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Appraising pathways for climate-resilient development in semi-arid regions in India

  • 1 December, 2019
  • Wageningen University, Water Systems and Global Change
  • prof. dr F Ludwigprof. dr ir MPM Meuwissen
  • dr SE Werners

India is amongst the most vulnerable countries to climate change and is experiencing an increasing frequency of extreme weather events. What contributes to its vulnerability is the level of multi-dimensional poverty and an economy that is sensitive to climate change. Semi-arid regions, in particular, are easily influenced by changes in temperature and precipitation patterns. In addition, the uncertainties related to projections of climate (and socio-economic) changes imply that a broad range of future scenarios need to be considered for building resilience.

The aim of the project is to co-create and appraise pathways of actions towards climate resilience in semi-arid India. To achieve this broad objective, the project seeks to make two contributions of scientific significance. One is the resilience assessment of historical development trajectories to provide insights in shaping future development and adaptation programmes in India. The second is the demonstration of a pathways approach to deal with long-term planning in an uncertain climate and socio-economic environment.

In terms of the approach, we begin with the development of an appropriate resilience framework including indicators to operationalize it. We then proceed to assess the historical development trajectories which consist of watershed development projects. Next, insights from these retrospective assessments, along with future climate and socio-economic projections, are used to co-create climate resilient development pathways through a participatory, multi-stakeholder engagement process. Assessing the feasibility of the pathways across different levels of governance will be the final step in the work.

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Arjuna Srinidhi

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