Change Resilient State
Migration to cities, urban development and governance are other key concerns of climate change adaptation strategies. Energy consumption in cities and towns has been increasing. There is a need for a review of city development plans with a climate change perspectives in sustainable urban planning of cities, promotion of green buildings, preservation of lakes and increasing urban plantation. It is essential to ensure integration of strategies with development plans of the state. The plan highlights for the need of role clarity amongst the institutions and to clearly define the role of each authority in the various activities. Target wise allocation of funds along with their sources will facilitate smoother implementation.
Towards a climate change resilient state, the SAPCC clearly shows a plan of action for addressing concerns of climate change. The estimated budget for activities that need to be implemented within five years is specified. Policy reforms are at the top of activity agenda. It is imperative that inter-departmental coordination is ensured in successful implementation of strategies for sustainable development. The focus is changing in the national policies and public awareness has to grow. As they say ‘Climate Change’ is not adequate to describe the alarming conditions, the more appropriate would be ‘You will be burn to a crisp and die’ according to Yale Center on Climate Change Communication.
The author is Former Adviser, DST. Currently, she is Executive Director, Climate Change Research Institute and is associated as Senior Adviser with OneWorld for Madhya Pradesh Climate Change Knowledge Portal.