Srinagar: The golden jubilee commemorations of the World Earth Day concluded today at Sher-e- Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Kashmir (SKUAST-K) with a series of expert webinars and student competitions organised on ‘Climate Action’ – the theme of the day for the year 2020. Amid COVID19 lockdown, SKUAST-K’s Faculty of Agriculture, Wadura in collaboration with World Bank-ICAR funded National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP) organised a series of online programmes to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the World Earth Day, commemorated every year to honour the planet earth and protect the nature, environment and plants.
Some national and international experts on agriculture and environment delivered the lectures on climate change, its impact on agriculture and sustainable farming. Prof Raihana Habib Kanth, the organising secretary of the commemoration events, talked about the history of Earth Day, this year’s theme and strategies adapted for climate action on the inaugural event. SKUAST-K’s Director Planning and Monitoring and PI NAHEP, Prof Nazir Ahmad Ganai and Dean Faculty of Agriculture, Prof AH Hakeem also spoke at the inaugural function. Dr LS Rathore, a consultant at World Met Organization, Geneva and former DG of Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), on the second day of the programme, spoke about the weather observation and forecasting and improvement in accuracy of forecasting by the IMD. Dr Santanu Bal, a project director at Indian Council of Agricultural Research spoke on ‘Managing risks in agriculture: An agro meteorological perspective’. Dr Elena Matesscu, Director General of National Meteorological Administration, Romania addressed the webinar educating the participants about weather systems affecting agriculture and the role of World Meteorological Organisation in forecasting and its impact on farming activities. In one of the webinars, Dr Farhana Junaid from Canada taught students how to register your city on citynaturechallenge.org for identification of flora and fauna.
More 400 students participated in the weeklong programme in inter-faculty and inter-school photography and slogan competition, debates and quizzes on climate change and sustainable agricultural practices. A plantation drive was also conducted by the students residing in the hostel at the Wadura campus amid the lockdown while maintaining social distancing and taking precautions like wearing masks and gloves. Students participated with enthusiasm in photography and painting competition, nature challenge in which they were asked to identify local flora and fauna photographed by the students in their backyards and other competitions.