Climate Vulnerability Index for India
Department of Science and Technology has decided to commission a study to assess the climate risks faced by States in India. This decision comes in the backdrop of completion of vulnerability study across 12 Himalayan States.
Vulnerability Study by the Himalayan States
The study was undertaken in the 12 Himalayan states viz. Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir. The vulnerability was measured on a scale 0-1 with 1 indicating the highest possible level of vulnerability. The study indicates that:
- Assam and Mizoram with a vulnerability score of 0.72 and 0.71 topped the vulnerability index.
- Sikkim with the score of 0.42 was relatively less vulnerable.
- The scores of other states are Jammu & Kashmir (0.62), Manipur (0.59), Meghalaya and West Bengal (both 0.58), Nagaland (0.57), Himachal Pradesh and Tripura (0.51 both), Arunachal Pradesh (0.47) and Uttarakhand (0.45).
- Assam is highly vulnerable to climate change because of factors like low per capita income, deforestation, a large number of marginal farmers, least area under irrigation, lack of alternative sources of income and high rates of poverty.
- The report finds that low per capita income, low open forest area per 1,000 households and lack of irrigation coverage as the most important drivers of vulnerability in Himalayan states.
- Other indicators include the percentage of area under slope, yield variability of food grains, forest cover, irrigation cover and access to healthcare.
- In Arunachal Pradesh, the key factors are low female literacy and a high percentage of population above BPL.
- In Nagaland, the key issues are the loss of forest cover, steep slope and high yield variability.
The vulnerability score was calculated based on eight parameters such as percentage of area in districts under forests, yield variability of food grain, population density, female literacy rate, infant mortality rate, percentage of population below poverty line (BPL), average man-days under MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act), and the area under slope > 30%.