The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation is developing the Climate Resilient City Action Plan (CRCAP) – Towards a Net-zero Future and the Local Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (LBSAP) for Hyderabad. Technical assistance for the same is being provided by ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, South Asia. A stakeholder consultation meeting was organised for these two initiatives on 29 August, 2023 at the GHMC main office.
GHMC is keen to ensure that Hyderabad is able to integrate climate-sensitive measures in its planning, development, infrastructure and service delivery while responding to the city’s rapid growth. For this purpose, a Climate Resilient City Action Plan (CRCAP) -Towards a Net-zero Future is being developed for Hyderabad which will help GHMC to reduce climate vulnerability and risk to its population, infrastructure and impacts on economy. The CRCAP will identify targets and strategies to help Hyderabad move towards net-zero GHG emissions, to support India’s ‘net-zero by 2070’ goal.
Climate change impacts in the form of erratic rainfall and temperature rise pose possible threats like flooding, water scarcity, and heat island in the city. The Telangana Government and GHMC along with other Municipal Departments have already initiated certain climate change mitigation measures such as construction of STPs towards Zero Sewage, Lake restoration programmes to improve water quality and ecosystem services, encouraging public transport through Metro Rails expanding to peri urban areas and around the city in all directions, providing clean drinking water, cool roof policy, green building concepts, transition to electrical vehicles, disposal of waste through proper material management and investing in waste to energy etc., Hyderabad city is growing very fast and competing with all global cities. In view of this, to create a better and sustainable environment in the city in the future, the GHMC is undertaking this scientific study on the factors influencing the change of climate with proper and technical data and to prepare climate resilient city action plan to address environmental change while meeting other long terms goals such as socio-economic development and environmental protection.
The CRCAP will provide an evidence-base and help the city to identify appropriate policies, interventions, and infrastructure projects that are required to address local climate risks, priorities and are aligned to existing urban development plans. It will help GHMC to identify and prioritize critical urban sectors and services, and develop cross-sectoral climate-resilient projects.Hyderabad’s CRCAP will be developed using ICLEI South Asia’s in-house ‘Net Zero ClimateResilientCITIES methodology’, whichhas been successfully applied to develop Climate Action plans of 15 cities across different regions of India and in the countries of Bangladesh, Malaysia and Sri Lanka.
Development of Local Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan(LBSAP) at the level of the urban local body is mandatory as per the Biological Diversity Act of India, 2002. The LBSAP is a guiding strategy with specific actions suggested for the local governments to achieve “optimal and realistic governance and management of biodiversity and ecosystem services”. An LBSAP, in essence, is the local equivalent of National and State Biodiversity Strategy and Actions Plans. The National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan is the primary instrument of the national governments for implementing the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The Conference of Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP 10) have recognized LBSAP in the decision (X/22). The LBSAP helps in translating international and national biodiversity policies and targets into implementable action plans at the local level.
The guidelines for development of State Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan and Local Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan have recently been developed by ICLEI and have been accepted by the Secretariat of Convention on Biological Diversity. The methodology aims to develop the LBSAP in a scientifically informed and participatory manner.
India has a well-defined NBSAP and most of the states have SBSAPs. However LBSAPs are lacking in India. Hyderabad will be one of the very few cities in India to develop such a robust LBSAP. This will help the city build resilience to climate change, mainstream biodiversity conservation into urban planning and ensure long-term sustainable development, with emphasis on nature-based solutions. Through a scientific and participatory process, the LBSAP will lay out actions that need to be taken in order to improve the health of blue- green infrastructure of the city and the ecosystem services provided by the same. The LBSAP will also support in achieving National Biodiversity Targets as well as the targets of the Post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.
Similarly Telangana Government is focused on protection and enhancement of Biodiversity in the city through nature based solutions. Among which taking up massive plantations in the city in Telangana Ku Haritha Haram Program is not only helped in improvement of green cover in the city but also significant improvement in city Biodiversity. As per FSI – 2021 report the Green Cover Increase in GHMC area is by 147% in last decade due to Haritha Haram Program. The City Biodiversity Index of Hyderabad also increased from 36/92 in 2012 to 57/92 in 2023. Hyderabad is the only city in India to have calculated the City Biodiversity Index twice.
Hyderabad city has been awarded as Tree City of World twice during the years 2020, 2021 by Arbor day Foundation and also as World Green City for year 2022 by AIPH.
Team from ICLEI South Asia elaborated on the activities to be carried out in Hyderabad for the development of the CRCAP and LBSAP until September 2024. Representatives from GHMC departments and other stakeholders deliberated on various aspects of climate action plan and biodiversity strategy and action plan and provided valuable inputs to help prioritize focus areas and potential strategies during the meeting conducted today.