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ISSUES, CONCERNS AND OPPORTUNITIES

By Dr Khursheed Ahmad Wani

The two day national conference on climate change and human health: Issues, concerns and opportunities during 8-9 October, 2018 organized by Department of Chemistry and Environmental Sciences was inaugurated by the galaxy of scientists, research scholars, academicians, industrialists and students from different parts of the country. The conference souvenir and a book on Environmental Science were released by the persons on the dice. The Chief Guest of the occasion Prof. Zahoor Ahmad Bhat (Senior Scientist, SKAUST K) raised the issues and concerns of the climate change on horticulture sector of the valley. Prof N.A. Chirag (Principal GDC, Bijbehara) in his welcome address argued that there is a need to act at individual level to fight the climate change that is a global issue. Prof. M.K. Jyoti former Head, Department of Zoology, University of Jammu made his key note address with major concerns on different dimensions of environment and role of climate change in their degradation. He stressed that everyone among us has a role to combat global warming and suggested the measures that can be adopted to arrest the global warming. The role of endocrine disruptors and climate change on the reproductive health of women has been explained by Nibedita Naha (Scientist, NIOH, Ahmadabad). The challenges for research on human population were widely debated by Naha. Since climate change has affected every sector, Dr H. C. Dutt advocated that climate change is affecting the tribal population of Jammu and Kashmir as well. Sericulture industry of Jammu and Kashmir that provides employment to good chunk of population, but has been critically damaged by the effects of climate change were explained by Dr Irfan Illahi (Scientists D at CSR&TI, Manasbal). Fisheries and aquaculture, being one of the most and delicate sector, is badly affected by the climate change and need to be checked before this resource is lost were the findings of Dr Yaha Bakhtiyar (Professor at University of Kashmir). Impact of climate change on mulberry cultivation of Malwa Plateau was well discussed and elaborated by Dr Rajesh Dixit from PMB Gujarati Science College, Indore. Trout fisheries: a promising venture for fish production in Kashmir was explained by Dr. Gohar Bilal Wani, Prof at SKAUST. In order to minimize the impact of climate change and adjustments in the economy and society in general, in the present scenario strong commitment is needed from stakeholders at different levels to tackle climate change and minimize its impact on human health were the glimpses of the lecture by Er. Zulfiker Siddiuqi. Mr. Sonum Lotus (Director, Metrology Department) was also the main attraction of the conference as he discussed, debated the climatic conditions of valley and how this has been impacted over a period of time. Prof. Humaira Qadri, Department of Environmental Science, S.P. College Srinagar deliberated that increase in temperature and decrease in precipitation over Srinagar in future may cause deleterious effects not only to environment of valley but cause deleterious effects on biodiversity, water resources, forests, health and other components of environment. In the different technical sessions of the conference the climate change impacts were discussed by young budding researchers with different angles, the religious aspects, the sociological dimensions, the philosophical scenario and scientifically proven facts were taken into consideration.
Most of the presenters were highly concerned about the effects of climate change on different parts of environment. They felt that there is a need to mitigate greenhouse gases at the earliest. The mitigation of greenhouse gases provides a mechanism for slowing, and perhaps eventually halting, the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. A slowing of the rate of warming could yield important benefits in the form of reduced impacts to human health and other systems; however, the inertia in the climate system means that there will be a significant temporal lag between emission reduction and slowing in the rate of warming. Adaptation is another important response option. Such actions enhance the resilience of vulnerable systems, thereby reducing potential damages from climate change and climate variability. Therefore, it is pertinent to aware the people about the impacts caused by the climate change that is only possible by vibrant communication mechanisms. There is a need to address the issues and concerns at the local level to control greenhouse gas emissions.
The conference was concluded by the remarks of Prod. Zahoor Ahmad Chatt, Director Colleges, Higher Education Department, who was of the opinion, such events open new vistas in the field of knowledge and climate change is among them. He suggested that such events must be organized regularly to aware people about the different dimensions of knowledge and understanding. Prizes were disturbed among the winners both in oral and poster category. Prof S.M. Zuber presented vote of thanks. The conference was financially supported by DST –SERB, New Delhi, ICMR New Delhi & Higher Education Department J&K.
(The author teaches environmental science at GDC Bijbehara & was the joint secretary of conference)