India to coordinate climate research

India to coordinate climate research

Kashmiri fishermen try to catch fish at the dried river Jehlum in Srinagar, India, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2009. Indian Kashmir's glaciers are melting fast because of rising temperatures, threatening the water supply to millions of people in the Himalayan region, a new study by Indian scientists says. AP

The Prime Minister chaired the meeting meant to give shape to the National Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change (NMSKCC). Manmohan Singh underlined the importance of developing indigenous skills, knowledge and capacities in the science of climate change, a government spokesman said.

In particular, the prime minister stressed: "As we find ourselves having to engage with the global community on climate change, it was necessary to have the ability to prepare and read scientific data related to climate change". He cautioned against compartmentalized thinking in various concerned ministries and suggested an integrated approach to capacity building.

The meeting emphasized the importance of building a vibrant and dynamic knowledge system for effectively promoting ecologically sustainable development with the NMSKCC working as a service mission of the National Action Plan on Climate Change.
It outlined the objectives of the mission as networking existing knowledge institutions for exchange and sharing of data, building institutional and human capacities and improving the understanding of key climate processes and climate risks.
The mission will also define sustainability pathways and work towards building alliances and partnerships through global pathways.

The mission, serviced by the Science and Technology Ministry, will seek to build synergy with the national communication process of the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
At the meeting, the Science and Technology Ministry was asked to incorporate the suggestions made by the civil society representatives, who had forcefully pointed out that the success of the mission would hinge on a public-private partnership. The civil society representatives also emphasized that this mission should plan its strategies only after reaching out to the public.

The meeting was attended by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh, other planners and officials, and non-official members of the council, including TERI Director General R.K. Pachauri.

Principal Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister R. Chidambaram presented the framework to the council, which could not be finalised at the meeting because some members wanted some changes in the framework, according to one of the members.