programme on climate change was jointly organized by the Indian National Science
Academy (INSA) Lucknow Chapter and the International Society of Environmental
Botanists (ISEB) at the NBRI auditorium on Thursday, 19 July 2007.
Anand, former Director, Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow was the chief
occasion, a debate competition on “Global Climate Change” among the school
children was organized with an aim to educate and sensitize the students of the
dangers posed by the climate change brought about by human’s activities on the
Dr. Rakesh Tuli,
Convener INSA Lucknow Chapter and President, ISEB welcomed the chief guest Dr.
Nitya Anand and stressed the need to make concerted efforts towards creating
awareness regarding protection of environment and conservation of biodiversity.
“The consequences of climate change are far reaching and this is clearly visible
in the reduction of crop yields to the tune of 10-20% for an increase of 1o C in
temperature. About 1 per cent of the nation’s GDP is devoted to mitigate the
effects of climate change”, said Dr. Tuli. He further added that with every 1oC
rise in temperature, the production of rice and other crops would decrease by
ISEB, Dr. K. J. Ahmad in his opening remarks appraised the gathering about the
ongoing activities of the Society. Confessing to the audience that the
degradation of the natural resources and over exploitation of nature’s wealth
was entirely due to the carelessness of the people of his generation. He
cautioned the present younger generation against following in the footsteps of
thought-provoking address, the chief guest, Dr. Nitya Anand said that there is a
delicate balance between the biotic and the abiotic components of the
environment, which we should not disturb and make a serious effort to live in
harmony with the nature. An inquisitive mind, especially towards the working of
the ecosystem and its components, among young children, would create greater
awareness and help in protecting the environment. He further added that the need
to preserve the environment from green house gases is no more a theoretical
consideration but the degradation, even in our country, has started taking its
toll. Like (1) the Gangotri, Jamnotri and many other glaciers of the Himalayas
have been receding by meters every year. This means that these glaciers are
shrinking fast and rivers fed by them would stop being perennial; (2) The Sagar
island, off the coast of West Bengal, has lost 70 square kilometers of its land
mass to the rising sea rendering thousands of people homeless; (3) The rising
sea has caused the rivers of the Sundarbans to swell and erode banks, mangrove
forests of the Sunderbans and, thereafter, Kolkata would not last much longer;
(4) Not unheard of is the melting away of the sacred Amar Nath Shiv Lingam.
Unless we start
taking immediate steps it may be too late to act to preserve our environment to
secure healthy life for the future generations. Dr. Anand stressed the need for;
A sense of
inter-connectivity between all that exists in the universe whether living or
non-living and the need to conserve it.
biodiversity and to preserve it.
understanding of humans not being at the center or the end of the universe but a
part of all that exists.
A sense of
“communion” that exists between all forms.
A basis for
humility, compassion and cooperation.
must play a pro-active role in preserving the environment.
Biotechnology Park, Lucknow, Dr. P. K. Seth shed light on the burning issue of
climate change. He said that gene “loaded the gun” while “the environment
triggers it”. “We have to continuously question ourselves what will happen and
how will it happen? Even though Tsunami destroyed many coast lines, there are 72
million people who stay on the coast lines in China and 71 million in
Bangladesh”, Dr. Seth said.
Prof. C. K.
Varshney, former Dean, School of Environmental Science, Jawaharlal Nehru
University, New Delhi delivered a very interesting and thought-provoking lecture
on “Global Climate Change”, which was thoroughly enjoyed by one and all. He said
that climate change is a complex and rapidly advancing catastrophe with
long-term consequences. He added that he was very happy to be able to speak to
the school children about climate change, as it is the future generations who
will face this real challenge. He emphasized that an increase in green house
gases emission is a major fact behind global warming. Industrialization and
consumer-driven culture are major factors, and developed countries like the USA,
the UK and Germany are major contributors of greenhouse emissions.
He said that
one could not in any way disconnect oneself with the environment. The
environment is something we are always with and the children today are bound to
face the impact of the approaching catastrophe in years to come. Describing the
various causes of climate change, he said that human influence had a profound
impact on global climate change.
Going into the
mechanism of global warming, Prof. Varshney explained that the CO2 present in
the environment absorbs the infra-red radiation emitted from the Sun which
causes the temperature of the earth to rise. We should try to follow techniques
which will decrease the production of CO2 and other such harmful gases. One of
the major causes for the rise in earth’s temperature is deforestation – the
cutting down of the majestic trees to expand the contour of the town. He said
that every decade the earth’s temperature is increasing by 0.5o C and if it
continues to do so, then the earth’s temperature is likely to rise by 5o C in
the next 100 years. This will adversely affect the yield of rice. The global
response to these challenges needs to move with much determination at all levels
– global, national and local, by countries and communities as well as
corporations and individual citizens across both the developed and developing
followed by a debate competition where students from various colleges namely,
Government Inter College, Montfort Inter College, City Montessori School (CMS),
Station Road Branch; City Montessori School Mahanagar Branch, La Martiniere
Girls’ College, St. Fidelis’ College and Isabella Thoburn College participated
The first prize
was bagged by Ms. Sunandini Chopra of La Martiniere Girls’ College, the second
prize by Ms. Himika Malik of CMS, Station Road Branch and the commended prize
was awarded to Master Aishwary Chaturvedi of CMS, Mahanagar Branch. The prizes
and certificates were given away by Dr. Nitya Anand. The participating students
were also given participation certificates, informative books and other reading
Dr. S. K. S.
Rathore, Scientist NBRI, compered the function, while Dr. S.C. Sharma, Vice
President ISEB, proposed a vote of thanks.
was attended by leading scientists of Lucknow including many distinguished
fellows of Indian National Science Academy, eminent citizens and a large number
of children from various schools in the city.
competition provided the right kind of stimulus to nurture and sustain the
interest of not only the young minds to invest all their efforts in protecting
the environment but also to their parents and teachers about the importance of
this vulnerable topic in national as well as Global scenario. This would provide
a kind of platform for future generation of the country. Teachers and parents
shall also work as master trainer.
International Society of Environmental Botanists, NBRI Campus, Lucknow
2 National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow-226001, India