Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Spring Surprise that devastates Indian farmers: We urge upon you to support them - Ranjan Panda

Dear Friends/Co-sailors,

Greetings from Combat Climate Change Network, India!

The Spring shower has given a devastating surprise to Indian farmers in several parts of India. Standing crops such as Wheat, Mustard, Gram and fruits like Mango, Cashew, Orange and Grapes have been severely affected.  

At a time when the Indian government is discussing budget in the current session of Parliament and there seems no big hope for the farmers, this untimely rain and resultant losses is spelling a doomsday for the farming communities of the country.

I am pasting below a latest news published in Hindustan Times that details the devastation and the cause, especially the Western disturbance.

We are keeping a watch on the situation and request you to please support the farmers of the nation at this critical moment.

We at Combat Climate Change Network, India urge upon the Government of India as well as respective state Governments to be with the farmers and support them with appropriate compensation and all necessary back up to recover from this loss.

Thanking you

Ranjan Panda
Convenor, Combat Climate Change Network, India
Email: ranjanpanda@gmail.com
Mob: +91-94370-50103
Skype: ranjan.climatecrusader

Tweet @ranjanpanda
Tweet @MahanadiRiver

Spring shower, winds take toll on India's rabi crops

  • Vanita Srivastava, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  •  | 
  • Updated: Mar 03, 2015 01:43 IST

“We are still compiling the data but, on an average, untimely rains in the last two days, depending on the region, have caused 10-20% damage to standing crops like wheat, mustard and gram. Some fruits like mango, cashew, orange and grapes have been affected,” said Dr N Chattopadhyay, deputy director general, agricultural meteorology division, Pune.

Apart from Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab received heavy rains caused by western disturbance that formed in the Arabian Sea on February 28. Western disturbance is the term used to describe a storm originating in the Mediterranean that brings sudden rain and snow to the Indian subcontinent. Maharashtra registered moderate to heavy rains. Sunday’s downpour of 56.8mm has already made this month Delhi’s wettest March in five years.
“The high winds accompanied by rains have caused lodging of crops in many areas. Most parts of Punjab, Delhi, Haryana, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh have been affected. Wheat-growing areas have been affected the most,” Chattopadyay said.
With the weatherman predicting more rains in the coming days, there has been growing concern of its effect on farmers and their produce. “March will be wetter than normal. There will be a negative impact on early-sown mustard and wheat in all regions where the rainfall has been very heavy.  We can also expect some loss of vegetables. The high humidity and low temperature have created conditions that are congenial for the outbreak of pests and diseases in fields,” director general of India Meteorological Department (IMD) Dr L S Rathore said.

According to IMD sources, another western disturbance is likely to form on March 5.  “This fresh disturbance will affect the western Himalayan region from March 7 and cause scattered precipitation. It will also cause isolated rain and thunderstorm over plains of northwest and central India and at a few places in the northeast. Isolated rain or thunderstorm would also occur over peninsular India.”

The issue of loss to farmers was also raised by some MPs. Minister of state for parliamentary affairs Rajiv Pratap Rudy said the government would take appropriate measures.
(Source: http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/untimely-rains-ruin-wheat-mustard-and-gram-crops/article1-1322395.aspx)

WIO's Mahanadi River Basin Update - 2nd March 2015!

Theme: Coal and Mahanadi

Vedanta’s fly ash pond is illegally built on forest land

Dear Friends/Co-sailors,

We are shocked to learn that the Vedanta group of company’s Sesa Sterlite Industries, at Bhurkamunda of Jharsuguda district, has built its fly ash pond by illegally encroaching upon 246.74 acres of forest land in complete violation of the Forest Conservation Act 1980. 

This is unlawful and the company must be immediately punished for this criminal offence.

While the ash pond has been built since 2009-2010, and the local people have always complained about its illegality, ironically the Forest Department is said to have intervened in this matter only in 2013. All these years therefore, the illegal fly ash pond kept operating in connivance with the Forest Department. 

What surprises us more is that the Forest Department is said to have written only one letter requesting the company in this regard while they should have shut the fly ash pond by now.

The role of the local administration and most importantly that of the Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) is also dubious in this case.  How can such an unlawful operation go without their support?   All the concerned officials, who have deliberately let Vedanta continue with this illegal act, should also be questioned and punished in this case.

Since the year 2010, WIO has been pointing at the blatant and open violations of environmental and other laws by Vedanta group of companies in that area.  We have also been urging upon the state government to not allow any thermal power plant without first ensuring the proper management of fly ash.  However, this case once again exposes how the state government has been neglecting the health and well-being of the local people, forests, water bodies and rivers by allowing the companies like Vedanta to loot local resources, destroy the environment and flout laws of the land.

We urge upon the state government of Odisha to effect an immediate closure of the illegal fly ash pond, free the forest land from the company’s clutches and punish all who are responsible for violating the laws of the land in this case.

For further information on the issue and support our campaigns, please contact:

Ranjan K Panda

Mahanadi River Waterkeeper (Member, Global Waterkeeper Alliance)
Convenor, Water Initiatives Odisha (WIO)

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

Skype: ranjan.climatecrusader

Tweet @ranjanpanda
Tweet @MahanadiRiver

Blog: http://www.climatecrusaders.blogspot.com/

Please join with us in saving Mahanadi, India's 6th largest River...

Monday, March 2, 2015

Good Morning Thought - 3rd March 2015!

The flame gets brightest just before dying down, perhaps as a last minute call for help...

Good Morning!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

IPCC's next plan of action to make its report more accessible and involve developing countries closely!

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has taken a series of decisions to make its reports more accessible and involve developing countries more closely in its work. 

The decisions, following a review of the future work of the IPCC over the past year and a half, pave the way for the IPCC to prepare its next cycle of reports, which will be initiated by elections for a new Bureau and Chair in October 2015. 

Among the moves agreed to this week at its Session in Nairobi, Kenya, the Panel decided to increase the representation of African and Asian countries in the IPCC Bureau by increasing the number of its members to 34 from 31.

It also decided to continue preparing comprehensive assessment reports every five to seven years, which also cover regional aspects of climate change, taking into account the work of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in determining its future reports and their timing. 

It agreed that the different parts of an assessment report should be released within about a year, but no more than 18 months, with a staggering between working group contributions to allow information presented by one working group to be adequately reflected in the other working group contributions and the Synthesis Report. 

This meeting, hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme at its headquarters in Nairobi, was the IPCC’s first since completing the Fifth Assessment Report in November 2014, the most comprehensive assessment of the science relating to climate change ever undertaken. 

The IPCC generally examines its operations and products at the end of an assessment cycle. The latest review, to help determine how the IPCC works in future, the kind of reports it produces and how it can draw on the contributions of all its members, began in October 2013.

Below is a selection of decisions taken by the IPCC at its 41st Session in Nairobi on 24-27 February 
Structure and operations of the IPCC 

·  Increase the representation of African and Asian countries on the IPCC Bureau by increasing the number of its members to 34 from 31; 
·  Request the Secretariat and Technical Support Units to command a respectful workplace, emphasizing policies and practices that promote diversity, fairness, collaboration and inclusiveness. 

Frequency and scheduling of reports 

·  Continue to produce assessment reports every 5 to 7 years; 
·  Parts of an assessment report to be issued within about a year and at most 18 months of each other. 

Making reports more user-friendly 

·  Ensure that up-to-date digital technology is used to share and disseminate information; 
·  Seek advice from various specialists to make IPCC reports more readable. 

Enhancing the role and contribution of developing countries 

·  Improve access for authors to non-English language scientific literature; 
·  Encourage the authors of non-English language literature to serve as expert reviewers, contributing authors and chapter scientists; 
·  Allow the possibility of both countries providing co-chairs for a working group or task force to host a technical support unit to enhance the profile and improve working conditions for co-chairs from developing countries; 
·  Consider how to broaden the nomination process for authors and review editors; 
·  Encourage the use of research assistants or chapter scientists to support authors; 
·  Encourage co-chairs and other Bureau members to engage experts from developing countries in technical support units, as authors and as reviewers; 
·  Increase the number of IPCC activities in developing countries; 
·  Arrange briefings and training sessions for government representatives, e.g. before IPCC sessions; 
·  Use communications and outreach activities to provide experts with information about the IPCC process and how they can participate in IPCC work; 

·  Consider ways of training and supporting young scientists from developing countries, even though training and capacity-building is beyond the mandate of the IPCC. 

(Source: Press Release from IPCC)

Good Morning Thought - 2nd March 2015!

A mother affects eternity, never stops influencing you...

Good Morning!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Budget: India to do away with Environment Ministry soon? - Ranjan Panda

(Image: from FB, anonymous)

As soon as the current government at centre was sworn in to power last year, I had predicted how - keeping with the tradition followed in Gujarat (when the current Prime Minister was Chief Minister there) - the Environment Ministry may be done away with; sooner than later.  My apprehension, I am afraid, is turning into reality.

The budget presented yesterday, that has all tall talks about creating an enabling environment for Business in India, shows the sign of a gradual dismantling of the Ministry to protect Forests and Environment. 

Please look into the following link to find how India's finance minister, in his first full budget, has cut allocation for the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) by nearly a quarter to Rs.1,681.60 crore in 2015-16 compared with the amount budgeted for the current fiscal year.


One thing is for sure: we should not expect any good days for the common Indians depending on forests and environment for their lives and livelihood, and for the other voiceless species. 

I can only predict more conflicts surrounding resources and further deprivation of the above communities.

Sunday Morning Thought - 1st March 2015!

When a situation such arises that one has to defend between the Master and Truth, the real person stands for the later...

Good Morning!

Have a Wonderful Sunday!!