Climate Change Current Affairs

International conference on Climate Change held in Nepal

The International conference on climate change was held in Nepal. It was inaugurated by Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari. It was titled ‘Resilient Hindu Kush Himalaya: Developing Solutions towards a Sustainable Future for Asia’.

Its purpose was to draw attention towards adverse effects of global warming in Hindu Kush mountain range. It was organized by Nepal’s Ministry for Environment in collaboration with International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD).

Key Facts

The 4-day conference aimed at developing solutions for a sustainable future for Asia that could withstand the impacts of climate change. The main objective was to develop solutions for resilience building, promoting regional cooperation and reducing the data gaps for sustainable mountain development.

It was attended by more than 300 experts from different countries of Asia including India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan and Myanmar. Indian delegation was led by V K Saraswat, member of India’s Neeti foundation.

Hindu Kush Himalaya

Hindu Kush Himalaya is a mountain range that spans from Afghanistan to Myanmar. It is source to 10 major river systems in Asia that provide water, ecosystem services and livelihoods to more than 210 million people. The region holds and distributes water for more than 1.3 billion people living in downstream river basins.

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India asks UN to declare 2018 as International Year of Millets

India has sent proposal to the United Nations (UN) for declaring the year 2018 as ‘International Year of Millets’. If the proposal is agreed, it will raise awareness about millets among consumers, policy makers, industry and Research and Development (R&D) sector.

Significance

Promotion of production and consumption of millets at global level will contribute substantially in fight against targeted hunger and mitigate effect of climate change in long run. Popularizing millets will benefit future generations of farmers as well as consumers.

It has multiple untapped uses such as food, feed, biofuels and brewing. Therefore, millets are smart food and good for consumers, farmers and planet.

Millets

Millet is a common term to categorize small-seeded grasses that are often termed nutri-cereals or dryland-cereals. It includes sorghum, ragi, pearl millet, small millet, proso millet, foxtail millet, barnyard millet, kodo millet and other millets. They are adapted to harsh environment of the semi-arid tropics and require low or no purchased inputs, thus they are backbone for dry land agriculture.

Nutritional Superiority: Millets are nutritionally superior to wheat and rice owing to their higher levels of protein with more balanced amino acid profile, crude fibre and minerals such as Iron, Zinc, and Phosphorous. It provides nutritional security and act as shield against nutritional deficiency, especially among children and women.

Health Benefits: Anaemia (iron deficiency), pellagra (niacin deficiency), B-complex vitamin deficiency can be effectively tackled with intake of less expensive but nutritionally rich food grains like millets. It can also help tackle health challenges such as obesity, diabetes and lifestyle problems as they are gluten free and also have low glycemic index and are high in dietary fibre and antioxidants.

Income and livelihood Source: Millets are important staple cereal crop for millions of small holder dryland farmers across Asia and sub-saharan Africa and. They offer nutrition, resilience, income and livelihood for farmers even in difficult times. They have multiple untapped uses such as food, feed, fodder, biofuels and brewing. Thus, millets are Smart Food as they are Good for the Farmer and Good for the Planet.

Resilient of Climate Change: Millets are photo-insensitive and resilient to climate change. They are hardy, resilient crops that have low carbon and water footprint. They can withstand high temperatures and grow on poor soils with little or no external inputs. In times of climate change they are often last crop standing and thus are good risk management strategy for resource-poor marginal farmers.

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