By Dr KP Laladhas
Kerala, the glorious “land of God” is blessed with greenery, water lagoons and a marine ecosystem comprising an area of 38,863 km2, barely 1.18% of the land mass of India is located between the Lakshadweep Sea to the west and the forest mountain range, the Western Ghats to the east.
The state has three different climatic regions with a 560 km coastal belt. In the eastern part we have uplands with mountainous terrain adorned with tropical rainforests, central hills and western warm and humid lowlands containing a diversity of freshwater, brackish water and marine ecosystems that constitute the coastal plain.
The climatic conditions of Kerala are influenced by the seasonal showers of rain brought by the blessed monsoon.
Kerala’s biodiversity and ecosystem provide valuable services to humanity in several ways, directly and indirectly. Such an ecosystem service includes water purification, soil erosion control, flood control, agricultural pollination, carbon storage and climate regulation, as well as the generation of oxygen by spaces. green through photosynthesis.
The Western Ghats perform very important hydrological and watershed functions.
250 million people depend on the Western Ghats for drinking water in peninsular India and Kerala, the origin and source of our rivers come from these Ghats.
The unprecedented and alarming rate of degradation is advancing towards our precious environment and biodiversity today. Unsustainable exploitation of natural resources, soil erosion, land use change and deterioration of soil quality, sea level rise in low lying areas, forest degradation, loss of biodiversity, drop in water tables , pollution and waste buildup, change in virulence, and disease pattern, especially waterborne and vector-borne diseases.
New infectious diseases have been discovered every year due to paradigms related to climate change in recent decades; several diseases are drug resistance, reappearance of old diseases like diphtheria, cholera, dengue, yellow fever, etc.
The environmental sustainability of our survival system is deteriorating, climate change is at its looming peak, and the gap between the rich and the poor is dangerously widening, threatening even the system, are the main issues to be addressed during the year. future.
Ecosystems such as wetlands, forests, mountainous terrain and green covers are alarmingly depleted in Kerala and pose a powerful threat to tackle climate change. While Kerala’s current environmental trends are unsustainably managed, especially with regard to resource depletion, climate change has caused torrential rains, droughts, floods, landslides, a global epidemic of pandemic; the disease can predict an unstable situation with a series of catastrophic implications.
Rapid and more strategy-oriented corrective actions must be required to address these impending challenges, otherwise a negative scenario is more likely.
The recurring floods caused by torrential rains and landslides that have followed in recent years and followed by unprecedented droughts have demanded from Kerala a nature-based solution that involves working with nature to better conserve, manage, protect or restore very demanding and critical or fragile ecosystems.
A nature-based solution includes a wide range of ecosystems across terrestrial, aquatic and marine habitats and should be designed and implemented in partnership with local communities and stakeholders in a decentralized manner. Resilience in designing to provide measurable benefits to biodiversity is the key factor in a nature-based solution. The influx of national and global financial and technical expertise is the main source of its success. Kerala needs a global, multidimensional, long-term environmental strategy and goals to build a better and brighter future.
Research and development of new technologies to mitigate climate change, such as carbon capture and reuse, aquaponics, hydroponics, vertical urban farming facilities in high-rise buildings, saltwater agriculture, pure meat without growing animals, electric cars, advanced solar energy capture systems, maglev trains, urban biodiversity conservation, green cover gradation and reforestation, use of energy sources renewable and technology-enhanced mitigation measures are best suited.
Our vision of development must have a design oriented towards the conservation of the environment, biodiversity, landscapes, critical ecosystems and hot spots, associated with decentralized governance and the essential participation of populations. The development of Kerala must have a policy making the best use of the world class scientific and technological trends available to keep in mind the basic needs of present and future generations.