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Alien Plant Species Found In Manipur

IMPHAL, Mar 26: As a result of the global climatic change which became very grave in the last two decades, a number of unknown plants of alien species have been discovered in Manipur.

On the other hand, researchers have an apprehension that rice productivity of Manipur would fall by 40 per cent by 2085.

Meanwhile, in accordance to the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Forest and Environment for tackling global climatic change, the Environment and Ecology Wing functioning under the State Forest and Environment Department has been selected as nodal agency for combating the climate change.

Subsequently, the Environment and Ecology Wing has set on formulating an action plan.

Talking with The Sangai Express, Environment and Ecology Wing Research Officer Dr T Brajakumar informed that a country wide assessment on the possible changes in climatic conditions was conducted under the aegis of the Ministry of Forest and Environment.

According to the study report, the average annual temperature (baseline) of Manipur which is currently 19.46 degree Celsius would rise by 3.70 degree Celsius by 2085. During the corresponding period, average annual rainfall would rise by 22.03 mm from the current rate of 1134.75 mm.

This rise in average rainfall means there would be intense rainfall in some months and there may be drought during some other months.

By 2085, rice productivity of Manipur would fall by 40 per cent, Dr Brajakumar said.

Stating that Manipur has also been affected by the climate change, the scientist said that winter months are becoming more and more warm.

With the rise in average temperature, mosquitoes are present throughout the year and there is no longer any definite period for rainfall.

Drought witnessed in the State in 2009 which recorded annual rainfall of just 970 mm was caused by the impact of global climate change, he observed.

Consequent upon drastic change in the climatic condition of Manipur, many alien species of plants which are hitherto unknown have been discovered.

To tackle this evolving scenario, a climate change     steering committee has been constituted with the Chief Secretary as chairman.

The Ministry of Forest and Environment entrusted the work of formulating an action plan for fighting the climate change to GIZ, a Germany based agency working on environment.

Subsequently officials of the agency visited Manipur on March 7 and made a ground assessment of the prevailing climatic condition.

As for the task of formulating another action plan regarding adaptation to the changing climate, the Ministry has roped in KFW of the German Government.

Reiterating that many alien species of plants have been found in Manipur, Prof P Kumar of Life Science Department, MU said 14 un- known species of plants were discovered in Bishnupur district during intensive research.

Similar research is being carried out in Imphal East, Imphal West and Thoubal districts.  So far, 80 unknown species of plants have been discovered in the entire State.

Meanwhile, para-grass has grown up extensively in Loktak and this has spread to Keibul Lamjao National Park.

In case this species of grass spreads to the entire length and breadth of Keibul Lamjao, Sangai may disappear from the Park, Prof Kumar said.

(Courtesy: Laishram Shamungou /The Sangai Express)

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