Participants at the workshop in USTM.

GUWAHATI: At a time when the entire world is up against serious challenges and threats, mainly caused by environmental degradation and climate change, the northeastern region of India is also highly prone to the consequences of the same.

This is mainly owing to the region’s geo-ecological fragility, strategic location vis-à-vis the eastern Himalayan landscape and international borders, and its transboundary river basins.

Joining hands with researchers across the globe, the University of Science and Technology Meghalaya (USTM) organised an international workshop on “Sustainability and climate change in the water space of Northeast” on its premises at Khanapara in Ri Bhoi district.

Prof Asit K. Biswas and Prof Cecilia Tortajada from Glasgow University presenting books on climate and water research to USTM Chancellor Mahbubul Hoque.

The workshop intended to explore the synergies and trade-offs between infrastructure, development and disasters, thereby drawing pathways for research, policy and practice around sustainable development issues and disaster resilience in the Northeast.

Faculty members, environmental researchers and other stakeholders from USTM, different parts of the country and abroad, attended the workshop.

Addressing the inaugural session, Prof. Cecilia Tortajada, Professor in Practice, School of Interdisciplinary Studies, Glasgow University, stressed the need to undertake cutting-edge research on climate and water space.

Professor Asit K. Biswas, an honorary Professor, Glasgow University, addressed the gathering on the theme, saying that dissemination of knowledge is equally important as the generation and its synthesis and the purpose of knowledge will be served only if it improves the lives of the people.

In the subsequent technical sessions, Dr Navarun Varma, senior lecturer, National University of Singapore; Dhrubajyoti Borgohain, former chief engineer, Brahmaputra Board; Dr Mirza Z. Rahman, visiting associate fellow, Institute of Chinese Studies, Delhi, spoke on various aspects and sub-themes of the workshop.

Each technical session was followed by brainstorming discussions on various environmental factors, including the region’s powerful hydrological and monsoon regimes, especially the Brahmaputra and the Barak (Meghna) river systems, a resource and a source of vulnerability.

Earlier, welcoming the distinguished scientists coming from various parts of the world, USTM Chancellor Mahbubul Hoque said that research and innovation have always been and will remain the prime focus of USTM.

“The university is trying its best to undertake high-end collaborative research with the best universities of the world in the thrust areas, including environment, climate change and sustainability,” Hoque said.

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