National Conference on 'Climate Resilient Coastal Cities'
TERI recently organized a national conference on 'Climate Resilient Coastal Cities' on October 10, 2014 at Jacaranda Hall, IHC, New Delhi, with an objective to share the outcomes and experiences from its year-long study titled 'Climate Resilient Infrastructure Services'. The study assessed the impact of sea-level rise on the infrastructure and assets in the cities of Panaji and Visakhapatnam. The study was supported by USAID as part of its Climate Resilient Infrastructure Services (CRIS) Programme under the larger Climate Change Resilient Development (CCRD) Project.
Dr Leena Srivastava, Vice Chancellor, TERI University and Honorary Executive Director, TERI, delivered the welcome address at the conference. Dr R K Pachauri, Director-General, TERI, in his video address, highlighted the vulnerability of India's coastal cities on account of sea-level rise, which is an impact of climate change. He added that "the increase in frequency and intensity of climate-related extreme events in recent years have caused substantial damage to life and property". Mr Vinod C Menon, Former Member, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), who delivered the keynote address, noted that "increasing trends of urbanization are putting high density clusters at risk in the newly-emerging coastal cities in the country". He stressed on the relevance of TERI's study in this light. Later, he released the two city case study briefs and a working paper that were prepared as an outcome of the study. A documentary titled 'Losing Ground: Two Cities and their Tryst with the Future' by TERI's Film and Television Unit on the impacts of climate change on infrastructure and assets in coastal cities was also released on this occasion. Ms Mili Majumdar, Director, Sustainable Habitat Division, delivered the vote of thanks for the inaugural session.
The Conference focused on generating awareness and initiating dialogue on climate change issues and climate resilience planning of coastal cities in developing countries. The conference was attended by practitioners, academicians, multilateral/bilateral organizations, stakeholders from state governments, peer organizations, and, networks working in the field of climate resilience and cities. It also included eminent experts who spoke at the conference, namely Mr Sanjit Rodrigues, Commissioner, Corporation of the City of Panaji; Dr A S Unnikrishnan, Scientist, NIO and Author, IPCC; Mr G Padmanabhan, Emergency Analyst and Officer-in-Charge, DM Unit, UNDP; Dr P K Mohanty, Professor, Department of Marine Sciences, Berhampur University; Mr Deepak Singh, Senior DRM Specialist, World Bank; Dr Jyoti Parikh, Executive Director, IRADe; and Mr Md Sarafat Hossain Khan, Project Director, PMU, Coastal Embankment Improvement Project-I, Bangladesh Water Development Board, Dhaka.