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Climate Change: Climate Vulnerability map of India to be launched by the centre

October 8, 2019 7:20 AM |

Climate Change

How does one feel the impact of climate change? Ever wondered. The answer lies here wherein the rising sea levels, increasing number of extreme weather events, urban floods, changing temperature and rainfall patterns are the impacts of climate change that are being felt in many parts of the country and not just coastal areas or hilly regions.

The impacts of climate change are not uniform and thus it is very important to prepare communities and people to meet the challenge popping out of such changes. In order to meet this need, a pan India climate vulnerability assessment map is being developed.

The map is being developed under a joint project of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) under the Union Ministry of Science and Technology and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

Such climate vulnerability atlas has already been developed for 12 states in the Indian Himalayan Region, using a common framework.

Now, this methodology will be extended to non-Himalayan states so that a national level climate vulnerability profile for India can be made. It is expected that the atlas will ready by the middle of 2020.

A common methodology is helpful for assessing vulnerability that was critical for comparison and for planning adaptation strategies. It also helps in identifying what makes a state or district vulnerable to climate change.

The vulnerability map for hilly states, which were released in March this year, showed that while all the Himalayan states are vulnerable, Assam and Mizoram are the most vulnerable among them.

The map for the Himalayan region, developed in consultation with states, has details up to the district level. The national map will also do the same, as a vulnerability within a state may differ from one region or district to another.

A common set of indicators will be used vulnerability profile and ranking of 650 districts all over the country.

Climate risk is an interplay of hazard, exposure, and vulnerability. While the occurrence of natural hazards such as landslides, droughts, and floods are projected to go up, their impact depends on the level of exposure such as the presence of people and infrastructure in areas that could be adversely affected or climate-sensitive livelihood of people.

Anamika Barua of Indian Institutes of Technology Guwahati, who led the vulnerability assessment project for the Himalayan region said that vulnerability is the propensity to be adversely affected and can be measured in terms of both biophysical as well as socio-economic factors. She further explained that addressing vulnerability can help reduce risk to climate change.

Among the socio-economic and demographic factors that determine vulnerability are population density; percentage marginal farmers; livestock to human ratio; per capita income; the number of primary healthcare centres; and percentage of women in the overall workforce.

Similarly, the sensitivity of agricultural production is captured by indicators like percentage area under irrigation; yield variability; and percentage area under horticulture crops.

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