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Punjab has begun experiencing impacts of climate change and urgent steps are needed to help farming communities adapt to this, said experts at a two-day State level Media Workshop on Climate Change which began here today.

The workshop was organized by Centre for Media Studies (CMS), in partnership with the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) and German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ). It aims at sensitizing journalists at local and regional levels in Punjab on different aspects of climate change. This workshop is third in the series of state media workshops. Earlier workshops were held in Hyderabad and Chennai in April and July respectively.

The Punjab State Council for Science and Technology has taken steps to implement adaptation projects under various missions. To begin with, a project is underway to utilize paddy straw for making briquettes which can be used to replace coal in brick kilns, informed, Dr. S.K Saxena, Principal Scientific Officer at the Punjab State Council for Science and Technology (PSCST). He said implementation of adaptation projects was a huge task needing massive investments by several departments of the government.

Another adaptation projects relates to management of indigenous livestock facing heat stress. “Temperature rise is projected to affect cattle and milk yields in Punjab. Diseases also have an increased effect on buffalos and other animals due to climate change and we are developing sheds to develop climate resilience of indigenous livestock,” said Dr. RS Grewal of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Science (GADVASU).

A panel discussion which followed highlighted the need for flow of authentic information and data from government agencies to media persons. “Access to information at proper time is also a challenge we face many times,” said journalists on a collective note.

Kirtiman Awasthi of GIZ said that various sources such as the National Climate Adaptation Fund and international Agencies need to be tapped for funding adaptation projects.

“The program is trying to build capacity of media to cover climate change stories with sensitivity and with proper understanding. This is necessary to take correct messages about climate change to people and motivate them to take action at the local level.  The program is engaging media professionals in understanding these complex issues and enable them in presenting a scientific and balance perspective to general public and also policy makers, “said Annu Anand, head of advocacy, CMS.

Those who addressed the workshop included Dr. Surender Paul, Scientist, India Meteorological Department, Mr. Raman Mehta from Vasudha Foundation, Dr. K.K.Rattu Director Media & Head Department of JMC DAV University, Dinesh C Sharma, Managing Editor, India Science Wire and Mr. Ikkhlaq Singh Aujla from Times of India (Chandigarh). Many journalists from Jalandhar and nearby cities attended the workshop.

A field visit to a project site of Integrated Solar Powered Community Lift-Micro Irrigation Project in Talwara, Hoshiarpur will be organized on October 28 which will provide an opportunity for to the journalists to talk to the community directly and create more impactful stories.


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