Lush green forests, magnificent mountains, vibrant tribe culture, the rhythmic chants at the beautiful monasteries are only a few of the magnificent features that define Sikkim. So, what else is so unique about this North East State that leads India in various green initiatives? Sikkim has become a symbol of climate leadership by becoming the first state to become 100% organic, banning all plastic and now launching an information portal that transparently shares data on its carbon/GHG emissions.
The dense forest cover in Sikkim helps to put back more carbon into the soil than it emits (46.62% of land area as per State of the Forest Report, 2017). Sikkim is one of the first Indian states that is Carbon negative. Various factors affect and increase carbon emissions; increase in tourism brings an increase in vehicles, construction and fuel consumption. The key challenge with such data is how does one calculate and analyse the amount of emissions in the state? Sikkim has taken on the challenge by launching the first of its kind ‘Climate Inventory Monitoring System (Sikkim CIMS)’; a web platform that places the tools of carbon assessment at the fingertips of planning officials, climate policy makers, environmentalists, researchers and citizens. Data from all economic sectors in Sikkim aggregates on the SikkimCIMS platform and reported under key emissions categories.
Vertiver worked closely with IORA with support from Shakti foundation to develop the SCIMS platform for Sikkim. As designers and strategists for sustainability, we dove into all details right from understanding the science behind carbon analysis to designing a user interface that communicates the complexities of the data in a simple easy to understand manner. Creating a brand identity and the initial acronym as a name, we gave the entire project a brand umbrella under which to engage all stakeholders from the very beginning and get their buy-in. It was a three-year process led by Iora Ecological and finally, all the data came together for us to design around. Our team of UI/UX and Graphic Designers, as well as content developers, created a narrative for SCIMS that appealed immediately to senior officials and decision-makers in Sikkim.
This World Environment Day on June 5th, 2019 the Honourable Chief Minister of Sikkim launched the newly designed SCIMS portal. To give a quick introduction to the SikkimCIMS project, Vertiver created a short film which was launched on WED 2019. Our work in shaping and launching SCIMS spanned across print, digital and interactive media.
As a communications and knowledge consultancy, our goal is always to communicate problems and solutions on climate change and sustainability through a lens of domain expertise and personal passion. Developing the SCIMS platform is an example of the multi-disciplinarity of Vertiver, where all of us came together to work through data visualization, graphic design, brand identity, user interface and experience, stakeholder engagement and filmmaking to create an innovative digital platform for engaging policymakers, industry and citizens on climate action.
We cannot manage what we can’t measure. By taking a lead in both measuring and communicating its emissions, Sikkim has put some serious tools in place to retain its carbon negative status through which the state may be able to better access international carbon finance, national green bonus and sustainable development.
Climate change is THE MOST CRITICAL ISSUE OF OUR TIME and we at Vertiver are trying as hard as we can to support the creation and dissemination of solutions across India.
Now Let’s stay carbon negative Sikkim!