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THE German ministry for economic cooperation and development has decided to give India $7.8 million for climate change adaptation activities. The money would be routed through GTZ, an international cooperation enterprise for sustainable development with worldwide operations.

The money would be provided under a five-year programme that commences from March 2007. “This is the biggest grant given to any developing country to develop models for adaptation to climate variability and change,“ said head of GTZ’s climate change programme unit Pamposh Bhat.

The fund would be mainly used for assessing the impacts of climate change and providing communities with alternative means of livelihood. For instance, in a flood-prone area, the communities may be given vocational training for skill development. This will not only help sustain the rural economy, but also avoid urban stress due to migration of people deprived of their livelihood resulting from adverse impacts of climate variability and change.

The programme will be able to reach more than 1 million local government officials, environmental professionals, industries, agriculturists and NGOs to implement activities directed towards mitigation and adaptation to climate change. It will have a multi-level approach (local to central) to transport the field-level learning and best practices for supporting the communities. The ultimate aim of the programme is to make communities self-sufficient to face the challenges of climate change in the long run.

The programme would be implemented in collaboration with the ministry of environment and forests. The ministry has already asked for expression of interests from the state governments and so far Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal governments have responded.

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