Background NoteThe increased frequency of extreme weather events like floods, droughts and cyclones coupled with slow onset climatic changes have led to a shift in discourses around sustainability and converged around ideas of adaptation and resilience. The recent years have not just necessitated, but also led to a concerted effort towards transformative adaptation and resilience pathways that are adept at decision making under uncertainty and interrelated climatic and social challenges arising across scales. There is an increase in focus towards building resilient communities, economies and environments, through an integrated socio-economic and ecological systems approach. In a rapidly growing country like India the sustainability and efficacy of economic growth and the developmental processes is intrinsically linked to integrating climate change adaptation at all levels of economic and development planning. The Climate Risk Index (2020) ranks India as one of the 10 most affected countries due to climate change. India also recorded a high number of fatalities and economic losses owing to extreme weather events and geophysical disasters, thus exacerbating pre-existing vulnerabilities and creating newer ones. Floods in the Indian State of Kerala led to monitory loss of nearly EUR 2.4 billion (US$ 2.8 billion). The 2019 Climate Risk Index spelled a similar narrative with nearly half the number of people affected (=23,900,348) from India and the consequent mortality numbers in the country were second only to Indonesia (=1,388). Amongst the lower-middle income group of countries, India recorded the highest economic losses (=79.5 billion USD) accountable to extreme weather events and geophysical disasters during the period 1998-2017.
While absolute economic losses might be concentrated in high income countries, the human cost of disasters falls overwhelmingly on low and lower-middle income countries: vulnerability to risk, and degrees of suffering, are determined by levels of economic development, rather than simple exposure to natural hazards per se. Strategic support and partnerships with developed countries and communities therein is imperative to build a global resilience to the impacts of climate change. It is therefore emphasised that policies, plans and visions at all scales; global and national, should recognise this need and work towards increased investment in green jobs and resilient infrastructure that enables communities to better plan, adapt and thrive in a changing climate.
This webinar will host a dialogue to accelerate adaptation action and examine climate and investment policies, technological innovations, and attitude changes required to ramp up adaptation action informed by robust climate information and early warning systems. These discussions would feed into the World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS) 2021 as well as the Adaptation Futures 2020 deliberations. The webinar will explore:
- Adaptation and resilience from the context of India’s development prerogatives; resource constrains, opportunities and gaps.
- Drivers of climate action at the sub-national level; India’s actions on risk assessment and developing ‘Early Response’ systems; best practices and the role of non-government entities