DSDS - 2011
Tapping Local Initiatives and
Tackling Global Inertia
3-5 February 2011,Taj Palace Hotel, New Delhi

TERI and Government of Assam organize a multi stake-holder discussion on the “North East and the Response to Climate Change”

With an aim to have a thorough strategy to understand the implications of climate change in Assam and the North Eastern region, so that well formulated measures could be taken for its people to adapt to its effects, Government of Assam, in association with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), today organized a major state-level summit – “North East and the Response to Climate Change- Policies for Watershed Management, Energy Security, and Biodiversity”. The summit was inaugurated by the honourable Chief Minister Sh Tarun Gogoi, Dr Vibha Dhawan, Executive Director TERI, Mr Naba Kumar Das, Chief Secretary, Govt of Assam and Mr Prabir Sengupta, Former Secretary, Government of India and Distinguished Fellow TERI. Senior government functionaries and opinion leaders from the North Eastern Region of the country were also present at the one-day summit.

The Summit dwelt on four key thematic areas of: (1) impacts of climate change in the NE, and the need and value of local action; (2) successful community based approaches to biodiversity protection; (3); Local actions to increase water access in the face of climate change : Integrated watershed development approaches and Local agricultural water use and practices, and (4) Decentralized energy solutions: Specific needs of the north east, apart from deliberating on sustainable local and state level initiatives and social, environmental and institutional challenges in the state of Assam and North East par se.

In his inaugural address the honourable Chief Minister Sh. Tarun Gogoi emphasising the need for inclusive development in the entire North East region said, “The State of Assam along with the other north eastern states should have a thorough strategy to understand the implications of climate change so that well formulated measures could be taken for its people to adapt to its effects. The strategy should have necessary policy support at the Government level and have its basis on scientific facts and evidences.”

Lauding TERI for its exemplary work in the state and the entire North Eastern region of the country, the Chief Minister said that Assam required environmental and ecological security, an area in which he solicited the support of The Energy and Resources Institute, with which the state government has long been associated. Gogoi revealed his Government recognised the need for preparing for the effects of climate change and also wanted to find solutions to perennial problems such as floods, erosion and deforestation.Committing TERI's expertise towards the development of the state, Dr Vibha Dhawan, Executive Director, TERI said, "TERI opened its regional centre in Guwhati in early 1990s, and since then TERI has been working closely with the state govt. We wish to further join hands with the North eastern states for promotion of energy efficient buildings and tapping renewable resources." Dr Dhawan further mentioned that this summit was a build-up event towards the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS), TERI's annual flagship event that will take place from 3rd-5th February 2011 at New Delhi. "Local governments and its institutions assume a larger role in nurturing local resources, developing local initiatives and mobilizing the civil society towards a desirable change. There is a need to tap these initiatives and emulate them globally, which will be highlighted at the DSDS 2011."

Mr. Naba Kumar Das, Chief Secretary, Govt of Assam and Mr Prabir Sengupta, Distinguished Fellow TERI, in their addresses underlined the importance of addressing climate change by arguing that swift action needs to be taken to reduce energy consumption by 20 per cent and by pursuing a policy of development that works in tandem with all state governments in North East India.

The deliberations at the summit are expected to considerably raise awareness on these issues among a diverse range of stakeholders, and eventually lead to incorporation of these into the development strategy of the North eastern states. TERI would also highlight key learning's from this summit at the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit scheduled for February 3-5, 2011.

Key Recommendations at the summit were:

  • Upgrading of traditional systems for water harvesting, and conservation (for eg terrace farming, bamboo based drip irrigation etc…
  • Role of joint forest management (JFM) to be enhanced for adaptation and mitigation
  • Preparing self-services for water borne diseases, especially after disasters
  • Reinforce adaptation practices to deal with flood and water scarcity
  • Empower communities both socially and economically through implementation of existing policies and programs
  • Complement autonomous adaptation of people with planned adaptation support through bottom-up participatory decision making which is socio-culturally acceptable to people and environmentally benign
  • Mainstream climate change adaptation to disaster management and development programs
  • Develop climate change risk reduction strategy typically for the NE region
  • Ensure reliable and timely flood forecasting and early warning
  • Adopt non-structural measures to compliment structural measures of flood mitigation
  • Implement missions of NAPCC which local priorities
  • Abstain from large interventions on river systems like large river dams
  • To institute the Bhramaputra river basin water shed authority for better and balanced used of natural resources
  • Need for integrated vulnerability assessments to identify suitable adaptation measures
  • Development of cost benefit tools for adaptation option
  • Explore synergies between isolated efforts towards development and climate risk reduction
  • Develop and integrated water resources management with active engagement of local communities
  • Identify opportunities under the national water mission
  • Conversation of specific varieties of resources of species for disease free planting material
  • Active participation of people, private sector and local technologies has to be implemented

Key Speakers

  • Shri Tarun Gogoi, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Assam
  • Mr Naba Kumar Das, Chief Secretary, Govt of Assam
  • Dr Vibha Dhawan, Executive Director, TERI
  • Dr Arabinda Mishra, Director-Earth Science and Climate Change, TERI
  • Mr Prabir Sengupta, Distinguished Fellow, TERI
  • Mr Dipankar Saharia, Fellow, TERI
  • Mr. Saraswati Prasad, IAS, Principal Secretary, Department of Environment and Forest, Government of Assam
  • Prof P C Bhattacharjee (Retd), Zoology Department, Gauhati University
  • Mr R P Agarwalla, IFS, Chief Conservator of Forest (Territorial), Assam
  • Dr. Prem Saran, Commissioner & Secretary, Dept. of Soil Conservation, Assam
  • Shri N.J. Sharma, Director IC, North Eastern Regional Institute of Water and Land Management & Adviser (IFC, WSM), NEC, Shillong
  • Dr. Partha J Das, Programme Head Water, Climate & Hazard (WATCH) Programme
  • Prof. D C Baruah, Professor & HoD, Department of Energy, Tezpur University
  • Mr Anuj Goswami, Deputy Director (Engineering), Assam Electricity Regulatory Commission
  • Mr Mrinal Choudhury, Additional Director, Assam Energy Development Agency


Copyright 2011TERI