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Himachal preparing India’s first Climate-Smart Agriculture profile

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Solan: As part of its effort to prepare the first state-level Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) profile in India and to mainstream climate resilience into the agriculture sector, a broad consultation workshop was held at the Nauni based Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry.

The World Bank supported Integrated Development Project (IDP) of the Himachal Pradesh’s government and CGIAR Research Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) in collaboration with UHF’s Department of Environmental Science and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) organized the workshop.

The experts from state departments of Forests, Horticulture, Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Environment, Science and Technology and scientists from UHF Nauni took part in the workshop.

WOrkshop on Climate-Smart Agriculture profile.2

The workshop aimed to leverage the understanding of the participants on climate change and develop a shared vision for scaling up CSA. The results of this discussion will inform future work on CSA in the state by identifying the key institutions supporting CSA, and the most appropriate technology packages for different zones across the state.

Dr Renu Saizal, Assistant Conservator of Forests welcomed the guests and gave a brief background of the IDP and the CGIAR. In his address, Dr Pramod Aggarwal, Regional Programme Leader of the CCAFS informed that they had collaborated with the World Bank to prepare CSA profiles of 20 countries and Himachal Pradesh was the first state in India where such a profile is being prepared.

Himachal was chosen because it is a fairly progressive state with rich experience and depth in data through ongoing projects, which needs to be analyzed. Globally, climatic issues are becoming more serious and Himachal Pradesh is no exception as it is bound to witness almost all aspects of climate change. It is now all the more imperative that what we do today should not become a maladaptation for tomorrow and therefore prepare an action plan for the state to address current and future climatic challenges,

said Dr Aggarwal.

The workshop was divided into two sessions. The first session was on the technologies, which can be implemented in the state, and the second focused on the institutions and policies.

The workshop was a participatory process through which we want to learn what the state was doing. An analysis of the feedback will be undertaken and the final report will be presented during a dissemination workshop. The report will lead to an investment plan and help to formulate the policy of the state,

added Dr Aggarwal.

Addressing the gathering Dr HC Sharma, UHF Vice-Chancellor said,

Himachal is very sensitive to climate change and this is a reality that cannot be ignored. Climate variability will lead to a shift in cropping patterns and it is important to identify crops, cultivars and animal breeds that can withstand drought stress.

He advocated for a stronger policy for public transport and the planned expansion of roads through maximum use of tunnels and pillars, which do not disturb the natural vegetation and water movement along the mountain slopes. Special focus must be given on water harvesting systems in homes to recharge groundwater, along with the promotion of precision farming techniques that maximize water use efficiency.
WOrkshop on Climate-Smart Agriculture profile

Dr SK Bhardwaj, Head UHF’s Department of Environmental Science explained the climatic scenario of the state. Calling for a collective effort on adaptation and mitigation of climate change, he said that state is experiencing warmer winters and snowfall has squeezed to January- Feburary months in place of November to February. He added that the tree line has also shifted upward and pointed out that the rainfall has become highly variable thereby causing frequent droughts and flash floods affecting crop productivity and leading to loss of property of the state.

Dr Bhardwaj lauded the efforts of the farmers to adapt to changing climate by growing alternative crops like kiwi, pomegranate and vegetables in place of apple, Kullu being the best example of the practice.

Several topics like irrigation, pasture management, agri-technology, weather-based crop insurance schemes and pollution from agricultural activities were also taken up during the workshop.

About the Climate-Smart Agriculture profile

This project builds on the Himachal’ investments in integrated watershed development and will support the government to identify and scale up adoption of the most appropriate CSA practices that increase farmers’ ability to adapt to climate change.

The objective is to support the Government of Himachal Pradesh to identify locally-relevant climate-smart agriculture (CSA) practices; understand the policy and institutional barriers to broader adoption of CSA practices; and identify appropriate technology solutions for monitoring the adoption of CSA practices and their impacts on climate adaptation and mitigation, including water use efficiency and water flow regulation.

Environment

Total 332 Bird Species Located in Himachal Pradesh

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Bird Species Count in Himachal Pradesh

Shimla-As per the Great Backyard Bird Count (7th Indian edition), the number of bird species in Himachal Pradesh was 332 in 2018, a spokesman of State Forest Department informed on February 21, 2019.  

PCCF (WL) Dr. Savita said that among the Indian States, Himachal Pradesh shared the topmost position with Uttrakhand where the highest number of species was recorded.  

Birding locations included wildlife sanctuaries, national parks, conservation reserves, villages and urban areas. He said that more than 150 bird species were recorded in Mandi, Shimla, Kangra and Sirmaur districts.

The Great Backyard Bird Count is a citizen science initiative intended to encourage both amateur and professional bird-watchers to contribute towards the understanding bird and their biology in a better way.

The Department said that amateur birders from across the state contributed in the count in addition to 287 checklists that were uploaded into e-Bird by 55 participants.

 Participation in the event involved a minimum of 15 minutes bird watching during which all the bird species seen were counted and listed.  It involved bird watching sessions with school teachers and students, birding involving local villagers and panchayat representatives and training of frontline staff of the forest department in bird identification.

The Department said a detailed report is in preparation and will be circulated by the first week of March

This initiative was coordinated by Joint Secretary (Forests) Sat Pal Dhiman, Chief Conservator Forest (HQR) Nagesh Guleria, Chief Conservator Forest (WL) South Sushil Kapta, DFO (Hqr) N.P.S. Dhaulta along with other senior officers of the department.

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Campus Watch

Foundation Stone of HP Central University in Kangra laid, Will Be Ready in 3 Years, Says Govt

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HP Central University In Dehra, Kangra district

Kangra-The foundation stone of the Central University of Himachal Pradesh at Dehra in Kangra district was laid today by the Union Human Resource Minister Prakash Javadekar and Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur.

Prakash Javadekar said that the forest clearance for construction of this University was also accorded when he was the Union Forest and Environment Minister. The State Government deposited Rs 6 crore under CAMP Act for forest clearance.

As per the official information released, the Central University will have two campuses at two different locations. The first Campus would be at Jadrangal near Dharamshala, which would be spread in an area of 750 hectares. The second campus would be established at Dehra in an area of 287 hectares.

The Government said about Rs.1300 crore would be spent on construction of both these campuses and the same would be completed in the next three year, the government said. These campuses would be spread in an area of about 1000 hectare, making it one of the biggest University of the region.

The Government said that an amount of Rs.7044 crore was being spent on the education sector during the current financial year and a provision of Rs.7600 crore had been made for the next financial year.

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Misc News/Press Release

5MW Solar Power Plant in Bilaspur’s Naina Devi Ji Inaugurated

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Solar Power Plant in Naina Devi In Bilaspur district - himachal pradesh

Shimla-The 5MW Berry Dol Solar Power Plant constructed near Shri Naina Devi Ji Shrine in Bilaspur district was inaugurated today. The HP Power Corporation Ltd. claimed it spent Rs. 36.24 crore on this project.

As per the official information released by the State Government, this power project is synchronised with Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board (HPSEB) Ltd 33/11 KV network Kot.

The power generated was being sold to HPSEB. T

This power project is expected to generate 101-lakh unit electricity per annum, earning revenue of Rs. 4.40 crore to the State exchequer.

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, MPP and Power Minister Anil Sharma, MLA Jhanduta  J.R.Katwal , IG Himanshu Mishra, Deputy Commissioner Bilaspur Vivek Bhatia, CO IRB Gaurav Singh were present on the occasion.

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