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                                    TRINET NEWSLETTER 
                                        NOVEMBER 2009
                          TzÜ|vâÄàâÜx tÇw VÄ|Åtàx V{tÇzx  
It is a widely accepted fact that climate change        apart from release of GHGs due to natural
can have varied effects on different sectors. The       processes that are part of agriculture.
impact on agriculture for example, is likely to
be such that as temperatures increase, food             Agriculture currently contributes about 14
production in the temperate countries is likely         percent to greenhouse gas emissions (6.8
to increase. On the other hand, it is expected to       gigatonnes, or 6.8 billion tonnes, of carbon
have adverse effects on countries in the tropics,       dioxide, CO2 a year), the FAO says. The IPCC
including India.                                        Special Report on Emissions Scenarios said that
                                                        the most important categories of land-use
In this issue                                           emissions are CO2 from net deforestation, CH4
Agriculture and Climate Change ……………………………………….1
                                                        from rice cultivation, CH4 from enteric
Useful Reads .……….…………………………………………………………….2
News You Can Use .…………………………………………………………….5             fermentation of cattle, and N2O from fertilizer

Till a few days ago, people in Chennai and
many parts of Tamil Nadu were concerned
because there was no sign of the north east
monsoon or even patches of rain, common
around the festival of Deepavali. However, the
IMD is reported to have said that the monsoon
would set in soon with pre-monsoon showers
lashing the city.

For a nation whose agriculture is primarily
dependent on the vagaries of the monsoon,
climate change is of concern as it is likely to
intensify the variability of summer monsoon
dynamics, leading to a rise in extreme events
such as increased precipitation and heightened          These sources account for nearly all the land-
flood risks in some parts of the country and            use emissions of CO2, about 53% of the land-
reduced rainfall and prolonged drought in other         use emissions of CH4, and about 80% of land-
areas.                                                  use emissions of N2O. These estimates,
                                                        however, have a high uncertainty and maybe
It is not only the effect of climate change on          quite off the mark as pointed out by
agriculture that is of concern but agriculture’s        Environment Minister Sri Jairam Ramesh
role in climate change. Why? Simply because of          recently: “The US government estimated in the
the huge acreage that comes under agriculture:          early ’90s that wet paddy cultivation in Indian
some ≈1.2–1.5 billion hectares are under crops,         fields produced yearly 38 million tonnes of
with another 3.5 billion hectares being grazed.         methane gas, which was the second most
There is extensive use of fossil fuels – in             preponderance for emission of greenhouses
producing the pesticides and fertilizers, and to        gases,” but in reality, the emissions are
power      tractors  and    mechanized      farm        probably around a tenth of that as shown by
equipment; deforestation due to land use                the late Dr A.P. Mitra. This clearly points to the
changes and changes in agricultural practices           need for ground level primary data because
over time and the types and varieties of crops          what is forecast for one area is just not

necessarily correct for another because of the           farming and away from chemical pesticides. But
complex nature of natural ecosystems and their           that is not enough.
interactions with climate.
                                                         "The dominant industrial farming system that has
But, as the FAO points out, the agriculture              caused hunger is based on fossil fuels - pouring
                                                         nitrogen fertilisers into the soil, using herbicides
sector also has the potential to mitigate 5.5- 6
                                                         and pesticides made from oil, emitting carbon
gigatonnes of CO2 per year, mainly through soil          dioxide into the atmosphere to transport food from
carbon sequestration in developing countries.            one part of the world to another.
Promoting agricultural practices that, for
example, reduce the intensity of tillage so that         "The whole system supports greenhouse gas
                                                         emissions. We need a paradigm shift in the way we
more crop residue remains in the soil after
                                                         produce, distribute and consume food."
planting can increase its capacity to capture              DEVELOPMENT: For a Greener Green Revolution By Paul
and retain CO2 and act as a carbon sink,                                                                 Virgo
improving soil health in the process. This             
cannot but remind one of the “One Straw
Revolution” and the Fukuoka method of natural            Just as subsidies such as free power for
farming or ‘rishi khethi’ as it is called in India       pumpsets have resulted in increased irrigation
and techniques of ‘organic farming’ which                of agricultural lands, it is time to promote
resulted in agricultural lands affected by the           subsidies for agricultural practices that mitigate
tsunami being reclaimed much faster than                 climate change. IFPRI, for instance, has called
expected.                                                for the pursuit of three “I”s:

                                                           INCENTIVES                             INFORMATION


                                                         Agriculture is what enabled development of
                                                         human civilization on earth – and hence
                                                         hundreds of thousands of adaptation practices
                                                         have evolved due to the large array of
                                                         environmental variables; cultural, institutional,
                                                         and economic factors. Many of them have
                                                         succumbed to pressures such as market forces
                                                         and economics. There is a lot of talk about the
                                                         need to look at issues such as ownership of
                                                         assets, social security, improved agricultural
                                                         practices and adaptation to promote coping in
Like it or not, the farming practices adopted in         the agricultural sector. The last two especially
recent times have definitely not been                    need to be focused on for using agriculture to
sustainable    –    economically,   socially  or         mitigate climate change as much as mitigating
environmentally. Perhaps the good thing is that          climate change effects on agriculture.
there is a concerted move towards organic

                                          háxyâÄ extwá 
Climate Change - Impact on Agriculture and Costs of Adaptation. Gerald C. Nelson et
al. International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, D.C. September 2009

Agriculture is extremely vulnerable to climate           yields of desirable crops while encouraging
change. Higher temperatures eventually reduce            weed and pest proliferation. Changes in

precipitation patterns         increase the                              Asia will be particularly hard hit.
likelihood of short-run crop failures and                          •       Climate change will have
long-run production declines. Although                             varying effects on irrigated yields
there will be gains in some crops in                               across regions, but irrigated yields for
some regions of the world, the overall                             all crops in South Asia will experience
impacts of climate change on agriculture                           large declines.
are     expected      to     be     negative,                      •       Climate change will result in
threatening     global      food     security.                     additional price increases for the most
Populations in the developing world,                               important agricultural crops–rice,
which are already vulnerable and food                              wheat, maize, and soybeans. Higher
insecure, are likely to be the most                                feed prices will result in higher meat
seriously affected. In 2005, nearly half of the              prices. As a result, climate change will
economically active population in developing                 reduce the growth in meat consumption
countries—2.5       billion     people—relied  on            slightly and cause a more substantial fall in
agriculture for its livelihood. Today, 75 percent            cereals consumption.
of the world’s poor live in rural areas.                 •   Calorie availability in 2050 will not only be
                                                             lower than in the no–climate-change
This Food Policy Report presents research                    scenario—it will actually decline relative to
results that quantify the climate-change                     2000 levels throughout the developing
impacts mentioned above, assesses the                        world.
consequences for food security, and estimates            •   By 2050, the decline in calorie availability
the investments that would offset the negative               will increase child malnutrition by 20
consequences for human well-being. This                      percent relative to a world with no climate
analysis brings together, for the first time,                change. Climate change will eliminate much
detailed modeling of crop growth under climate               of the improvement in child malnourishment
change with insights from an extremely detailed              levels that would occur with no climate
global agriculture model, using two climate                  change.
scenarios to simulate future climate. The results        •   Thus, aggressive agricultural productivity
of the analysis suggest that agriculture and                 investments of US$7.1–7.3 billion2 are
human well-being will be negatively affected by              needed to raise calorie consumption enough
climate change:                                              to offset the negative impacts of climate
                                                             change on the health and well-being of
•   In developing countries, climate change will             children.
    cause yield declines for the most important
    crops. South

Adaptation Finance under a Copenhagen Agreed Outcome, Åsa Persson et al. Stockholm
Environment Institute,

Adopted at the thirteenth session of the                         Copenhagen Agreed Outcome at COP
Conference of the Parties to the United                          15 in Copenhagen in December, 2009.
Nations Framework Convention on                                  It submits that such an agreement on
Climate Change (UNFCCC COP 13) in                                adaptation financing is in fact vital to
December 2007, the Bali Action Plan                              reaching a post-2012 international
(BAP) raised the political status of                             agreement on climate change.
adaptation and opened discussions on                             Negotiations on adaptation financing
international adaptation finance. Since                          under the UNFCCC have to date
COP 13, financing has in fact proved to                          addressed questions of both supply and
be a significant stumbling block in                              demand. On the supply side of the
climate change negotiations under the                            adaptation financing equation, Parties
UNFCCC. This report provides a comprehensive             are faced with questions such as “what are the
reporting and analysis of the issues and                 adaptation needs in developing and particularly
principles underlying this impasse, as well as           vulnerable countries that call for new and
the most current proposals and options on                additional resources?” On the demand side of
adaptation financing available to Parties. In so         the adaptation financing equation, Parties must
doing, this report presents options for                  address questions such as “what are the
overcoming     obstacles   and    reaching    an         requisite levels of new and additional financial
agreement on adaptation financing as part of a
resources?” and “how can these be generated                   agreeing to a legitimate and transparent
and delivered?” In addition to modalities around              governance mechanism to control the entire
the generation and delivery of funds for                      financing chain.
adaptation, Parties are also concerned with

Catalysing low-carbon growth in developing economies: Public Finance Mechanisms
to scale up private sector investment in climate solutions. UNEP and Partners
October 2009

                       The     total   investment             existing public contributions to developing world
                       required       to        avoid         climate-change investment total around USD 9
                       dangerous             climate          billion per annum, less than 2 per cent of USD
                       change is more than                    475 billion. The World Economic Forum (WEF)
                       USD      1    trillion      per        estimates that the sum of climate-related public
                       annum, according to the                sector      commitments        currently      under
                       International         Energy           negotiation, even if delivered to their maximum
                       Agency (IEA). Half of this             ambition, totals around USD 110 billion. The
                       amount        could          be        shortfall is potentially more than USD 350
                       redirected                from         billion. Based on the findings of five case
                                business-as-usual             studies, this report identifies five obstacles to
                       investment                   in        institutional investor engagement in low-carbon
conventional    technologies      to    low-carbon            growth in developing countries and proposes a
alternatives. The remainder (USD 530 billion) is              package of PFMs to address them (see Figure
required in the form of additional investment.                below). Much of the required capital will be
The World Bank estimates that around USD 475                  directed via specialised low-carbon funds, such
billion of the total annual investment must                   as those recently proposed by the World
occur within developing countries. Around USD                 Economic Forum and by an international team
400 billion per annum of investment will be                   coordinated by Lord Nicholas Stern at the
required for mitigation investment. A further                 London School of Economics. This is likely to
USD 75 billion per annum will be required for                 necessitate institutional investors allocating
adaptation investment. Developing countries                   additional capital into such dedicated funds.
will be most advantaged if public finance                     However, it is likely that big listed firms, largely
contributions are designed to maximise the                    owned      by    institutional    investors,    may
leverage of additional private finance. Demands               implement individual large-scale low-carbon
on public finance are acute, especially following             projects. PFMs should be              available   to
the recent financial crisis. It is estimated that             institutional investors in both contexts.

                                                    axãá çÉâ vtÇ háx 
                                                          COASTAL MATTERS
Residents of five villages oppose proposed                           building up of a hitech city at Valanthakkad and
thermal power plant: Sirkazhi: About                                 further human activities would mean a dead
thousand              people              gathered                at wetland ecosystem. This would also mean that
Keezhaperumpallam village to express strong                          the State would lose another carbon sink and
opposition to the proposed 2x500 MW coal-                            add to the greenhouse gas emission and
based thermal power plant at its public hearing                      ultimately climate change. The authors of the
on Wednesday. The project, planned to be set                         paper, G V M Gupta, Shoji D Thottathil, K K
up at Vanagiri and implemented by M/s P.E.L                          Balachandran, N V Madhu, P Madeswaran and
Power Limited, proposes to use imported coal                         Shanta Nair, working for the Ministry of Earth
for its operations. According to Jesurathinam,                       Science, have pointed their fingers at the rapid
Convenor,        Coastal        Action         Network,        the   urbanisation and industrialisation of the area for
Environment Impact Assessment Report does                            the degradation.
not specify the cost-benefit analysis. The                  
economic value of environmental costs incurred                                A=&MainSectionID=fyV9T2jIa4A=&SectionName=X7s7i|xOZ5Y=&SEO=

ought to have been expressed in the EIA, she
said. “The Ministry of Environment and Forests                       Kerala wants to mine sand from sea: Kochi:
has expressed a moratorium on projects along                         Kerala is seeking the Union government’s
the coast up to October 31, until a complete                         permission to become the first state in India to
study is done. M.S.Swaminathan committee has                         mine sand from the sea, as it struggles to
expressed similar reservations on coastal                            overcome a shortage of the construction
projects,” Ms.Jesurathinam said. The thermal                         material and aims to curb illegal extraction from
plant that envisaged releasing 2 lakh gallons of                     rivers. Offshore sand mining is banned in India
hot    water        into      the      sea,        along      with   under the coastal regulation zone rules, except
environmental pollution in the form of fly ash                       for a few rare minerals. “We haven’t received
etc. would collectively jeopardise the livelihood                    any such proposal from the state government
of fisherfolk and farmers, people said. Besides,                     and if we do, it won’t be simple,” said an
sea shores, the only space for fisherfolk to dry                     environment ministry official who did not want
their catch, would be cordoned off.                                  to be identified. Some sand mining is allowed in the Andaman Islands, “Even for that they had
                                                                     to go through the Supreme Court,” the official
Kochi estuary could suffer grave damage:                             said. The Geological Survey of India (GSI)
Study: Thiruvananthapuram: While the State                           made a presentation to the Kerala industries
Government is hell-bent on conversion of                             department on 7 October, identifying large
wetlands in the Vembanad Lake to Hitech cities,                      potential deposits along the state’s coast. These
a recent research paper published in the                             deposits can help meet Kerala’s requirement for
international journal ‘Ecosystems’ points to the                     about 30 million tonnes (mt) of sand a year,
possibility of the complete destruction of the                       said A.C. Dinesh, a GSI scientist.
Kochi estuary due to human interference. This                    
research study, published last week, lends
credibility to the claims of the Greens that
                                                            TSUNAMI REHAB
Tardy progress in housing project work:                              cancel the tender, after ascertaining that the
Pudukottai: Delay in the construction of houses                      bank guarantee executed by a contractor for
under the Rajiv Gandhi Rehabilitation Package                        the Kattumavadi package to be bogus. The
(RGRP) in and around Kattumavadi, about 75                           labourers from North India, for want of work,
km from here, has been worrying the                                  were about to quit the village. “But, we retained
beneficiaries, especially in the wake of the                         them by ensuring some local income-generation
forthcoming monsoon. Although the work on                            job such as de-silting a local temple tank for
the construction of houses under the Asia                            their livelihood, on the lines of the National
Development Bank-funded project was taken up                         Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. Later,
in January 2007, it did not register good                            we even mobilised funds for their incidental
progress. A major stalemate surfaced early this                      expenses.            Without        depending             upon        the
year, when the district administration had to                        governmental assistance, we also supplied

earth for constructing our houses. But, all these                         Bid to demolish fish market sparks
efforts could not be sustained for long, as                               protest: Chennai: Tension prevailed on
symptoms for resumption of the work on the                                Kuppam Beach Road, Thiruvanmiyur, on
governmental side became bleak,” said the                                 Saturday morning as around 400 women
president of the Kattumavadi Fishermen’s                                  belonging to the fishing community prevented
Welfare Association, A. Chinna Adaikalam.                                 Chennai Corporation officials from demolishing
                                                                          a fish market constructed after the tsunami.
Plan to construct 200 more houses in
                                                                          Many of them squatted on the road and blocked
Manamelkudi: Pudukottai: Encouraged by its
                                                                          the operations, as four lorries, an earthmover
maiden effort earlier, the Habitat for Humanity,
                                                                          and staff belonging to the civic body went there
India, has planned to construct 200 more
                                                                          early morning to remove encroachments as
houses for the benefit of the shelter-less
                                                                          planned. Policemen were posted at the spot.
persons of Manamelkudi, a coastal village about
                                                                          The women said the market had been in
80 km from here. Speaking after laying the
                                                                          existence at the spot for over 40 years and it
foundation for the first house at Manamelkudi,
                                                                          was housed in a concrete building only after the
the Director of Habitat Resource Centre,
                                                                          tsunami. “With funding from a foreign non-
Chennai, Victor Chandran, said that the houses
                                                                          governmental organisation, a private builder
were being constructed for the beneficiaries
                                                                          and some contribution on our side, we
selected under the Centrally-sponsored Indira
                                                                          constructed the building,” said R.Chandra, one
Awas Yojana (IAY). Each beneficiary was
                                                                          of the protestors. “Over 500 women depend on
sanctioned Rs.55,000 under the scheme. “But,
                                                                          the market. Otherwise, they will have to sit
the sum is too inadequate especially when it
                                                                          outside, be it rain and sun,” said P.Kalaivani,
involves provision of integrated infrastructure
                                                                          who heads the self-help group, whose members
including drainage, environmental hygiene and
                                                                          sell fish.
other basic amenities,” he said.                                           
                                       DISASTER MITIGATION
National Policy on Disaster Management              reconstruction               and         recovery,              capacity
approved: New Delhi: The Union Cabinet has          development, knowledge management and
approved the National Policy on Disaster            research and development," the statement said.
Management (NPDM) which will provide the            The policy is aimed at bringing in transparency
framework for handling disasters in a holistic      and accountability in all aspects of disaster
manner. "The NPDM has been prepared in tune         management                 through             involvement               of
with and in pursuance of the Disaster               community, community based organisations,
Management Act, 2005," an official statement        Panchayati Raj Institutions, local bodies and
said, reports IANS. "NPDM covers all aspects of     civil society.
disaster management — institutional, legal and 
financial arrangements, disaster prevention,
mitigation and preparedness, techno-legal
regime, response, relief and rehabilitation,
                                          CLIMATE CHANGE
Bangalore to have world class research              modelling climate at a time when most
institute on climate change: Bangalore:             information on global warming was derived
India will demonstrate to the world that “we are    from the West. The institute would use space-
serious about climate change” through a set of      based and ground-based observation systems
new initiatives — the first being the setting up    to create an indigenous “nucleus” for research
of a world class institute here to carry out        into all issues relating to climate, including the
research on climate, global warming and its         impact of climate change on aspects of the
impact on the economy and environment. Union        economy such as agriculture and water, Mr.
Minister for Environment and Forests Jairam         Ramesh said. The institute would be a joint
Ramesh told journalists here on Sunday that         initiative of the Indian Space Research
the “National Institute for Research on Climate     Organisation (ISRO) and the Union Ministry for
and Environment” would help build India’s own       Environment and Forests (MoEF).
capacity for measuring, monitoring and               

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