New Delhi: Climate change has posed a severe challenge to human race; unless we take immediate action we cannot stop this. Time is ripe for every individual to be climate ambassador. “They should work as a change maker to create awareness among people on climate change”, said speaker of Odisha legislative assembly Sri Surya Narayan Patra. Referring his recent visit to Ugandan capital to participate in the commonwealth parliamentarian meet on climate change, Mr. Patra said that the parliamentarian world over are concerned about climate impact and they committed to take lead in creating awareness among people.
He further added that world has taken note of Odisha government’s initiative to minimize human losses, during natural disasters. Sri Patra was addressing the People’s Convention on Climate Change impacts and building disaster resilient communities held at Gita Govinda Sadan in Bhubaneswar on the eve of state disaster preparedness day being organized by People’s Action for Climate Justice (PACJ) and Focus Odisha Foundation in collaboration with Action Aid. Sri Patra inaugurated the Convention by lighting the Lamp.
Remembering the losses caused by 1999 Super Cyclone that occurred on October 28 & 29, Mr. Patra stated that Odisha has come a long day in disaster preparedness, reduction and management.
Speaking as the inaugural function Chairman of Odisha Building and Construction Workers Welfare Board, Sri Subash Singh stressed the need for collective action to combat climate change. He further elaborated how Cities will be over stressed with unorganized and migrant populations because of climate impact.
Sulata Deo, Adviser, Women and Child Development and Mission Shakti department of Government of Odisha expressed concern over changing climate and how women and children are becoming vulnerable. She emphasized on changing behavior of people so that they can adapt to climate change.
While sharing the objectives of the convention convener of People’s Action for Climate Justice (PACJ) who chaired the inaugural session Sri Sudarshan Chhotoray presented on how Odisha is becoming vulnerable to climate change impacts. He further added that the foot prints of climate change is visible is Odisha cost at Satabhaya, Pentha, Podampeta and Rameya Patna. He also explained how livelihoods of communities like farmers, fisherman, salt workers, artisans and forest dwelling tribals are threatened because of Climate Change.
During the technical session of the convention climate experts from prominent Institutions and Universities presented the research outcomes and studies relating to climate change world over. They underlined the need to create awareness among people.
Prof. Uma Charan Mohanty of the Department of Earth, Ocean and Climate Sciences of IIT Bhubaneswar, stated that how disasters like Thunder Storm and Sun Stroke killing people in large numbers like never before.
Prominent among the academicians who spoke and presented on facts related to climate change and natural disasters were Prof (Dr) Jayanta Kumar Routray, Professor Emeritus, Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, Thailand, Prof Pratap K Mohanty, Head, Department of Marine Sciences, Berhampur University, Dr Vinoj V, Department of Earth, Ocean & Climate Sciences, IIT BHUBANESWAR, Prof Bisnu Prasad Dash, Department of Bioscience & Biotechnology, FakirMohan University, Balesore and Dr. Debadatta Swain, Department of Earth, Ocean & Climate Sciences, IIT BHUBANESWAR.
The convention also witnessed presentations of Testimonies from people from across the state representing communities like Traditional Marine Fisherman, Chilika Fisherman, Salt Workers, Artisans and Forest Dwelling Tribals.
At the end of the daylong session a declaration with charter of demands was released. The organization urged the government to set up a Task Force to identify climate change hot spots in Odisha and to revisit Odisha Climate Change Action Plan.
Prominent among the speakers who spoke on various aspects of climate change and natural disasters are, Subhash Panda,SNEH, Snigdha Panigrahi, Advocate, Dhirendra Panda, CSFHR, Chinmayee Panda, Ankur Foundation, AshutoshDash, Mahashakti Foundation, Harishankar Rout, SWATI, Loknath Mishra, ARUNA,Prasant Mohanty,NIRMAN and score of other representatives from civil society organizations.