Field of research: Air pollution and climate change 

Disciplines involved: Plant Ecology, Environmental Science, Eco-physiology and Botany. 

Innovative activities: Develop educational modules for climate change adaptation based on science of pollution tolerant and climate resilient crops.

Duration: 2019-2022

Impacts on education: Deeper understanding on climate change adaptation and air pollution mitigation.

Questions/ issues addressed:

1. Simplified methods for screening pollution tolerant and climate resilient crops.

2. Selection of pollution tolerant and climate resilient plants in different climatic and edaphic environments.

3. Understanding of science of pollution tolerant and climate resilient plant species.

4. Development of e-books and e-documentaries for environmental education.

Outcomes expected:

1. Capacity development for screening pollution tolerant and climate resilient plants for climate change adaptation at local level.

2. Utilization of local plant resources for air pollution mitigation.

3. Selection of region-specific climate resilient crop varieties for ensuring food security to meet the challenges of climate change.

4. Enhanced awareness on climate change adaptation strategies.


S Barik, N Singh, R Tripathi,V Pandey, A Raghavendra, S Saha, M Campos, X W ei, E Oksanen, M Hasanuzzaman, T Lumbsch

Steering Committee

LS Shashidhara(India), AMCL Casas (Spain), MM Khandaker (Bangladesh), Usha Vijayraghavan (India), PC Abhilash (India), Sudhakar Srivastava (India), Soumit K. Behera (India)

IUBS National Committees involved in the project:

Indian National Science Academy (India); E Sharma,Kathmandu (Nepal); MA Herrera Campos (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia, Mexico), X Wei (Chinese Academy of Science and Technoloogy, China)

IUBS Scientific MemberOrganisations involved in the project:

1. ISEB, Lucknow, India (Prof SK Barik, Drs Nandita Singh, RD Tripathi, Vivek Pandey)

2. International Association for Lichenology, USA (Prof Thorsten Lumbsch)




Climate change is bringing new uncertainties and adding new risks. One of the most effective ways to adapt to climate change would be to use crops resilient to climate change. Plant traits that enable the species to tolerate current and future climate change include,morphological and histological characters, physiological parameters, and attributes associated with life cycle events, often referred to as ‘plant functional traits’. Based on these morphological and functional traits climate smart crop varieties including medicinal and aromatic plants will be selected. Pollution resistant/ameliorating plant species will be screened based on the Air Pollution tolerance Index developed by CSIR-NBRI.

Education materials on the effect of air pollution on indicator lichen species will also be prepared. All these above activities will be undertaken for the college science teachers and researchersthrough adequate training. The project will not only raise awareness among the college teachers and researchers about the science of climate change and its consequences, but will also make them partners in mitigating the air pollution and climate change adaptation. Through the capacity building of the teachers, the project intends to achieve the quality environmental education forstudents on climate change science and action.



Climate change is a reality today and air pollution has been a human health hazard for decades. We need to prepare the next generation to take care of our planet through appropriate climate actions and air pollution mitigation measures.Climate action should include both mitigation and adaptation strategies.Development of climate resilient crops is an important strategy for ensuring food security for growing population. Air pollution mitigation measures include prevention at source as well as amelioration methods. Plant-basedair pollution ameliorationis an effective strategy. Environmental education helps people understand and address the adverse impacts of climate change and air pollution. Education and awareness-raising enable informed decision-making, and play an important role in increasing adaptation and mitigation capacities of communities, and empower women and men to adopt sustainable lifestyles. ISEB and CSIR-NBRI have been applying various methods to screen plants for pollution resistance and climate resilience for more than two decades.

Based on this, 72 plants have been selected for specific pollutant resistance (Khan et al, 1989; Shukla et al, 1990; Singh et al, 1995) and atleast 10 crop varieties have been identified for climate resilience(Pandey et al, 2015, 2019). The simplest methods with minimal equipment support have been chosen for developing appropriate indices to screen the plant species/crop varietiesfor different edapho-climatic environments. Utilizing this knowledge base, e-text as well as e-documentaries will be produced under the project for worldwide environmental education at college level that would lead to screening / selection of plants at local level for climate change adaptation and pollution amelioration.


Links with international programmes or networks:

IUCN, IUBS Taxonomic List Governance programme


Project Action Plan