There has been much persuasive analysis and opinions on the increasing climatic changes taking place around the world. But as it often happens, such pre-emptive signs are ignored and when reality hits, panic sets in and alarm bells go off. There is no doubt that climatic changes are setting it and it is difficult to fully comprehend the situation when extreme conditions of droughts and super typhoons are being experienced at varying degrees across the world, causing destruction to human life.
The issue of climate change today is among the most crucial global environmental challenge facing humankind today, with implication for freshwater supply, health, bio-diversity, natural ecosystems and food production; and it will certainly affect human economic dependence on activities such as agriculture, forests and fisheries. The signs that the world is warming can be gauged from the experience of the Inuit people. The Inuit better known for building igloos on the polar ice are now installing air conditioners because temperatures have hit as high as 31 Celsius.
If the Inuit are feeling the heat, chances are that most people are feeling it too. There is no doubt that Nagas are feeling it too, particularly here in Dimapur. With the growing population, wanton deforestation, unchecked industrial and vehicular pollution, drying water sources and lack of urban planning it is not surprising that the heat has been turning up year after year. This obviously will influence some shifts in lifestyles and is affecting the economy, particularly when Nagas are dependent on agricultural production as their mainstay.
Natural resources are inextricably linked to the survival and well being of the Naga people. Considering the drastic climatic changes it becomes all the more important to create awareness among the communities and together with them protect the natural resources and to introduce laws and legislations that will ensure that appropriate measures are taken for the well-being of the resources. This however cannot be government-centered; the communities must be involved, because after all they are the owners and keepers of the land and their natural resources.
Dimapur is a classic example of how other Naga towns should not be. There is complete lack of urban planning, no proper drainage or sewage system, lack of housing facilities and more importantly no organized tapping of water resources and its equal distribution. There has been random deforestation and soon Dimapur may turn into an urban jungle. It has all the ingredients for environmental hazards to occur. Dimapur is truly a lesson to be learned from. While there is much room left for remedial steps to be taken, it will take enormous will and determination on the various institutions to truly change the face of Dimapur into a modern city.
Since Nagas are in some way part of the whole global warming process, situation is demanding that Nagas begin paying attention to issues of climate change and environment. The practices of random deforestation must be discouraged and interventions must be made to prevent it and awareness programs involving the local communities should be the first step towards protection of natural resources. Nagas need to come alive to these ecological issues surrounding them, and for a people that is dependent on their natural resources, it would be tragic, if they were to ignore the global trends of climatic changes.