Kashmir University forms high-profile panel on climate change

As climate change concerns for Jammu & Kashmir are looming like never before, University of Kashmir has constituted a Climate Change Working Group with an aim to guide the focus and direction of climate change research in J&K and to suggest a strategy for effective dissemination of knowledge about climate change impacts on various sectors in the region.

The Working Group, scheduled to hold its maiden meeting on 16 February, 2021, is also intended to guide the development of the sector-specific adaptation strategy to minimize the adverse impacts of climate change on economy and livelihoods and also to identify the available funding and collaborative opportunities at regional, national and international level.

The Working Group, chaired by Prof. Talat Ahmad (Vice Chancellor, Kashmir University), has the following members: Prof. Shakil A. Romshoo (Dean Research, Kashmir University); Director National Institute of Technology (NIT); Arjimand Hussain Talib (International Development Expert and Founder of Ziraat Times); Aijaz Ahmed Bhat  (Director, Horticulture Department Kashmir); Iftikhar Kakroo (Director, Irrigation and Flood Control Department); Iqbal Chaudhary (Director, Agriculture Department Kashmir); Sonam Lotus (Director Meteorological Department, Kashmir); Sakib Qadri (Environmental expert), Prof Nilofer Khan (Kashmir University); Prof Muhammad Sultan Bhat (Geology Department, University of Kashmir); Shazia Manzoor (Coordinator, Department of Social Work, KU); Dr. Mohammad Shafi; Mr Nasir Shah, Dr Aijaz and Mohammad Muslim (Member Secretary).

Prof. Shakil A. Romshoo (Dean Research, Kashmir University), who is mainly coordinating the working of the group, told Ziraat Times, “At the University of Kashmir, we have identified climate change as a thrust area of research and are seeking collaborations and partnerships with the reputed national and international institutes, governments and society to further develop the long term research program on Climate Change in the university. The University has recently formed the Working Group on Climate Change (WG-CCR) that would suggest a strategic plan that outlines the policies and actions required to be taken by the different stakeholders in the region to mitigate and adapt to the climate change effects in order to minimize the adverse impacts of the climate change on various sectors in the region. A regional Climate Change Model, WRF being run at the University for High Resolution Weather and climate forecasting and prediction of the future climate change scenarios and their impacts on water resources, glaciers and even air quality in the Kashmir Himalayas.”

“Unless timely and integrated adaptation and mitigation interventions are implemented, the adverse impacts of climate change are likely to jeopardize development progress across multiple sectors in region that have already suffered setbacks. Responding to these challenges and the development needs of the region, a regional climate resilience initiative in the form of a working group on climate change research was constituted to have broad consultation among all the stakeholders to support institutional capacity, to address the impacts of climate change, to support local approaches to climate change adaptation and to enhance resilience in the priority areas of water, food and energy security in region. It is hoped that collective efforts and research collaborations would contribute to the better understanding of the Climate Change linkages to the local environmental problems and ultimately help to develop a strategy to mitigate and adapt the climate change in the region. The Working Group deliberation would highlight the main constraints hindering the adaptation and mitigation process in the region including weak institutional capacity to address climate change and strengthen integrated approach to climate change policy-making and ensure prioritization of climate change adaptation actions at the regional level”, the group’s terms of reference further reads.

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