Main content area

Climate vulnerability index - measure of climate change vulnerability to communities: a case of rural Lower Himalaya, India

Pandey, Rajiv, Jha, ShashidharKumar
Mitigation and adaptation strategies for global change 2012 v.17 no.5 pp. 487-506
case studies, climate, climate change, coping strategies, disasters, household surveys, households, livelihood, natural foods, social networks, India
Climate Vulnerability Index (CVI) is being proposed to assess climate change vulnerability of communities with a case study. The index consists of household parameters of all the three dimensions of vulnerability such as Exposure, Sensitivity and Adaptive Capability. Exposure is defined by ‘Natural disaster and Climate variability’, however Sensitivity by ‘Health’, Food’, and ‘Water’ and Adaptive Capability by ‘Socio-demographic profile’, ‘Livelihood strategies’, and ‘Social networks’. Respective parameters were based on the peers and literature. The CVI vulnerable status ranges from high (0) to low (1). Household questionnaire survey was undertaken from two regions namely, near to district (NDH) and away to district (ADH), in Srinagar, Uttrakhand, India. Data for desired parameters for CVI was collected from 50 randomly selected households. Data were aggregated using a composite index and differential vulnerabilities were compared. High vulnerability was observed for livelihood strategies, food and natural disaster for ADH households, and health and water for NDH households. It was found that the adaptive capability and sensitivity of ADH households was higher than NDH, however, exposure realization was similar in both the regions. The CVI was 0.69 and 0.64 for NDH and ADH, respectively, suggests high vulnerability to NDH households. This pragmatic CVI approach may be used to assess and monitor vulnerability under various stress condition, and/or evaluate potential program/ policy effectiveness in various data-scarce regions by comparing various anticipated scenarios with baseline. Further, the result obtained by index may have implications for developing adaptation or coping strategies to the region.