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National climate vulnerability assessment report

National climate vulnerability assessment report

The report titled ‘Climate Vulnerability Assessment for Adaptation Planning in India Using a Common Framework’, which identifies the most vulnerable states and districts in India with respect to current climate risk and key drivers of vulnerability has been released by DST, Ministry of Science & Technology.

About the report

In a developing country such as India, vulnerability assessment is considered as an important exercise to develop suitable adaptation projects and programmes. While climate vulnerability assessments for various states and districts already exist, the states and districts cannot be compared to each other as the framework used for assessments are different, thereby limiting decision-making capabilities at the policy and administrative levels. This necessitated an assessment using a Common Vulnerability Framework.

Keeping this requirement in mind, DST and SDC supported the development of a Common Framework for Vulnerability Assessment for the Himalayan region based on the definition provided in the latest 5th Assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The Common Framework, along with a manual to apply the framework, was developed by IIT Mandi, IIT Guwahati, and Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore. The framework was applied to the Indian Himalayan Region, involving all 12 States (including pre-divided J&K) through capacity building process.

A total of 94 representatives from 24 states and 2 Union Territories participated in the nation-wide exercise jointly supported by the DST and the Swiss Agency for Development & Cooperation (SDC).

The assessments undertaken with the active involvement and participation of States and Union Territory governments and hands-on training and capacity-building exercises have identified vulnerable districts.

The assessment will help Policymakers in initiating appropriate climate actions. It will also benefit climate-vulnerable communities across India through development of better-designed climate change adaptation projects.

DST has been implementing 2 national missions on climate change as part of the National Action Plan on Climate Change. These are National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem (NMSHE) and National Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change (NMSKCC). As part of these missions, DST has been supporting the State Climate Change Cells in 25 States and Union Territories. Besides other tasks assigned to these State CC Cells, carrying out assessment of vulnerability due to climate change at district and sub-district levels has been their primary responsibility, and the national level vulnerability assessment an extension of the same.

Key findings

  • Based on an all-India assessment, this report identifies the most vulnerable states and districts in India with respect to current climate risk and the main drivers of vulnerability. The assessment is based on a set of common indicators and common methodology. States also carried out district-level vulnerability assessments individually.
  • State-level vulnerability indices developed in this report vary over a small range: 0.42-0.67. This means all states must deal with concerns related to vulnerability.
  • The states with a relatively high vulnerability, Jharkhand, Mizoram, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Assam, Bihar, Arunachal Pradesh, and West Bengal, are mostly in the eastern part of the country, requiring prioritisation of adaptation interventions.
  • District-level vulnerability indices are also within a small range: 0.34 - 0.75. Assam, Bihar, and Jharkhand have over 60% districts in the category of highly vulnerable districts.
  • Vulnerability indices are relative measures. This means, all districts or states are vulnerable, but some are relatively more vulnerable than others, requiring prioritised adaptation interventions. 

Application of the vulnerability assessment

  • The vulnerability assessment can assist in ranking and identification of the most vulnerable districts and states and help states prioritise adaptation planning and investments.
  • It is critical for developing adaptation projects for the Green Climate Fund, Adaptation Fund, and funds from multilateral and bilateral agencies.
  • The vulnerability assessments carried out by the states could become a chapter in their revised State Action Plan on Climate Change, as per the outline provided by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
  • It will also facilitate Nationally Determined Contributions, which aims to adapt better to climate change by enhancing investments in development programmes in sectors vulnerable to climate change, particularly agriculture, water resources, health sector and regions such as Himalayan region,
    coastal regions, etc. It may also aid to plan disaster management.
  • A vulnerability assessment contributes to reporting under the Paris Agreement, Article-9 through the assessment of climate change impacts and vulnerability; the formulation and implementation of a National Adaptation Plan, monitoring and evaluation of adaptation plans, policies and programmes; and the development and implementation of resilience of socio-economic and ecological systems.

The outcome of the exercise undertaken was shared with the Himalayan States, have led to several positive developments in terms of some of these already prioritizing and implementing climate change adaptation actions based on these vulnerability assessments.

Based on the positive feedback received from the states and its usefulness to the Himalayan states for implementing climate change adaptation actions, it was decided to roll out the climate vulnerability assessment exercise for the entire country through capacity building of the States.

To access the full report, click here

Source : DST



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