SAP for climate change remains on papers only

Suhail Bhat

Srinagar, Dec 22: The State Action for Climate Change (SAPCC) Plan was approved by the Central Government in 2014, but Jammu and Kashmir has failed to implement it in the last seven years, with officials claiming that the headquarters has urged them to develop a new plan since the existing one was flawed.
While the rest of the world takes climate change seriously and devises innovative ways to combat it, the administration in Kashmir appears unconcerned, as evidenced by the fact that the SAPCC is still on paper after almost seven years since the vision document was produced. The Government should have been more concerned about climate change because Jammu and Kashmir is located in the delicate Himalayan region, but the administration here appears to be indifferent about the issue.
The officials associated with the drafting of the document said that there were 11 missions identified in that plan. Agriculture, tourism, energy, and sustainable ecosystems are among the missions that have been launched, but nothing important has been accomplished in seven years. “Although there have been a few efforts in the areas of flood management and resilient agriculture in recent years, nothing substantial has been accomplished, an official said.
According to experts, SAPCC intends to meet J&K’s commitments by developing action plan that incorporates both adaptation and mitigation measures to deal with the effects of climate change, but it has had little influence on the ground.
“The Climate Action Plan was created in tandem with the national climate change action plan, but there has been no movement on the ground. I am not sure where this policy document stands, but efforts should be made on a global scale to address this issue, as it impacts the entire planet. To tackle this problem, we also need to take action at the local level,” Shakeel Ramshoo, a top scientist who has studied the issue, told Excelsior.
The Union Government released the country’s first National Action Plan on Climate Change on June 30, 2008, including current and future policies and programs focused on climate mitigation and adaptation. As a result, each State was required to develop its own State Action Plan on Climate Change.
The Jammu and Kashmir developed a State Climate Change Action Plan and submitted it to the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests and in August 2015, the Union Government launched the National Adaptation Fund on Climate Change (NAFCC) to support the program, but the Jammu and Kashmir has failed to deliver.
According to the official, the approach failed because it lacked vulnerability and regional climate models. “The strategy has a number of flaws. The vulnerability assessment, for example, was omitted. The cost of these mitigation measures was estimated to be Rs. 6000 crore, but funds were not provided. We would be able to withstand climate change with a comprehensive plan, “an official said.
Neelu Gera, Director of Ecology, Environment and Remote Sensing in Jammu and Kashmir, said the Central Government had instructed them to prepare a new action plan because the previous one was defective. “We are working on it and will release it soon”, she said.