IIPA and SSDMA kicks off workshop on making Sikkim Climate Smart

Gangtok, 11 Jan:

To better understand the issue of climate change in Sikkim, Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA) and the technical service SEEDS in collaboration with Sikkim State Disaster Management Authority (SSDMA) kicked off two days long training and policy workshop programme on Capacity Building Strategies for Managing Complex Disasters in the face of Climate Change with the theme “The First Organic State...Now Moving towards being the first Climate Smart State," a press release informs.

The workshop sponsored by National Mission on Himalayan Studies and Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Government of India had State Relief Commissioner cum Secretary, Land Revenue and Disaster Management Department, Tsegyal Tashi as the chief guest on its inaugural day and former Dean of Jawaharlal Nehru University, Professor CK Varshney as the keynote speaker.

Addressing the inaugural session, Mr Tsegyal said that climate change is a significant and emerging threat to Sikkim.

“From the last couple of years we are witnessing the extensive increase of temperature and it is a matter of serious concern for Sikkim,” he added.

He also expressed his serious concern on the rapid infrastructure development and informed that Sikkim is going to have a building code shortly in order to check the rapid infrastructure development taking place.

“We must be better prepared for unforeseen disasters by educating ourselves through this kind of capacity building strategies for managing complex disasters," he informed.

Professor Varshney talked about the global environmental issues and sustainable development by shedding light on the wider environmental issues for sustainability. He also discussed about climate change, complex disaster, flash flood earthquake, importance of biodiversity etc.

Professor Varshney advised the Land Revenue and Disaster Management Department to have State Building Codes to ensure that homes and infrastructure are not at risk in Sikkim and said that rapid and unplanned urbanization further increases the risks as Sikkim already falls in Seismic Zone IV region.

“Building Codes will need to be strictly enforced and urban planning needs to be done so that the State is prepared for climate-related disasters,” he added.

SSDMA vice chairperson, Professor Vinod K Sharma also spoke about climate change and how they are conducting awareness among Panchayats in rural Sikkim.

The programme was also attended by SSDMA special secretary, Rinzing Chewang, representative from IIPA, UNDP and stake holders.