India’s science express, a unique venture to spread awareness on science and technology through exhibition on an express train that travels through the country has focused on climate change this year.
The exhibition put up by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Govt of India, covered themes like Biotechnology for bio-resources and nature conservation with emphasis on Tiger Conservation and Chemical Ecology and India’s research and development initiatives in field of Biotechnology.
The Science Express Climate Action Special (SECAS) was flagged off on 15 October 2015 from Delhi Safdarjung Railway Station by Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Hon’ble Minister of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences; Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, Hon’ble Minister of Railways; Shri Prakash Javadekar, Hon’ble Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change; Shri Y. S. Chowdary, Hon’ble Minister of State for Science & Technology and Shri Manoj Sinha, Hon’ble Minister of State for Railways in presence of several other dignitaries and guests.
The SECAS is scheduled to travel across the country for about seven months, halting at 64 locations in 20 States, covering 19,800 km. The exhibition will convey a strong message about Climate Change and will also be a good opportunity to generate dialogue and discussion.
The state-of-the-art exhibition aboard the ‘Science Express Climate Action Special (SECAS)’ aims to create awareness among various sections of society, especially students, as to how Climate Change can be combated through mitigation and adaptation.
Climate Change is the most important environmental issues, with short term as well as long term impacts. From shifting weather patterns that threaten food production, to rising sea levels that increase the risk of catastrophic flooding, the impacts of climate change are not just global in scope and unprecedented in scale but also more severely affect poor and marginalized people. However, there is very little understanding about Climate Change and its impacts.
For Climate Change, 2015 could be a decisive year, with leaders of 190 nations gathering in Paris to discuss a possible new global agreement on Climate Change during the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 11th session of the Meeting of the Parties (CMP 11) to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. Thus, “Science Express”, redesigned as SECAS, intends to contribute towards increasing understanding of the science of climate change, the observed and anticipated impacts, and different possible responses. The previous 3 phases/runs of ‘’Science Express’’ were rolled out as a joint initiative of DST and MoEFCC as Biodiversity Special and showcased the myriad ‘Biodiversity of India’. Thus it was rational to shift the focus to the theme ‘Climate Change’ as it will affect the biodiversity of not just India but the entire globe as well.
Of the 16 coaches of SECAS, exhibition in 8 coaches developed by Centre for Environment Education (CEE) on behalf of MoEFCC, is exclusively devoted to information, case studies and material related to various aspect of Climate change, the underlying science, impacts, adaptation activities, mitigation solutions and policy approaches in a manner that is easy to understand and interesting for not just school students but also the masses.
Broad theme covered in each exhibition coach