NIRDPR & INSEE-CESS hosts International Conference to Address Climate Change

Hyderabad: National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR) is collaborating with Indian Society for Ecological Economics (INSEE), Centre for Economic and Social Sciences (CESS), Hyderabad, and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), India to organize the Tenth INSEE Biennial Conference from 6th to 8th November 2019 in Hyderabad. The conference is supported by the Government of Telangana, the TATA Trust and other agencies.

Nearly 200 delegates are participating in various plenary, technical and panel discussions on various topics with climate change and agriculture, water, forestry and rural livelihoods being the dominant themes around which many papers and panels are being presented.

The conference aims to discuss integrating climate solutions in the planning and execution of work under MGNREGS, one of the most extensive programmes with high potential to address the adaptation needs of rural India to climate change. The conference is directly relevant in the current national context as it aims to address the challenges posed by Climate Change.

Addressing the Inaugural session, Mr. Rajeev Ahal, Director, Natural Resource Management, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), India, said, “India stands out in recovery from the disasters. It’s time for us to build the climate resilent structures on a large scale. Water is the major drivers and we need to plan and utilize it.”

The three-day International Conference is expected to provide a valuable opportunity to bring together academics, policy-makers and development practitioners to discuss the key challenges that India faces in the wake of climate change and disasters happening in different parts of India. It also provides an opportunity to learn important lessons for transiting towards a climate multidisciplinary and inter-disciplinary perspectives which are necessary for taking pro-active steps for a climate resilient economy.

The conference proceedings will provide further insights into the status of climate research in India and give directions towards key areas for further research and policy intervention to address the risks imposed by climate change and make India a more climate resilient country.

Speaking about the importance of this conference, Dr. WR Reddy, IAS, Director General, NIRDPR, said, “Apart from climate change, there cannot be another topic which is relevant in the current scenario. NIRDPR’s main mandate is to create Sustainable Rural Development. We substantially contribute to climate resilient in terms of practitioners. We anchor capacity building programmes. NIRDPR is also contributing substantially by using carbon footprint.”

He further added, “MGNREGA is a very important factor here. It’s 50% amount is being spent on natural resources conservation. MGNREGA alone can substantially contribute to our requirements. I wish that more and more research will be done in this area. MGNREGA should get fully funded by other sources as well. We are working with Panchayats which are going to play a major role in taking forward to the practitioners in managing this crisis. Adequate data helps policymakers much in advance. I urge scholars to perform research in such areas. Data availability and creation are important. We need definitive solutions. Only major reactions won’t solve the problem.”

As part of the Conference, a panel from the Centre for Wage Employment (CWE), NIRDPR, will discuss the ‘MGNREGA Contribution to Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Mitigation.’ The NIRDPR Faculty will also make presentations on different aspects of climate-mitigation and adaption in a technical session.

Delivering Presidential Address, Prof K.N. Ninan, President, Indian Society for Ecological Economics, New Delhi, said, “Climate change have impacted the humans, biodiversity on a larger scale. We should strive to build an action plan on climate change.”

The key topics that will be discussed in-depth during this conference include

Ø What are the likely impacts of climate change on human and natural ecosystems?

Ø How will it affect different sectors and sections of the society?

Ø What are the alternatives and policy options to address the risks posed by climate change and extreme weather events?

To address the risks posed by climate change, there is a need to build the resilience of people, areas and sectors to cope with these risks. Mainstreaming ‘resilience’ into development plans is therefore critical to tackling poverty, inequality, ill health and poor sanitation, as well as realizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), since poor and marginalized people and poor countries that have low adaptive capacity are most vulnerable to the adverse consequences of climate change.