1. Golam Rabbani |

    Nice article. Many thanks. Commenting on the last para: How can mangrove be an effective shield of sea level rise? Of course, it can be a wall against waves and storm surge, but sea level rise? A bit confusing, isn’t it?

    1. Thanks for your comment, Dr Rabbani. You’re absolutely right – mangroves cannot be a shield against sea level rise, but can act as living walls reducing storm surges. That was what I meant to convey. I’m sorry if that didn’t come across clearly, and thank you for giving me an opportunity to clarify

  2. We would like to point out major factual error in your press report. It was in 2011, after a year long study, WWF-India with Dr. Anurag Danda published Delta Vision document predicting migration of at least 1.2-1.4 million people. That document attracted attention of the West Bengal State Government and found place in the “West Bengal State Action Plan on Climate Change: 2012-22”. However, despite special budget allocation, there is no evidence of official fund release. Even 20% of the money allocated after cyclone Aila to repair 1300 km of damaged embankments, released by Planning Commission has not been utilised till date.

    Second error is more serious after Aila, it was not ICAR, State Agriculture Department, VCKVV, Kalyani or other governmental institution who came forward to search and revive traditionally long lost Salt Tolerant Farmers’ Rice Varieties known 100 years back. It was “ENDEV – A Society for Environment and Development” composed of scientists, sociologists, economists, human rights activists who must be given the credit for rediscovering five of the six lost rice varieties with different salt tolerant potential. The project was approved by National Council of Rural Institute and ENDEV carried out the work for the next two years, increasing 10 kg of initial seed varieties to 2000 kg in eight most vulnerable blocks of Indian Sundarbans region.

    The success of the project got ENDEV global award for Adapting to Climate Change for Food Security out of 90 proposals from 37 countries and it further received the Indian Earthcare Award in 2014 (https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/earth-care-awards-2014-winners-announced/articleshow/34073155.cms?from=mdr). This has been shown in American Public Television under the title “Food for Nine Billion” (http://rkmp.co.in/te/category/news-events-optional-tags/sunderbans , https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Sunderbans-salt-tolerant-rice-project-a-hit-globally/articleshow/24839656.cms)

  3. Dear Dr Ghosh, thank you very much for your detailed comments, but I still fail to spot the factual errors. I’m aware of Dr Danda’s 2011 report as well as Dr Nilanjan Ghosh’s subsequent report, and I do not see any conflict between the two. I referred to Dr Nilanjan Ghosh’s report simply because it’s more recent. On the issue of helping to popularize salt-tolerant paddy varieties, I did not report anywhere about any developer, because I know – as you’ve pointed out – that these are traditional varieties. I had referred to an initiative by WWF to distribute these seeds because I had seen them do that in 2009. I did not know about ENDEV or its work in this field, and I’m very grateful that you have now brought it to my attention. Thanks again

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