Climate Change

A K Ghosh, voice of people of Sundarbans, passes away at 81

The renowned environmentalist also researched on the effects of climate change and extreme weather events on people’s lives

 
By DTE Staff
Last Updated: Wednesday 04 April 2018
Dr Asish Kumar Ghosh published research papers on food security, environment and climate change in many countries.
Dr Asish Kumar Ghosh published research papers on food security, environment and climate change in many countries. Dr Asish Kumar Ghosh published research papers on food security, environment and climate change in many countries.

Do we really need GM mustard in India? Is interlinking rivers a utopian idea? Who will protect wildlife from the conservationists? Is climate change taking a backseat in the agenda of global alliances? These are bold questions that demand introspection.

The founder-director of Society for Environment and Development, Dr Asish Kumar Ghosh, who passed away at the age of 81 on Monday morning in Kolkata, was known for asking such tough questions and nudging the conscience of those who shy away from taking environment seriously.

A renowned environmentalist and a Fulbright scholar, Dr Ghosh did an extensive research on the effects of climate change and extreme weather events on the lives of people in the Sundarbans. After 2009 Cyclone Aila wreaked havoc in the Sundarbans, he launched several projects to help the affected people. Much of the revival of traditional paddy seeds that grow in brackish water is attributed to him and his organisation

He has been the voice for the climate refugees in Sundarbans, where erosion, storm surges and intrusion of saline water have been forcing people to migrate. It irked him that neither the National Action Plan on Climate Change nor the West Bengal Climate Change Action plan mentions the issue of migration and the need to resettle and rehabilitate people in a coordinated manner.

He had served the Zoological Survey of India for more than 20 years. He was a regular contributor for Down To Earth, highlighting lacunae in environmental governance and wildlife conservation and also recommending solutions to tackle climate change and water crisis.

Dr Ghosh published research papers on food security, environment and climate change in many countries, including UK, USA, Japan and Russia. He also served as guest faculty in many institutes, including Jadavpur University.

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