CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE held in Chennai
The Climate Change Conference was hosted by the Trade Commissioner of the Indian Ocean Trade Council Hon. Vadamalai Subash with the presence of the HIgh Commissioners of Jamaica and Charge D Affaires of the Kingdom of L.esotho in Chennai on the 7th June.
Hon. Subash told the delegates how the Climate Change Is the Biggest Threat to Indian Ocean Security and how this crisis requires collective action, and should serve as a catalyst for the revival of the Indian Ocean Rim Association. The Trade commissioner also shed light on the potential disasters that the world and the Indian Ocean region might have to face in the coming decades. “This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the issues concerning the Indo-Pacific. But the threat of an existential crisis due to natural disasters for a number of island states in the region requires a joint plan of action to tackle the current situation” he said.
He also mentioned how the decline of multilateralism and multilateral institutions has led to a lack of accountability among states in responding to global challenges. He appreciated the presence of the Jamaican High Commissioner HE Jason Keats Hall and the Charge D Affiares of Kingdom of Lesotho HE Mr Thabang Linus Kholumo. Both of them participated in the dialogue of the multilateral body with the ability to promote cooperation which is the need of the hour. Climate change and the potential havoc it might bring to the Indian Ocean region can and must serve as a wake up call. However, this must also be used as a base to address other long-standing problems concerning the region as a whole.
Global warming and its implications for the Indian Ocean region remain the foremost issue that needs to be addressed. With warming levels estimated to be three times higher than in the Pacific, coastal areas across the Indian Ocean region are likely to see a continuous rise in sea levels, resulting in severe coastal erosion. This in turn will result in frequent flooding in low-lying areas. The Indian Ocean is rising at a level of 3.7 millimeters annually, and extreme sea disasters can be expected nearly every year.
High Commissioner of Jamaican and the Lesotho Charge D Affaires honored the Trade Commissioner by giving the certificate of appointment and appreciating the cause of climate change.
Jamaica signed to the Paris Agreement, which seeks to guide the treatment of climate change by limiting the rise of the global temperature below 2 ̊ Celsius and they also became a party to the United National Framework Convention on Climate Change which seeks to regulate Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Jamaica also Implemented a Climate Change Focal Point Network ( CCFPN) – a network which is comprised of representatives of over 27 Ministries and Agencies who are tasked with mobilising resources through the Climate Change Division of the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, They also partnered with the agencies, such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Japan- Climate Change Programme to create Mitigation Actions, they also supported the School Garden’s Pilot Project in the implementation of drip irrigation systems, and the regeneration of school gardens and mainly supported the rehabilitation of the Montego Bay Breakwater Structures. Montego Bay is the major source of tourism revenue for Jamaica.
“Climate change is affecting Lesotho as it does any other country – abnormal seasons, rainy when it’s not supposed to be, dry winters… it affects the cropping of Lesotho,” says Dr. Asif Iqbal, President of the Indian Economic Trade Organization. “We hope through Indian collaboration we can create tools to be able to foresee all of that, and try to solve the problem from what we see on the maps.” he said.
In 2007, a severe drought in Lesotho and South Africa drastically reduced crop yields and increased food prices.
Climate change is an increasing threat to Africa as Increasing temperatures and sea levels, changing precipitation patterns and more extreme weather are threatening human health and safety, food and water security and socio-economic development in Africa, according to a new report devoted exclusively to the continent.
Climate change is having a growing impact on the African continent, hitting the most vulnerable hardest, and contributing to food insecurity, population displacement and stress on water resources. In recent months there have been devastating floods, an invasion of desert locusts and now face the looming spectre of drought because of a La Niña event. The human and economic toll has been aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa.
The year 2019 was among the three warmest years on record for the continent. That trend is expected to continue. African temperatures in recent decades have been warming at a rate comparable to that of most other continents, and thus somewhat faster than global mean surface temperature.
During the event the diplomats along with the Trade commissioner also launched the special annual report of the Climate change by the ministry of Environment and Forest
She adds: “We now have a different topography, so we hope the maps will result in better planning, better cropping, better production.”
For years, WFP has used cutting-edge GIS data to chart the course for programmes and the vehicles that deliver them in countries such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Haiti, Mozambique, and Syria.
Despite several steps in a positive direction, India’s efforts are widely seen as a long way from the drastic measures needed to respond to the climate emergency. India is the only major country to be on track to achieve its targets set out in the landmark Paris climate agreement, according to the UN Environment Program’s Emission Gap Report.
For instance, India plans to reduce the emissions intensity of GDP — the volume of carbon emissions emitted for every unit of GDP — by around 35% by 2030 from 2005 levels. “India has achieved its voluntary target of reducing emissions intensity of its GDP by 21% over 2005 levels by 2020,” the country’s environment minister said last November. The country is also nearing its 2015 goal of achieving about 40% share of non-fossil fuel-based electricity generating capacity, which the government expects will be achieved by 2023 — seven years ahead of schedule. Indian Economic Trade Organization is working on leading a delegation to the COP28 to be held in Dubai in November 2023. THe delegation will be led by the Trade Commissioner of Indian Ocean Trade Councl in Chennai. Hon. Vadamalai Subash whp will address the Indian Oceans strategic initiatives in Climate Change. .