Kochi needs robust action plan to meet climate threat: Experts
The port city of Kochi is vulnerable to extreme climate conditions and a robust action plan which blends disaster management strategy, nature-based solutions and proper awareness for the local community will be needed to meet this, experts said at a virtual conference ‘Connect Karo’ organised by the World Resources’ Institute (WRI).
“About 31% of the city’s population is exposed to temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius and about 26% of the population live within flood plains,” they pointed out in a session on resilience planning against climate disasters in cities.
The panellists said Kerala can take the lead in localised action plans on climate proofing and it can be a model for others. The draft guidance document of the city disaster management plan also highlighted the need for many carbon-neutral local bodies in the state.
Part of a five-day conference, the session also discussed ways and means to make the city inclusive and resilient, have access to water, sanitation, hygiene, healthy spaces and peaceful co-existence. The Hindustan Times is the media partner of the conference being organised by the WRI.
Inaugurating the event, Kochi Mayor A Anil Kumar said the city is feeling the pinch of climate change for quite some time now as water level had gone up in the backwaters and sea erosion is quite rampant in many areas. He said the corporation has taken many measures to reduce carbon emission by introducing water metro service, e-auto, reducing use of plastic and proper waste management.
Some of the panellists include Shabna Seemamu, Project Associate, WRI India, KJ Sohan, state convener of INTACH and Anita Mohandas, Associate Environmental Engineer, Cochin Smart Mission Limited. “Putting people at the centre and making them part of the solution is the main thought behind our initiative. A set of minimal but smart interventions with immense capabilities to impact the quality of life of Kochi and its residents is our aim,” said Shabna Seemamu.