Himachal Pradesh government will soon study the vulnerability of all villages of the state towards climate change after which adaptation projects would be carried out.

Informing about the development during a workshop in Dharamshala, Special Secretary cum Director, Environment Science and Technology department D C Rana said while the area under Yamuna river basin has already been covered, currently, the Beas basin is being covered.

“The state already has the block-level vulnerability index and we are implementing adaptation projects in three highly-vulnerable blocks of Sirmaur district,” he said.

Rana said Himachal Pradesh was one of the first states in India to have prepared the State Action Plan on Climate Change. “We all are experiencing the impact of climate change in terms of rising temperature and rainfall patterns. Through the pilot project in drought-prone areas of Sirmaur, we are building the resilience of farmers through rainwater harvesting, crop diversification, linkage to markets and crop insurance schemes,” he added.

He said the government is also planning to promote the concept of eco-villages in popular tourist destinations which are also ecologically-fragile.

“These villages can be role models in sustainable development through water management, use of renewable energy, cultivation of traditional crops and no use of plastic,” he said.

Efforts are also being made to build resilience of farmers in Kandrour village of Bilaspur district in collaboration with the state government. “We are building and repairing community tanks, kuhls and promoting drip irrigation to improve water efficiency which is very important for this rainfed area,” he said.

A large segment of our population is dependent on agriculture which is why the action plan is also addressing the issues related to crop loss, water availability, and diversification.

After block-level vulnerability index, we are now studying to village-level vulnerability to climate change based on river basins. The Yamuna basin has been covered while Beas basin is currently under study.

In addition, 13 highly vulnerable villages of Dhamoon panchayat near Shimla are being trained to promote contour farming, crop diversification and high-tech greenhouses to improve the economic condition of farmers.