OdishaLIVE Bureau

A Roundtable on ‘Climate Change & Odisha’ was held on Tuesday at India International Centre. Organised by Odia Samaj, the emerging think tank for Odisha in the national capital region, the seminar brought together experts and stakeholders from various sectors, including government, policy research organisations like TERI, IIT, OPM, communities of practice and the World Bank.
Role of stakeholders in addressing the issue of sustainable development and climate change with specific focus on Odisha was discussed.
Charudutta Panigrahi in his opening note said, “Poverty reduction is not a one-way street. Many people exit the cycle or fall back into poverty each year in poorer economies like Odisha. We need good, climate-informed development to reduce the impacts of climate change”.
Prof U. C. Mohanty of IIT, Bhubaneswar spoke about an innovative concept and explained the concept of ‘Climate Smart Village’ model in Odisha . “Climate Smart Agriculture involves a portfolio of interventions that are chosen to suit the local environment and the community’s needs. These are adopted at the village level. The idea is to start small but upscale the scheme to include several villages in different parts of the country”, said Prof. Mohanty.
Barath Mahadevan of TERI spoke about the TERI study on heat islands in Odisha and shared the data and findings of the study.
The “urban heat island effect”, under which cities are often several degrees warmer than nearby rural areas, adds to air and water pollution and can make sweltering workers less productive.
“Ignoring the urban heat island effect leads to a fairly drastic under-estimate of the total impact of climate change,” he said. Overall costs for industrial areas – Jharsuguda, Angul and Hirakud- to limit climate change could be higher than without the urban heat island effect, the survey concludes.
Ajit Radhakrishnan of Oxford Policy Management spoke about helping mainstream climate change resilience measures within budgetary planning and policy-making in Odisha and adaptation of successful programs in other states of India.
Tapas Paul of the World Bank dwelt upon some theoretical concerns, knowledge transfer, adapting to climate change, implications of changing weather, water and the impact of climate change on agriculture business, social growth, economic empowerment to adapt to climate change and industrial development.
President Sidhartha Pradhan presided over the symposium and Hiranya Mohanty, Trustee; Odia Samaj proposed a vote of thanks.
Participants and speakers believed the Round first -of-its-kind at the national level would help in giving a push to the urgency of eradicating extreme poverty by 2025 while tackling climate change in Odisha.
 Development and poverty alleviation would reduce people’s vulnerability to the effects of a changing climate. And ending extreme poverty will be more achievable now—with limited climate change impacts—than later, when impacts are likely to be larger.