TERI and Biosfera: A decision support tool for Panaji and Surat

How can these two techniques be combined to aid climate policy decision-making? Panaji: waste disposal system and transportation system. Surat: sanitation and supply and coastal protection.
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TERI and Biosfera: A decision support tool for Panaji and Surat

Amongst others, TERI has been gathering stationary data in the city of Panaji and Surat for years. Biosfera has developed a new “urban climate resilience” tool that gathers real-time data. Our main question to be addressed: How can these two techniques be combined to aid climate policy decision-making (the creation of a Decision Support Tool)?

Knowledge of the past and present combined

TERI has been monitoring (urban) environmental data for years, by gathering static data. This includes meteorological data, as well as data on water levels, infrastructure and waste streams. TERI has used these datasets for many (academic) climate change studies, but by itself, their measuring system is not a perfect fit for a climate change Decision Support Tool.

One of the projects that The Biosfera Foundation established, TUPIX, could complement TERI’s method of data collection. TUPIX is a system that gathers real-time data to (automatically) reward those who take actions to preserve nature. Because TUPIX started in 2015, the database only contains measurements that are relatively recent. A Decision Support Tool that integrates both systems will lead to improved data analyses, which can provide a foundation for (environmental) policy-making. In addition, it will increase efficiency and lower the cost of data management processes.

Find out more about Urban Climate Change Resilience by watching the video below.

Taking a closer look at Panaji and Surat

TERI and Biosfera selected the city of Panaji in the province Goa and the city of Surat in Gujara as the first two pilot cities to develop the Decision Support Tool. The variety in interests makes both geographical areas perfect for piloting. Panaji (also known as Panjim) is interested in improving their transport system and their solid waste disposal system. Surat wants to focus on sanitation, water management and coastal protection. Both of these coastal cities are vulnerable to sea level rise, and because Surat is located on the banks of the river Tapi, this city also faces the risk of flooding.

The goal is to develop a tool that gathers data, and enables Indian cities to use this information to make informed policy-decisions, customized to what the city’s priorities are. When successful, this project has great potential for larger adoption at a regional, and a national level. It will follow a three-step approach for decision-making and allows cities to work through different stages of development:

  • Developing and successfully demonstrating a decision support tool;
  • Developing generic protocols and proofs of concept for up-scaling and replication of the tool in other Indian cities;
  • Capacity building: formulating a policy roadmap for data-driven urban resilience planning and governance, and institutionalizing the tool.

What do we need from partners?

Currently, our focus lays on the first stage, with the following stages already in mind: How can we successfully bring this tool to life? We are looking for knowledge and expertise from (research) institutes and businesses. Do you have experience or knowledge about (e.g.) software, Monitoring & Evaluation, data analysis, policy-making, policy consultation? We are happy to hear from you! Contact Daniel Lipschits: lipschits@biosferafoundation.com.

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