“Climate Change impact” fails to move beyond the research papers and workshops in Kashmir.
Local and International studies point” Kashmir” as one of the worst climate change sufferers.
BISMAH MALIK, SRINAGAR, Dec 12: Kashmir is under international scanner again- reasons drifting from political to geological. When internationally acclaimed pop and rock singer Terra Naomi performed in the snow clad Gulmarg valley and on the banks of Dal which coincided with the international deliberations of the nations on climate change at Copenhagen, Kashmiris seldom recognized the linkages which were drawn between the international concerns on climate change and Kashmir.
The timelines of an international summit on Climate Change in Copenhagen and a rock concert in Kashmir clearly signified that if overlooked, Kashmir would face the doom in the hands of Climate change in worse ways than others.
Despite the open air shouts from the scientists based in valley, and outside, and government acknowledging the disheartening fact of Kashmir valley being plundered of its life sourcing glaciers, most of the environmentalists are worried over the government’s inability to ensure that “the climate change” does not become a pain for our generations to come.
While the rest of the world is in the process of formulating a strategy to combat the futuristic undesirable effects of climate change, Kashmir is already at the receiving end with many of its big and small glaciers disappearing without a trace.
The concerns raised by the state government, geologists and even NGOs in this perspective, unleash a sense of responsibility, but by and large the people who are going to go through the hell of Climate change would be 80 per cent of the State’s population who are engaged with the various activities, which have direct or indirect dependence on the climate factor.
“Unfortunately most of the people who are going to be bothered by “Climate change” phenomenon would be the ones who are least aware of its repercussions, especially the majority of our population which lives in rural areas where the awareness drives, research findings and the noise of climate change have not even hit the ears,” opines. Dr. Arif Shafi, Srinagar based environmentalist..
A number of studies both conducted within the state and even elsewhere have pointed out towards Kashmir being the worst affected climate change victim, and some of the key-life feeding industries like agriculture, horticulture, livestock rearing and forestry gradually loosing sheen with climate playing a villainous role.
“If all these gross trends were to turn true, the loss of habitat, economy and resources of Jammu and Kashmir would be unimaginable.”, comments Dr.Arif Shafi.
A three year study conducted at Kashmir University, the report of which was released in October 2009, concluded that almost all the glaciers in the valley are receding to some extent with the Kolohoi glacier having already shrunk to 4.44 square kilometers to 5 square kilometers in the last 40 years.
A New Delhi based geologist Prof. Shankar Sharma who had conducted a study on the influence of climate change on Kashmir valley concluded that the receding glaciers are the inherent cause of the unusual dry spell, increased temperatures during summers, scanty and untimely snowfall during winters.
Prof. Sharma’s independent study has a striking resemblance with the Kashmir University’s geology department’s finding, owing a shift in the vegetation pattern of the valley from the low altitude to high altitude areas to the climate change.
The rate at which the Kashmir based glaciers are receding should have prompted both the state and central governments to enforce stringent regulations which could have inhibited the man led activities contribution to climate change.
“ While elsewhere in the world, leaders are suspecting the possible hazards which the climate change could usher in their life style and economy, Kashmir is already stung by “Climate change bug” and the concerned authorities are just turning a blind eye towards this grave issue. “believes. Dr. Arif Shafi a Srinagar based environmentalist.
Pertinently, the various laws
A faction of scientists believe that the “Climate change” has subtly displayed its symptoms to masses in variable forms like lesser agricultural production, rising vegetable prices and water shortage , but there is no conceivable awareness which has been created on this front which could have alarmed the people living in rural areas who would be hit the most .
“While there are both international and state laws in place, which could have avoided the destruction to a great extent, the law enforcing agencies have not even geared up to implement the so called laws” added Dr. Arif.
Though workshops, studies and discussions would pave a way for the strategy to be adopted, the strategy needs to be implemented as soon as possible to assist the climate in returning to normal.