Anticipatory Action for Managing the Challenge of Sea Level Rise: Prof M S Swaminathan
Kuttanad, February 06, 2016: According to the intergovernmental panel on climate change, a rise in sea level will be one of the consequences of global warming. More than 25% of the global population live near the sea. Our country has the long coastline extending to over 7,500 Km, in addition to the Andamans and Lakshadweep group of islands. Nearly 30 crore people live near the coast. It is in this context that the inauguration of an International Centre for Research and Training in Below Sea Level Farming at Moncompu, Kuttanad, Kerala on 6th February 2016 by the Chief Minister Shri Oommen Chandy is a very significant occasion both nationally and internationally. The Below Sea Level Farming Institute will base its research and training agenda on the knowledge already available through the work of Kuttanad farmers for over 150 years. It is this knowledge and technology of farmers which lead to Kuttanad being recognized as a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Site. This institute will help to strengthen the coping and adaptation capacity of coastal communities in relation to sea level rise. This institute will also carry out research on Bio-saline farming and agri-silvi-aqua farming system. In addition it will work on the design of bio-bunds to keep sea water away. The work of this centre will be of interest to all countries having large coastal communities such as Maldives, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. In addition, parts of coastal regions of our own country like Sundarbans will also benefit. This initiative of Kerala Government is therefore timely in the context of global warming. M S Swaminathan Research Foundation will help as a Knowledge Partner of the International Centre.
M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) established in 1988 is a not-for-profit trust. MSSRF was envisioned and founded by Professor M S Swaminathan, agriculture scientist with proceeds from the First World Food Prize that he received in 1987.