Managing the impact of sea level rise: Prof M S Swaminathan
Chennai, February 24, 2016: A group of scientists from the Rutgers’ University in USA headed by Dr Robert Kopp have pointed out that sea levels rose by about 14 cms between 1900–2000. They have predicted that the rise will be even faster in the future. In this context, it may be worthwhile mentioning that MSSRF started in 1991 an anticipatory research programme for adaptation and mitigation with reference to sea level rise. Such anticipatory research is important since India has a large coastline and Islands like the Lakshadweep and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The MSSRF sea level rise adaptation strategy consists of three major elements, First, Mangrove bioshields were protected and their areas enlarged. Second, techniques of biosaline agriculture which will help below sea level farming were developed. This also involved the establishment of a genetic garden of salt tolerant halophytes. Techniques were also developed and popularised to safeguard the lives and livelihoods of small scale fisher families by introducing the fisher friend application of mobile telephony. Third, assistance was given to the government of Kerala for establishing at Moncompu an International Training and Research Centre for Below Sea Level Farming. Such steps will help us to avoid the emergence of climate refugees.
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.