Climate and development outlook: India

The Climate and Development Outlook – India Special Edition shares news of CDKN’s projects across this diverse and climate-affected country. Many of the projects focus on building climate resilience, particularly among vulnerable populations: Leadership on climate compatible development is emerging in states, districts and cities across India, which is celebrated by Mihir Bhatt, CDKN’s Senior Country Advisor. In the city of Ahmedabad, extreme heat in 2011 caused a spike in mortality as well as a loss of work days and workers’ income. Groups working outside, such as police and traffic officers, and residents of unsuitable slum housing were especially vulnerable. In April 2013 the city government was the first in South Asia to launch a Heat Action Plan to put in place a comprehensive early warning system and preparedness plan for extreme heat waves, with CDKN’s support. A micro-insurance scheme that was piloted by the All-India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI), which helped affected households, and particularly women, to rebuild their homes and livelihoods after last year’s cyclone. CDKN has been working with AIDMI to disseminate the important lessons from the pilot initiative internationally, including at international conferences in Nepal and Ethiopia. The government and people of Uttarakhand state were left reeling by flooding and landslides in 2013, and have set about developing a climate risk assessment, based on the best available science. Mr Jai Raj, the Addl. Principal Chief Conservator of Forests in the Government of Uttarakhand shares his insights into this policy-making process, which pulls in CDKN’s technical support and learning from other projects. Researchers and district officials in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, have succeeded in re-orientating District Disaster Management Plans so that they are far more effective in dealing with climate risk, especially flooding. The Gorakhpur Environmental Action Group and ISET, supported by CDKN, are now expanding this work and taking it to other districts. In the city of Madurai, government officials are looking across a broad set of risks, including those from climate change, to ensure investments truly build sustainability. They have consulted with diverse stakeholders to develop a ‘future-proofing’ action plan for the city, which demonstrates a new integrated climate change and development approach to urban development.

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