Assam, located delicately where South Asia meets Southeast Asia, is a land blessed with an extremely rich biodiversity and cultures, and can arguably be considered as India’s most fertile state.
But, as the years pass, more and more CO2 is getting released to the air, making the planet warmer. For those with a keen eye, the effect of this phenomenon can easily be observed in the coming and going of seasons, of how the weather around us has changed rapidly than what it was twenty years ago. Moreover, as developing countries and third world countries progress (read industrialized) further, a huge amount of resources will be needed. The problem of climate change has just started to accelerate in this century, and we today stand at an important juncture in the natural history of the planet.
In Assam, like any another place in India, there are many challenges arising from climate change. The single most important catalyst to this change is the melting glaciers in the Himalayas. The mighty Brahmaputra River which flows through Assam, literally dividing the state into two halves, originates in the high Himalayas and is joined by many other powerful rivers which again originate in the high mountains. With the increasing rate of melting of glaciers, the Brahmaputra River has been noticing prolonged floods over the years, at times followed by droughts. The situation only worsens every year. This annual behavior results in mass scale erosion and causes distress to thousands of villages and wildlife. An example is the island of Majuli, world’s largest inhabited island. The heart of ancient Assamese culture, is island is today struggling to exist due to disturbingly massive erosion. Predictably, if measures are not taken, this treasure island of Assam’s culture will cease to exist in a few decades.
As Assam become warmer, the change in weather pattern will have an obvious effect to the state’s flora and fauna, where species that have lesser habitats and are less adaptable, may perish. Such a huge scale loss in biodiversity will affect the state’s overall environment wealth database. Moreover, communities who depend on certain species will also be affected, as they will need to change their traditional patterns of living.
Also, as political boundaries are not enough to curb climate change, a joint effort with the help of neighboring states must be implemented. Knowledge and capacity will need to be shared between the northeastern states. Logging will need to be strictly monitored, giving the blessed rainforests of the region a chance to survive and thrive. The youth of region need to play an active role. The challenge and opportunity, is to spread awareness to the citizens about sustainable measures. Camps need to be setup where knowledge about traditional and scientific environment-friendly practices must be distributed free of cost. Communities need to become aware about the definition of climate change and how it will influence their daily lives in the coming decades. Among opportunities, there will be a need for capacity development. Renewable energy based social and commercial enterprises will need to be setup. This will play a key role in minimizing carbon emission and will promote nature-friendly goodwill to the masses. To minimize erosion, effective measures will need to be taken, thus ensuring minimal loss of landmass. Overall, it is important that a nexus between aware citizens, government offices and environment agencies be created. A transparent system, where effective measures can be quickly executed.
5 responses to “Climate Change And The Future Of Assam: Floods, Erosion And Danger”
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Hi. I’m a UN correspondent, looking into doing a story on Assam. If you could send me contacts, I’d appreciate it.
Hi. Thanks for writing in. Let me know what kind of contacts you would like.
Hi. Thanks for the response. Any contact information of someone from the local government in Assam or any environmental organization whose work is connected to this area of inquiry. I’d appreciate it.
Below are a few sources who might be of help to you:
You can contact the guys at aaranyak.org. They are doing some wonderful conservation work.
You can contact Rakesh Akhom through facebook here https://www.facebook.com/rakesh.soud.1 . He is quite passionate and has a lot of knowledge.
You can also contact Brian Orland researching on climate change in Assam. https://www.facebook.com/brian.orland.7