Bhubaneswar: The Chilika Development Authority (CDA) and Wetlands International–South Asia (WISA) on Saturday jointly launched a three year research initiative on climate change in Asia's biggest brackish water lagoon in Odisha.

The initiative ‘Strengthening livelihood resilience to changing climate in Chilika Lagoon' aims to enhance climate preparedness of wetland management through developing response options and strategy for reducing climate related risks, Chief Executive, CDA, Ajit Kumar Patnaik said.

The initiative is first of its kind to be implemented for a wetland system and would be of immense use to wetland managers in the country, Patnaik said.

The project is supported by the Climate Change and Water Programme of International Development and Research Center (IDRC).

The implementation would be led by WISA and CDA, with expert support from the Institute of Land, Water and Society, Charles Sturt University, Australia.

The implementation strategy would be built on climate scenario modelling, participatory risk assessments with Chilika communities, stakeholder consultations, capacity building, communication and outreach.

The research would focus on developing scenarios of change in eco-system, processes and services of Chilika due to climate change, assessing adaptation mechanisms within wetland communities, demonstrating options for enhancing livelihood resilience in changing climate through pilot interventions.

The outcome of the research would also formulate a 'climate smart' plan for wetland management identifying adaptation options, intervention strategies, priority actions and investment required for building capacity of wetland managers to develop response strategy to climate change.

Patnaik said the project would provide a platform for knowledge sharing amongst wetland managers placed in similar development and ecological contexts.

Stephen McGurk, Regional Director (South Asia and China) of IDRC was the chief guest at the international workshop where the initiative was launched.

(Agencies)