Voices of Vulnerability  Choices for Change

  Voices of Vulnerability    

 Click on the titles to read the chapters

Introduction...................................................7

 

The Mountain Eco Region        
Climate Vulnerability
in North Western Himalayas
R. Sreedhar, Environics Trust..........................13

 

The Coastal Eco Region        
Vulnerabilities of Fishing Communities
to Ecological Climate Change

Prabhakar Nair, ICOR .....................................53

 

The Forest Eco Region        
Vulnerability of Forest Eco-system
in the context of Changing Climate
Sanjay Khatua, DHARA ...................................79

 

The Arid and Semi-arid Eco Region        
Understanding Vulnerability
across the Arid Regions of India
through Community Experiences of Water:
A Rapid Appraisal
Sanjay Khatua, DHARA .................................109

 

The Urban Eco Region        
Vulnerability Assessment
of Urban Marginalised Communities:
A Pilot Study in Bangalore Slum Areas
John D’souza, CED .......................................123

 

Looking across Eco Regions, Forward ....167

 

Acknowledgements .................................175

Preface:

Climate Change has brought to the fore the discourse and practice of sustainable development and, as was evident at Rio+20, the play for a “green economy”. The discourse, practice and play is diverse and often camouflages the Business-As-Usual paradigm - some swearing by the Market and profiting from the fortune at the bottom of the pyramid. Others hoping to reform it, and still others, seeking to turn it “bottoms up” in more ways than one.

INECC is a network of organizations and concerned individuals working with marginalized communities in India. The network came together in 1996 in order to understand the implications of Climate Change in the work of its constituents and the perspective of the rural and marginalized communities. INECC has learnt that while Climate Change is a global phenomenon, it is the marginalized majority in the world who will suffer the most from the impacts of climate change. Further, INECC is convinced that any real solution to the crisis, particularly for the marginalized communities, must be anchored to the core principle of sustainable societies.

 

Hence, INECC posits that the discourse on Climate Change cannot and must not be delinked from the life and livelihood of local communities, especially those at the economic and environmental margins who will become increasingly vulnerable to climate change. INECC believes that Climate Change is a part of a larger environmental crisis and that it relates to the ecologically destructive development processes that are being pursued globally. Therefore ecologically destructive development process must give way to a new paradigm of development.


Recognizing that Climate Change most adversely affects marginalized communities, and that Climate Change is indeed upon us, INECC felt that it was necessary to have a better understanding of the vulnerability of these communities to climate change as well as develop and prepare adequate resilience to the impacts of climate change. The problems and the solutions will be different for different eco-regions and therefore INECC has, over the last few years, taken up vulnerability studies in each of the eco-regions, through its partners.

 

The aims of the assessments has been to study
• the people’s perception on the nature of changes in their neighborhoods and climate.
• the impact of these changes in their living conditions, livelihood and health.
• the factors responsible for their situation.


The studies also aim to map the nature of vulnerability in the neighborhood and to corroborate where possible, people’s perception with secondary sources – studies, reports etc. in order to enable NGOs to inform their approach as well as contribute to policy and programmes of government and other bodies.


INECC has taken up five vulnerability assessment studies in five different eco systems in which its partners have been working with a view to understand what makes people and communities vulnerable to climate change. The Vulnerability that emerged from the case studies were then discussed in a series of pilot workshops at the local level and then at INECC consultations.

 

INECC looked at the learnings from the vulnerability studies from the different eco-regions and examined the indicators for such vulnerability and the manifestation of climate vulnerability at the local level. In all cases INECC confirmed that the poor are the most vulnerable to climate and that climate vulnerability sits on top of and exacerbates their existing vulnerability. This led on to a series of discussions on the development threshold that these vulnerable communities need to achieve, carbon or no carbon, and then examine the policies and programmes which work against such a threshold and those which will enable us to achieve this within a low carbon path paradigm.


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