In the face of increasing climate-related disasters, calls for effective climate change adaptation policies are growing worldwide. Yet such policies often fail to gain priority status both nationally and locally. And while the most severe impacts of climate change are being felt through major disasters, less dramatic events go unnoticed. These ‘invisible disasters’ can wreak havoc on local livelihoods. In the highly disaster-prone arid zones of Barmer (western Rajasthan) and Leh (Jammu and Kashmir) in India, climate change is exacerbating local vulnerability to disasters – both large and small. Although framed by common development policies in India, climate change and disaster risk reduction (DRR ) policies diverge from each other at the operational level, with little coordination among ministries and departments. SEEDS India, with the support of CDKN, conducted action research in Leh and Barmer to determine how best to overcome the challenges of integrating effective DRR and climate adaptation into development planning. This brief describes the team’s research and observations, with suggestions for how other communities can address similar challenges by using windows of opportunity in post-disaster situations.
Anshu Sharma; Sahba Chauhan; Kumar, S. Local approaches to harmonising climate adaptation and disaster risk reduction policies: Lessons from India. (2014) 8 pp. [Inside Stories on climate compatible development]