Maharashtra has been ranked lowest among states likely to be affected by climate vulnerability in a first-of-its-kind assessment report released by Department of Science and Technology (DST). Nandurbar, however, is among 51 districts most vulnerable to climate change.
Collectively, over 60 per cent districts in Assam, Bihar and Jharkhand are highly vulnerable to climate change, the report highlighted. Some highly vulnerable districts include Karimganj, Goalpara, Dhubri and Darran in Assam; Katihar and Kishanganj in Bihar; Naupada in Odisha; Sahibganj in Jharkhand; Perambur in Tamil Nadu; Purulia and Cooch Behar in West Bengal; Ramban in Jammu and Kashmir.
The DST-funded project titled ‘Climate vulnerability and risk assessment at the national level using a common framework’ was jointly undertaken by researchers at IIT Mandi and IIT Guwahati along with Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru.
Researchers have prepared a state and district-wise climate vulnerability profile to help states plan mitigation measures for future.
All states were studied for a number of drivers and factors, which were based on population, their income source, healthcare facilities, transport network among others. On the basis of per cent population living below poverty line (BPL), prevalence of water and vector-borne diseases, rain-fed agriculture, less dense transport network, poor crop insurance, majority people with small and medium land holdings, and dependence on natural sources for income, researchers divided states under three categories dependent on their Vulnerability Index (VI) — high, moderate and low.
Accordingly, 11 states — Maharashtra, Goa, Nagaland, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Sikkim, Telangana and Himachal Pradesh — were put in the low vulnerable category (VI ranging between 0.42 and 0.50).
“States in this category do not depend much on natural resources, have relatively low BPL population (except Maharashtra and Nagaland), have good network of road and rail connectivity,” the report stated.
Similarly, states with high VI (0.58 to 0.67) include Jharkhand, Mizoram, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Assam, Bihar, Arunachal Pradesh and West Bengal.
For states that are highly climate vulnerable, researchers concluded, “These states have low per capita income and are low on Human Development Index. High disease prevalence due to lack of caregivers remains the major vulnerability in addition to high BPL population and compounding agriculture.”
States in the moderate VI category (0.50 to 0.58) include Uttar Pradesh, Tripura, Gujarat, Meghalaya, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
“Mapping parts of India vulnerable to climate change will help initiate climate actions at the ground level. The report should be easily accessible to all stakeholders so that it can benefit such communities through development of better-designed climate change adaptation projects,” said Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, DST.
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