DST strives for climate change

DST strives to combat climate change!

Focuses on sustaining Himalayan Ecosystem and developing strategic knowledge of the issue through capacity building, research and networks for research & action

Climate change is a universal threat with local impacts. It is impacting ecosystems, agricultural productivity, water resources, socio-economy and sustainability. The impacts of the climate change on different parts of the world on the systems and resources are different.

Because of the vast eco-diversity within India, the impact of Climate Change on different parts of our country is also different. Its challenge to the developmental concerns of the country and the efforts are being made to mainstream the climate change concerns into developmental planning for sustainable development. 

India’s roadmap to combat climate change “National Action Plan on Climate Change” (NAPCC) which focuses on both the strategies and realizes the importance of coherence between climate change strategies at national and state level and the crucial role of state and local governments for the implementation policies and plans at the ground level.

The Department of science and technology (DST) is coordinating two, out of eight national missions under NAPCC. These are national mission on sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem (NMSHE) and national Mission on Strategic knowledge for Climate Change (NMSKCC).

The department has achieved significant mile stones in the two missions:

National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem (NMSHE)

NMSHE is enabling to evolve suitable management and policy measures for sustaining and safeguarding the Himalayan ecosystem by developing capacities at the national level to continuously assess its status.

6 national institutions undertaking studies to assess the status of the Himalayan ecosystem

Six key national institutions having core expertise in the thematic are undertaking studies to assess the status of the Himalayan ecosystem.  The institutions are  1) Natural & geological wealth by Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (WIHG), Dehradun; 2) Water, ice, snow, including glaciers by National Institute of Hydrology (NIH), Roorkee; 3) Micro flora & fauna and wildlife by  Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun; 4) Forest resources & plant biodiversity by GB Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment and Sustainable Development (GBNIHESD) Almora; 5) Himalayan agriculture by institutions of Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) in the Himalayan region and 6) Traditional knowledge system by research team from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. These institutions have engaged more than 100 research teams so far from more than 60 research and academic institutions spread across the IHR.

State Climate Change Cells (NMSHE-SCCC) in 11 out of 12 Himalayan states

State CC Centres/Cells have been established in 11 out of the 12 Himalayan states including Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, West Bengal, Meghalaya, Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh. These State CC Cells are engaged with carrying out different activities that connect their State Action Plans on CC with NMSHE priorities of action. These include, Vulnerability & risk assessment at district & sub-district levels in accordance with a standard national framework; Human capacity Building programmes; Public awareness programmes and Institutional capacity building programmes. DST provides technical support at different levels for carrying out these activities.

Inter-University Consortium on Cryosphere and Climate Change (IUCCC)with participation from 4 universities,

Under NMSHE an Inter-University Consortium on Cryosphere and Climate Change with participation from four universities, namely; Jawaharlal Nehru University; University of Kashmir, University of Jammu and Sikkim University, to look into Cryosphere-Societal interactions has been created.The consortium partner universities are working at Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Sikkim; and thereby, covering most of the northwest, central and northeast part of the Indian Himalayas.

Institutional and Human Capacity Buildingat state level for adaptation planning and implementation

NMSHE is enhancing capacities of glaciologists and ecosystem specialialists, and facilitating capacity building at the state level for adaptation planning and implementation. Workshops have been organised for media persons, among communities for promoting traditional knowledge with scientific basis. NMSHE has supported the establishment of a National center of Himalayan Glaciology at the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology.

Research on Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOF)

The glacial lake outburst floods R&D studies have been conducted for Sikkim.

International and Regional Collaboration for climate change study

A Indo-Swiss bilateral cooperation programme has been initiated under NMSHE. A Capacity Building Programme on Himalayan Glaciology has been successfully conducted in the phase I (2013-16). Many more programmes have been taken up in the second phase (2017-20) of the programme further; DST is also exploring possibilities of collaborating with the International Center for Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Kathmandu for unlocking synergies across South Asia.

National Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change (NMSKCC)

Main focus of NMSKCC is to develop a knowledge system to relate technology choices with time-evolved climate responses through strategic actions. These activities include development of appropriate institutional and human resource capacity.

Research Programmes on Human and Institutional Capacity Building on Climate Change

Various research and development projects are being carried out in different research institutes of international repute in India on the themes related to climate change and ocean, climate change and agriculture along with other related areas.

11 Centres of Excellence (CoE)of climate change created and strengthening

DST has created and strengthened 11 centres across the country to carry out extensive studies on climate change. These centres are at Divecha Centre for Climate Change, IISc, Bangalore; Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (Phase I & II), International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Hyderabad (Phase I & II), Indian Institute of Technology Madras (Phase I & II), Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Varanasi and National Institute of Malaria Research (NIMR), New Delhi; These centres are engaged in studies on various aspects of climate change that includes studies on glaciers, agriculture, regional climate change, vulnerability assessment and adaptation, technology assessment and mitigation, development of local air quality management system and pollution and wastewater treatment Climate modeling, Coastal vulnerability assessment and adaptation measures, CC& urban Hydrology, Water resources, etc.

23 Major R&D Programmes (MRDP) supported

23 MRDPs have been supported in different areas of Climate Change Science, Impacts and Adptation in various sectors. These programmes are being implemented by lead institutions across the country including few IITs, IISERs, top rated research institutions and universities.

6 Knowledge Network Programmes on Climate Change developed

Six National Network programmes to study the impact of climate change on various sectors have been formulated and launched under NMSHE;

1. Network on Climate Change &Human Health (Phase I&II): Realising the threat of climate change to human health, the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India under NMSKCC has supported projects o 'Climate Change and Human Health' in the network mode. The studies broadly focus on vector-borne diseases, heat stress and health, air pollution and health, water borne diseases, tribal health and mental health.

2. Network on Climate Change Modeling (Phase I&II): The modeling network works around issues concerning climate change like uncertainties in model projections, downscaling of climate products to the local level, understanding the role of aerosols in climate change and examining extreme weather phenomena in warming atmosphere.

3. Network on Climate Change and Coastal Vulnerability: The studies under this network mainly focus on sea level rise, storm surges, ocean acidification, water acquifers, ocean primary productivity, mangroves & corals, coastal pollution, conservation of coastal bioresources, coastal vulnerability, etc.

4. Network on Climate Change and Aerosol: This network covers two broad sub-themes: Aerosols Science studies and Aerosol studies for the Himalayan region. The studies broadly focus on atmospheric aerosol chemistry, nanoparticles, aerosol and cloud interactions, aerosols and glacier melt,etc.

Global Technology Watch Group (GTWG) set up

In order to keep pace with the state of the art technologies emerging globally on key sectors of the economy, Global Technology Watch Group (GTWG) have been set up for technology assessment, evaluation, prioritization, risk assessment and foresight in the areas of climate change adaptation and mitigation. Keeping the broad objectives in mind, DST has set up GTWGs in 8 technology sectors. These include; Renewable energy, Energy efficiency, Green Forest, Sustainable habitat, Water, Sustainable Agriculture, Manufacturing and Clean Coal Technology These GTWGs are being implemented by involving relevant experts, concerned mission directors/officials from the ministries spearheading the national missions and policy makers in above identified sectors.

State Climate Change Cells (NMSKCC-SCCC) established in 11 non-Himalayan States

State CC Centres/Cells have been established in 11 non-Himalayan states and union territories including Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Chattisgarh, Odisha, Telengama, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamilnadu and Puducherry. The mandate of these cells is to conduct vulnerability and risk analysis of important ecosystems at district or sub district levels, institutional capacity building, and training programmes for stakeholders and awareness activities for the communities.

6 lead institutions conducting training on climate change science, impacts and adaptation under Human Capacity building Programme

A Human Capacity Building Programme (HCBP) in climate Change adaptation was initiated wherein 6 lead institutions across the country were involved to conduct training on climate change science, impacts and adaptation areas for different stakeholders.

Indo-US collaborative International Programme supporting specialised Climate Fellowship

An Indo-US bilateral collaboration has been developed for a specialised Climate Fellowship for researchers with the joint support from both the countries. The fellowship is building long-term capacity in India and the United States of America by providing post-doctoral/doctoral fellowships to research scholars to pursue innovative research on climate issues.