Thursday, September 25, 2014

Impact of Coal Fired Power Plants on Mahanadi River: Invite to an Alternative Public Hearing!



Dear Friends/Co-sailors,

Greetings from WIO and Mahanadi River Waterkeeper!

We are organizing a public hearing on impacts of coal fired power plants on Mahanadi.  This will be held on 28th of September at Chantipali village in Lakhanpur block of Jharsuguda district.  This village is on the Odisha-Chhattisgarh border and the public hearing will especially cover the impacts of NTPC's Lara Power Plant that has been approved without consulting the bordering villages who would be impacted by it.  In fact, map of the EIA report has put several villages in Odisha under the buffer zone of the plant.

Water Initiatives Odisha, as part of its 'Save Mahanadi Campaign' is organising this public hearing along with the federation of local self-government representatives of the area known as 'Sarpanch Sangha, Lakhanpur'.

In fact, many power plants have come up in Chhattisgarh-Odisha border without caring for the impacts they would have on the Mahanadi waters as well as people and ecology of downstream in Odisha.  NTPC’s Lara Power Plant is one such plant, which has been set up ignoring genuine concerns of people of Odisha who will be impacted negatively by the plant.

People from Odisha, especially from the Lakhanpur block, have been opposing this plant and asking the Odisha government as well as the Govt. of India to intervene and make their voices count.  Despite a long agitation, the Govt. of Odisha has not moved an inch to support the people’s genuine concern. They have not received any positive response from the central government either.

The Alternative Public Hearing that we are organising will have submissions from the local people with an objective to compile their grievances, add that with environmental concerns as viewed by experts who would join as 'People's Judges' in the public hearing.  The matter will then be taken up at a larger level for providing justice to the local people and freeing Mahanadi from pollution of Thermal Power Plants.

Environmentalist of national and international repute Debi Goenka from the Conservation Action Trust, Mumbai will join as the 'Chief People's Judge' in this programme along with Ranjit Patnaik, a known wildlife expert and member of Wildlife Society of Odisha who will join as 'People's Judge'. 

Ranjan Panda, Convenor of of Water Initiatives Odisha and a known water expert of the nation will co-ordinate the hearing along with Sanjeet Padhan, convenor of the Sarpanch Sangha Lakhanpur.

The programme is scheduled to start at 10.30 AM to be over at lunch time. 

May we request you to please support this great cause of the people of Odisha and ecology of the Mahanadi River by joining us if possible and/or spreading the word to all your contacts.

Looking forward to your support.

Thanks and regards,


Ranjan Panda

Convenor, Water Initiatives Odisha, INDIA
Mahanadi River Waterkeeper (Member, Waterkeeper Alliance, New York)

Mobile: +919437050103
Email: ranjanpanda@gmail.comranjanpanda@yahoo.com

Skype: ranjan.climatecrusader

Water talks to me, I speak for Water...



===
Water Initiatives Odisha (WIO) is a coalition of civil society organisations, farmers, academia, media and other concerned, which has been working on water, environment and climate change issues in the state for more than two decades now.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Good Morning Thought - 25th September 2014!

In search of eternal verities, many turn to manmade religions. I turn to Mother Nature...


Good Morning!

SC cancels 214 coal blocks: a temporary respite for forests, environment and local people!

The Supreme Court has today cancelled 214 out of the 218 coal blocks that it had said were allocated to both PSUs and Private Companies by all governments from 1993 to 2010 in arbitrary, corrupt, nontransparent and illegal ways. 

Please see details of the news at the following link: http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/sc-cancels-214-of-218-coal-block-allocations-114092400501_1.html

This is certainly a great news at the time because this not only exposes the unholy nexus that exists between politicians, bureaucrats and the extraction industries; but also because it now shows that coal is not exactly a cheap fossil fuel to be exploited by destroying the lives and livelihoods of people already dependent on the forests and land resources in the coal mines and by killing the local environment.

This is surely going to be a temporary reprieve for millions of hectares of good forests, millions of people who are dependent on these, numerous other species and uncountable amount of water resources. 

The new government at centre must learn a lesson from this and take sufficient measures to see that coal mining does not destroy all the above again.  After all, coal is the most costly fossil fuel if we take into count all the above losses. 


May reason prevail!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Joint MDB Report on Climate Finance, just released...

Dear Friends/Co-sailors,

I thought you would be interested in this third edition of joint MDB report on Climate Finance that was released today.  So, forwarding the same.

The present report, as mentioned, is based on the joint MDB approach for climate finance reporting, which was first reported in 2012 by the group of Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs - the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the International Financial Corporation (IFC) and World Bank (WB) from the World Bank Group (WBG)) to work towards better climate finance tracking.

The summary of the report says that the information provided has been expanded to include a better sectoral breakdown, and split by public and private operations.  MDBs together, as reported, provided USD 23.8 billion in financing in 2013 to address the challenges of climate change and, since 2011, have provided over USD 75 billion in climate finance to developing and emerging economies.

Of the total USD 23.8 billion in climate finance, 80%, or USD 18.9 billion, was dedicated to mitigation and 20%, or USD 4.8 billion, to adaptation. Of the total commitments, 9%, or USD 2.2 billion, came from external resources, such as bilateral or multilateral donors, including the Global Environment Facility and the Climate Investment Funds.

The report mentions that the regional coverage for 2013 is quite balanced with two regions (East Asia and Pacific, Non-EU Europe and Central Asia) each receiving roughly 20% of total climate finance provided and four regions (South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and Caribbean, EU New Member States) 10-15% each. In regards to sector coverage, 22% of adaptation finance went to “Coastal and riverine infrastructure (including built flood protection infrastructure)” and 30% to the category comprising “Energy, transport, and other built environment and infrastructure”. In mitigation finance, renewable energy still takes by far the largest share, with 25% of the total. 

Even though we are yet to analyse this report, one needs to find out what has actually gone in to the finance details.  I am sure, more constructions and infrastructure building in the name of flood control etc. have received major focus as they generally do.  Then the finance, as always, comes with more ‘knowledge intervention’ in terms of influencing policy decisions of the recipient countries; I am sure. 

The report itself mentions that the MDBs’ activities on climate change go beyond financial operations in many areas, such as for example advice on project design, policy dialogue or the application of climate-specific safeguards. Much of the technical support to our clients on climate change may be of small volumes but with major impacts.

The report can be assessed at the following link:

Look forward to your comments and suggestions.

Thanks and regards,

Ranjan

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

CDM and NAMA Update as on 1st September 2014!

Dear Friends/Co-sailors,

FYI a latest update (as on 1st September) from the cdmpipeline and namapipeline websites.

Hope you would find it useful.

Best regards,

Ranjan


=============================

CDM news:

In August 8 new CDM projects were submitted. Four of these projects were hosted by India, 2 from Brazil, 1 from Bangladesh, and 1 from Lao PDR. In addition 2 projects from India and 1 from Zambia were resubmitted.

17 CDM projects got their registration action in August, bringing the total number of registered CDM project up to 7554, or 87% of the 8690 of the CDM projects that are alive. Only 1126 projects are still at validation and 10 have requested registration.

For 1859 CDM projects the DOEs terminated validation, and for 267 the DOEs gave a negative validation. 270 projects were rejected by the EB, and 63 projects were withdrawn.

August had a monthly issuance of 7.8 MCERs. The total issuance is now 1480 MCERs.  The average issuance success is 89.5%.

According to the "Annual compilation and accounting report for Annex B Parties under the Kyoto Protocol for 2013" FCCC/KP/CMP/2013/6 the total Voluntary Cancellation until the end of 2012 was 4.9 MCERS, and it could easily be the double now. Since the Voluntary Cancelations in the central registry is now 1.1 MCERs, the Voluntary cancelation in the national registries must be around 10 MCERs. However, it is secret how much was canceled for which projects in the national registries.

We have added a new table 7 at the bottom of the "Analysis2" sheet shoving the number of CDM projects using the SD-tool in each host country for each CDM type. The SD-Tool has now been used for 13 CDM projects (4 of these are PoAs).

In the PDD templates the section B8 showing, which the PDD consultants were, was deleted in March 2012. The UNFCCC has now (after EB80) reinserted this information in all the new PDD formats (for some in the monitoring section).

Since some CDM projects have submitted request for renewal into the 3rd crediting period, we have added a new column in the "CDM_project" sheet with the name "3rd period ktCO2e/yr" showing the average expected GHG reduction in this 7 year period.

We have added a new sheet called "TOC_Analysis" containing a Table Of Content for all the many tables and charts in the Analysis sheet. Click on the title of the table or chart you want to see and the macro will bring you there.

We have added a new column in the "Analysis" sheet called "Host country use". In this column you can now see the 128 Chinese CDM projects that have applied to be registered in the domestic pilot compliance market (they are marked with the text "CCER val.". In total 270 projects have been submitted to the Chinese domestic pilot compliance market until now. 16 of these projects are registered (recorded) in the Chinese system and 14 have got CCERs issued. We have added 4 new columns in the the far right-hand side of the "CDM_Project" sheet showing the issuance of CCERs and the credit period for these projects.

PoA news:

Two new PoAs were submitted in August:
"Accelerating Electrification through Grid Extension and Off-Grid Electrification in Rural Areas of Uganda" and
"Programme of Activities for Fossil Natural Gas Substitution by Renewable Natural Gas Produced from Anaerobic Digestion of Organic Waste in Brazil"

Subtracting the 42 PoAs that the DOEs terminated validation of, the 3 PoAs rejected by the EB, the 3 PoAs withdrawn, and the 22 resubmitted PoAs we now have 390 PoAs in the Pipeline: 123 at validation, 5 have requested registration, and 262 are registered.

6 new CPAs were submitted in August for 4 PoAs:
"Tanzania Renewable Energy Programme" got 1 new CPA,
"Promotion of renewable energy generation in India- Programme of Activities" got 2 new CPA.
"PoA on RE" in India got 2 new CPAs, and
"Nepal Biogas Support Program-PoA" got 1 CPA.

We have added a new column in table 2 and 5 in the "PoAanalysis" sheet. It shows how many CPAs have been submitted by each host country, and how many CPAs have used each sub-type. In total 1806 CPAs exist hosted by 64 countries.

We have added 2 small tables in the "PoAanalysis" sheet showing the top 10 most active host countries by the number of submitted PoAs, or CPAs. we also added 2 tables showing the most popular sub-types by number of submitted PoAs, or CPAs.

One PoAs had issuance of CERs in August.
"Small-Scale Renewable Energy PoA in Thailand" got 12.783 kCERs for the first of its CPAs. The total issuance from the 8 PoAs with issuance is now 0.8 MCERs.

JI news:

No new JI projects were submitted in August.

Excluding the 26 withdrawn projects and 1 rejected project the JIPipeline contains 761 projects (555 in track 1 and 206 in track 2).

No JI projects had issuance in August.

The total sale of hot air is estimated to be 453 Million AAUs

NAMApipeline news: see www.namapipeline.org

The UNFCCC NAMA Registry can be accessed by the public at the webpage:  www4.unfccc.int/sites/nama

Two new NAMAs were submitted in August:

"Energy Efficiency in Public Sector" from Dominican Republic, and
We welcome Sudan in the NAMAPipeline with their NAMAs: "Development of a feed-in tariff NAMA for renewable energy".

This information is used as input to our NAMAPipeline, which now contains 53 NAMAs (including 1 NAMA that was withdrawn) and 10 support programmes.

We had added a new column in table 1 in the "Analysis" sheet showing the annual GHG reduction in 2020 in reported in the NAMAs. The total GHG reduction reported from all the NAMA are now 59 MtCO2e. Another column in the same table shows that the total request for financial assistance is 5042 MUS$.
Source: Email from Joergen Fenhann, Rasmus Saldern Antonsen and Thor Nyborg Bendsen, UNEP DTU
===========================

--
Ranjan K Panda

Convenor, Water Initiatives Odisha, INDIA
Mahanadi River Waterkeeper (Member, Waterkeeper Alliance, New York)

Mobile: +919437050103
Email: ranjanpanda@gmail.comranjanpanda@yahoo.com

Skype: ranjan.climatecrusader

Water talks to me, I speak for Water...



===
Water Initiatives Odisha (WIO) is a coalition of civil society organisations, farmers, academia, media and other concerned, which has been working on water, environment and climate change issues in the state for more than two decades now.

Friday, August 29, 2014

My Article on Nuakhai published in Odisha Sun Times!

NUAKHAI: WESTERN ODISHA’S HOMAGE TO MOTHER EARTH

By Ranjan Panda*
Nuakhai, literally meaning ‘eating newly harvested rice’, is the most widely celebrated festival in western Odisha. This festival of a quintessentially agrarian society reflects the rich cultural heritage of respecting ecology as the mother who blesses us with food.
Nuakhai 3The festivities celebrate respect for family elders, village deities and most importantly for Mother Nature, besides unity and friendship in the society.  Believed to have been adopted from the tribal communities of western Odisha, Nuakhai is now recognized as the festival for one and all in this region.
The belief underlying the celebration of Nuakhai is that you have to worship the harvest if you want Mother Earth to bless with you bountiful crops for all times to come.  That is the reason the newly harvested paddy is OFFERED to the mother deity first.  While village deities are offered the new rice all across the region, the ritual has taken the shape of huge ceremonies in pithas of deities like Samaleswari, Pataneswari, Sureswari and Manikeswari.
The new harvest is not considered sacred until it is offered to the deities.  A farmer, it is believed, gets God’s permission to use the harvest for both consumption and trade only after OFFERING the first morsel to Mother Nature.
The Farmer deserves a salute from all of us  (Pic- Ranjan Panda)
The Farmer deserves a salute from all of us
(Pic- Ranjan Panda)
Nuakhai brings the family members back to their ancestral/parental home.  After OFFERING the cookednua prasad made from the new rice, the family head distributes the same to each family member.  He then blesses them all and visits the deity’s temple, meeting friends and fellow villagers and all others present on that day.  It is popularly known as ‘nuakhai bhetghat’.
Tribal communities celebrate the festival with their folk dances.  Nuakhai is an occasion when you normally see everybody wearing new clothes and each family cooking numerous traditional recipes such as pithamanda and other delicacies.
For about three decades now, Nuakhai is being used as a festival for forging unity among all in the western region of Odisha.  Before 1991, people of different areas of the region used to celebrate Nuakhai on different tithis(dates) in the Bhadrava month.  However, after constant efforts by Hindu priest groups, Bhadrava Shukla Paksa Panchami Tithi was fixed for the Nuakhai festival.  Since then, the festival’s rituals are performed on that day. In recognition of the universal nature of the festival, the Government of Odisha has also declared it a state-wide holiday.
Nuakhai 2For the people though, the celebration continues for two, three days.  In rural areas, it stretches even longer.  Millions of people, who migrate each year to distant places for work, try their best to return to the village to celebrate Nuakhai with their family and friends.  Political and cultural groups also celebrate Nuakhai with great gusto.
Essentially an agrarian festival with its origins in ecological principles, Nuakhai has already taken the shape of a mass festival.  However, agriculture in the belt is suffering from many woes.  Drought is becoming more frequent in western Odisha.  More and more farmers are shunning farming and shifting to other occupations.  Government apathy and climate change are making the life of farmers miserable.
While there is no special effort to support farmers against frequent vagaries of nature and man-made calamities, the government is doing everything it can to marginalize them.  The government’s blind promotion of extractive industries at the cost of farmers is a matter of big worry.
If the current approach to development continues, Nuakhai would soon become history or remain as just a ritual bereft of its socio economic context.  For Nuakhai to stay and spread happiness, joy and unity, farmers have to survive and prosper.
………………………………………………………………
Ranjan-PandaThe author is a Sambalpur based water rights activist and Convenor of Water Initiatives Odisha (WIO)

Source: http://odishasuntimes.com/82842/nuakhai-western-odishas-homage-mother-earth/