Interview on Climate Variability in the digital newspaper Vichar Vimarsh with Dr. Rosewine Joy, Assistant Professor, Presidency University, Bengaluru held on 23rd Nov 2020.
Q:1 For last 15 years you are working on “sustainability and livelihood” issues among rural communities along South India ,from your experience do you think climate change is a reality and threat to human existence?
Yes, I do believe climate variability is reality and threat to livelihoods. Working with fishing and farming communities, who depends on climate for their livelihood are on the receiving end of this reality. Climate variability have impacted them socially and economically that they are relooking on various livelihood options today. Majority of them do not want their next generation to continue their traditional job.
Q:2 There is always a debate on development Vs. Environment. What is your take on same?
We do need development and growth .At the same time we also need to protect our environment. However if I have to choose one, then I would choose environment as without protecting same our development is not sustainable.
Q:3 What are the consequences of climate change we could see today?
From a food production angle, climate change have led to reducing production, fluctuations in production, increasing disease threat and disrupted value chain. From a health perspective we could find many new diseases arising and hard to control. From Job perspective, agriculture/industry sector is changing its pattern of production. You may find the effect on every walks of our life
Q:4 What will be the affect of climate change in future?
Our health, wellbeing, livelihoods and our habits could be influenced drastically. Existing boundaries may disappear and new boundaries could arise, which mean it will change the way we lead our life and trade .Our priorities would change and that may have positive and negative effect.
Q:5 Major school of thoughts consider climate change as a threat for today and tomorrow , still we don’t find world come into consensus in regulating or managing same .What is your take on same?
I disagree to same. The world is definitely together in this cause. The 2030 agenda for sustainable development adopted by UN member states in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for same which include addressing climate change (one among 17 SDG goals) is signed by 178 countries. Paris Agreement on climate change is another milestone in this direction. However, I do agree at an implementation end we are yet to achieve considerable victory.
Q: 6 What efforts are required to deal with the implementation issues in SDGs ?
Yes, we do have a policy frame work, program and a blueprint to achieve SDGs .What we do not have is the flexibility to incorporate grass root realities in to bigger picture of SDGs. What level of flexibility in implementation could be considered while we fix the 169 targets among 17 goals is yet to be addressed. Another aspect is interconnections and inter dependency between SDG goals need to be recognized.
Q: 7 What is your take on India’s extensive efforts to deal with climate change?
Being a signatory in the 23rd Conference of Parties to UNFCCC, India has reassured her stand in tackling climate variability .GOI has set up National clean development mechanism authority to address climate change mitigation. National Action plan on climate change, State Action Plan on Climate Change, National Adaptation Fund on Climate Change (NAFCC) are efforts in the right direction.
Q:8 Do you think SDG goals are achievable for India, what could be one action required to encourage our efforts?
I suggest to focus on governance of SDGs.There is need for training at all administrative levels to implement SDGs and create modules for measuring same at grass root level.
Q:9 In your current role as founding coordinator of Sustainable Development Goals center, Presidency University, Bangalore what are your focus area and actions?
Being a green field university situated in a rural area, we focus on sustainable development through rural development. We focus on 5 goals. Gender, Water, Climate change, Wellbeing and Decent Work. Being a research center we focus on research projects addressing these issues we organize outreach events to facilitate interaction between academia and rural communities.
Q:10 Being an academician , do you think our education system should incorporate subjects such as sustainability studies , Environment and People in the curriculum for higher academics?
Yes, it shoube. At graduate level its already included and I think this could leads to positive changes in the way we see and use our ecosystem esp. the youth and next generation.