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Climate Change: Causes, Impacts and  Vulnerability Assessment
 

Climate Change: Causes, Impacts and Vulnerability Assessment

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Climate Change: Causes, Impacts and Vulnerability Assessment

Climate Change: Causes, Impacts and Vulnerability Assessment

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    Climate Change: Causes, Impacts and  Vulnerability Assessment Climate Change: Causes, Impacts and Vulnerability Assessment Presentation Transcript

    • Climate Change: Causes, Impacts and Vulnerability Assessment R&D Project Presented by, Parvathi Ram Thota, Roll No. 128080001, MPhil 2012-14 HS 693 Department of Humanities & Social Sciences Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay
    • Introduction • Climate change and its effects frequently cited as most serious environmental problems facing humankind (UNDP, 2002). • Further exacerbated by failure to adequately address poverty and environmental degradation (Norgaard, 1994). • IPCC’s confirmation that impacts of human activities cause climate change. • Increased concentrations of green house gases in the atmosphere implying society moved beyond possibility of “primordial prevention” (McMichael & Kovats, 2000). • Sensitivity and vulnerability of human and natural systems to determine how impacts will be experienced and withstood. 2
    • Introduction (Contd.) • “Collective Failure” of abatement endeavours. Political and Economic challenges coupled with Scientific uncertainties contribute to delaying action (WRI, 2004). • In this context, the following slides attempt to trace and elaborate the science, theories, history, conventions, impacts and the concept of vulnerability in climate change perspective. 3
    • Objectives of future dissertation study • To study the impact of climate change on a coastal region of India and on different sectors such as agriculture, fishing activities, biodiversity, health as well as on farmers, fishing communities and affected vulnerable people in the concerned region. • To analyse the impacts of climate change on the socio- economic aspects of the concerned region. 4
    • The Science of Climate Change • Weather and climate have a deep influence on life on Earth. • “Weather” experienced on day-to-day basis. Momentary atmospheric state characterized by temperature, precipitation, wind etc. “Climate” as average weather. Ranging from few months to thousands of years. Climate statistics typically calculated for 30 years (Solomon, et al., 2007). • Climate system: Complex and Interactive. • Changes in Internal dynamics and External “Forcings” affect climate. Feedback mechanisms in climate system to amplify or diminish affects (Baede, et al., 2001). 5
    • Components, Processes & Interactions of Climate System 6 Source: (Baede, Ahlonsou, Ding, & Schimel, 2001)
    • Definitions of Climate Change • IPCC defines climate change as a statistically significant variation in either the mean state of the climate or in its variability, persisting for an extended period. Climate change may be due to natural internal processes or external forcings, or persistent anthropogenic changes in the composition of the atmosphere or in land use (Houghton, et al., 2001). • UNFCCC defines climate change as “a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural variability observed over comparable time periods” (UNFCCC, 1994). 7
    • Theories of Climate Change • Common theory of climate change: “Anthropogenic Global Warming theory”. • Green house gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere trap heat (known as ‘green-house effect’) and keep the Earth’s surface in a suitable temperature range to sustain life. • Alteration of concentration of GHGs in the atmosphere due to human (anthropogenic) activities has led to increased warming of the earth (known as ‘Global Warming’). Mechanism whereby this happens is called the ‘enhanced green-house effect’ (Solomon, et al., 2007). • Continued burning of fossil fuels and deforestation could double the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere in the next 100 years, assuming natural “sinks” don’t grow in pace with emissions (Bast, 2010). 8
    • Energy Supply 26% Industry 19% Forestry 17% Agriculture 14% Transport 13% Others 11% GHG Emissions 9 Source: (Kirby, et al., 2009)
    • Theories of Climate Change • The second theory holds that negative feedbacks from biological and chemical processes offset whatever positive feedbacks might be caused by rising CO2; “Global bio-thermostat” (Idso & Singer, 2009). E.g. Carbon Sequestration, COS etc. • The third theory postulates that changes in the formation and albedo of clouds create negative feedbacks that cancel out the warming effect of higher levels of CO2 (Sud, Walker & Lau, 1999). • The fourth theory holds that mankind’s greatest influence on climate is not its GHG emissions, but its transformation of Earth’s surface by clearing forests, irrigating deserts, and building cities (human forcings) (Pielke Sr, 2009). 10
    • Theories of Climate Change • The fifth theory contends that global temperature variations over the past century and a half were due to the slow-down of the ocean’s Thermohaline Circulation (THC) (Gray, 2009). • The sixth theory of contends that most of the warming of the latter part of the 20th century can be explained by natural gravitational and magnetic oscillations of the solar system induced by the planet’s movement through space (Scafetta & West, 2009). • The seventh theory states that solar variability accounts for most of the warming in the late 20th century and will dominate climate in the 21st century regardless of man-made GHGs (Bast, 2010). • Volcanic eruptions and drift of continents. 11
    • History of Anthropogenic Climate Change Year Event 1712 Thomas Newcomen. First widely used steam engine 1800 World Population: 1 billion 1861 John Tyndall. Water vapour & other gases create GH effect 1886 Karl Benz. Motorwagen; first true automobile 1896 Svante Arrhenius. Industrial coal burning enhanced GH effect 1900 Knut Angstrom. Trace gas (CO2) can produce GH warming 1927 Carbon emissions from fossil fuel and industry: 1 bn tonnes 1930 World Population: 2 billion 1938 Guy Callender. Temperatures had risen over previous century 1960 World Population: 3 billion (1 bn increase in 30 years) 1962 Charles Keeling. Atmospheric CO2 concentrations rising 1972 1st UN environment conference in Stockholm. UNEP 12Source: (Black, 2011)
    • History of Anthropogenic Climate Change Year Event 1975 World Population: 4 billion (1 bn increase in 15 years) 1987 World Popn: 5 bn. Montreal Protocol to protect “ozone layer” 1989 Carbon Emissions from fossil fuel and industry: 6 bn tonnes 1990 IPCC’s 1st Assessment Report. Temp. rise by 0.3-0.6 C. Anthropogenic 1992 Earth Summit. UNFCCC agreed to. Stabilization of GHG conc. 1997 Kyoto protocol. Developd nations to reduce emissions by aver of 5% 1999 World Population: 6 billion. 2nd Population boom. 2006 Stern Review. CC could damage global GDP by upto 20%. 8 bn tonnes 2007 IPCC 4th AR: 90% likely that human emissions resp for modern day CC 2008 Keeling Project: CO2 conc rise from 315 ppm (1958) to 380 ppm 2009 China overtakes US as the biggest GHG emitter. Copenhagen Accord 2010 Developed Countries “Fast Start Finance” to green their economies 13Source: (Black, 2011)
    • Climate Change Conferences prior to UNFCCC • Political attention to CC originated from scientific efforts to understand the effects of rising conc. of GHGs in the atmosphere, and enhanced GH effect (Oppenheimer & Petsonk, 2004). • 1st World Climate Conference (1979) motivated by the interest to review knowledge of natural and anthropogenic climate change, and assess future implications (Bodansky, 1993). • 1985 and 1987 Villach and 1987 Bellagio Conferences concluded that an enhanced GH effect was evident and -ve impacts on humans and ecosystems might be experienced. WCED report (1987) proposed a four-track approach for managing CC (UNGA, 1987). • 1989 developing nations conference on the impacts of CC. ‘North- South’ dimensions of CC highlighted (Bodansky, 1993). 14
    • UNFCCC • 1990, UN General Assembly established an “Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee” (INC) for developing a framework convention on CC. Composed of diplomats; addressed CC from political perspective. • United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) adopted in May 1992. • UNFCCC sets basic principles, commitments, institutional and procedural mechanisms for implementation of CC policies globally. • Functions through a negotiating body consisting of those countries that are ‘Parties’ to the Convention. • Parties meet at one session of the Conference of the Parties (COP), and in two sessions of the COP's subsidiary bodies (SBI and SBSTA). Source: (Bodansky, 1993) 15
    • UNFCCC & Kyoto Protocol • COP-1: Mandate to negotiate a protocol or legal instrument to strengthen GHG reduction commitments for developed countries. • Quantified limitation & reduction objectives (within specific time- frames e.g., 2005, 2010, 2020) for emissions by sources & removals by sinks of GHGs not controlled by Montreal Protocol. • Kyoto Protocol was adopted on 11th December, 1997. Reduction commitments for developed countries on six green-house gases. • Annex-B countries to reduce the combined emissions by at least 5% of levels in 1990 by the 1st commitment period (2008-2012). Source: (Clark, et al., 2001).US participation contingent upon the largest developing countries taking on commitments to reduce emissions. • Debate on equity questions surrounding industrialization and development. 16
    • Indian Context • CC attributed to industrialization, and countries labelled "developing" argue for equal right to industrialization (Agarwal, et al., 1999). Indian climate politics shaped around economic growth, and under international pressure, forced to grapple with CC (Dubash, 2012). • Low levels of historical and per capita emissions. However, blame on India and China for heating up the earth…excellent example of “environmental colonialism” (Agarwal & Narain, 1991). CSE report: Idea of ‘per capita based formulations of emissions’in negotiations with the international community (Govindrajan, 1997). • Copenhagen COP, commitment to limit India’s per capita emissions to the average levels of industrialized countries, & a NAPCC. • 3 vital aspects: hiding behind the poor (disparities in emissions levels), perspectives on climate adaptation and energy security. 17
    • Indian Context (Contd.) • Promote development objectives while also yielding “co‐benefits” for addressing CC effectively. E.g., Clean energy and Energy efficiency (Dubash, 2012). • Co‐benefits frame as the defining construct for Indian policy on climate change, GoI’s initiation of NAPCC. Outlines existing and future policies and programs addressing development and climate mitigation, adaptation. • Various national missions with time bound targets: solar mission (1000 MW/year), mission for enhanced energy efficiency (savings of 10,000 MW by 2012), water mission (20% improvement), mission for green India (forest cover from 23% to 33%), sustainable agriculture, strategic knowledge for CC (CSRF, venture capital funds). Source: (NAPCC, 2008). 18
    • Social Dimensions of Climate Change • CC poses challenges to prosperity, growth, equitable, sustainable development and systems of governance. Threatens long-term resilience of societies and communities (Mearns and Norton, 2010). • Human systems tied to established climate systems like periodicity of monsoons; climate change creates societal stress. Especially true for the poor, who have fewer resources and rely more directly on local ecosystems (Christoplos, et al., 2009). • Communities whose livelihoods are highly dependent on natural resources; most vulnerable to CC. Indigenous and traditional communities pushed to least fertile and most fragile territories as a consequence of exclusion at greatest risk (Macchi, et al., 2008). 19
    • Social Dimensions of Climate Change (Contd.) • Glaring inequities in distribution of responsibility and impacts of CC among nations and people of the world. Poor people in developing countries bear the brunt of impacts while contributing little to causes (Salick and Byg, 2010). • CC is one of a important set of factors that affect human migration and displacement worldwide (Warner, 2011). • CC interacts with other stresses on human systems; either reducing or exacerbating them (drought---rural urban migration--- stress on urban infra & SE conditions) (Wilbanks, et al., 2007). • Marginal groups of society adapt to CC in ways usually unnoticed, uncoordinated, & unaided by govts or develop. agencies. Have valuable knowledge about adapting to CC; but magnitude of future hazards may exceed their adaptive capacity (Macchi, et al., 2008) 20
    • Impacts of Climate Change • CC leads to changes in geophysical, biological and socio-economic systems. Impact describes a specific change in a system caused by its exposure to CC. May be harmful or beneficial (Schneider, et al, 2007). • Include changes in wind-pattern, precipitation, temperature, ocean pH, and changes in weather extremes, sea ice and sea-level which will then impact natural ecosystems and human societies. • Some examples of geo-physical changes: warming over land and at highest northern latitudes, and least over Southern Ocean; increase in frequency of extremes of heat and precipitation; increase in tropical cyclone intensity; increased precipitation in high latitudes, and decrease in most sub-tropical land regions (Metz, Davidson, Bosch, Dave, & Meyer, 2007). 21
    • 22 Source: (UNFCCC, 2007)
    • Impacts of Climate Change Sea Level Rise Shrinking of the Greenland ice sheet projected to contribute to rising sea levels until after 2100 (Metz, et al., 2007 & Kirby, et al., 2009). Rising sea levels result in increased pressure for coastal protection in South East Asia, small islands in the Caribbean and the Pacific, and large coastal cities, such as New York, Cairo and London. By 2050s, 200 mn people may become permanently displaced due to rising sea levels, heavier floods, and intense droughts (Stern, 2006). Melting glaciers will initially increase flood risk and then strongly reduce water supplies, threatening one-sixth of the world’s population, predominantly in the Indian sub-continent, parts of China, and the Andes in South America. 23
    • Impacts of Climate Change Ecosystems Ecosystems will be particularly vulnerable to climate change, with around 15-30% of species potentially facing extinction after only 1.5- 2.5°C of warming (Kirby, et al., 2009 & NRC, 2012). Ecosystem changes accompanied by shifts in geographical ranges of animal and plant species, with harmful consequences for the natural world and for the goods and services which ecosystems provide. Ocean Acidification Oceans 30% more acidic than during pre-industrial times (NRC, 2010e). Average ocean surface pH is about 8.1. Has potential to radically alter marine ecosystems and expected to harm pelagic fish, marine creatures which form shells and their dependent species (NRC, 2010e, Kirby, et al., 2009). 24
    • Impacts of Climate Change Food Security Higher latitudes: initial slight increase in crop productivity for temperature rises below 3ºC, followed by a decrease. Lower latitudes: productivity may decrease for even small temperature rises. Declining crop yields, especially in Africa and parts of Asia; hundreds of millions without the ability to produce or purchase sufficient food. Freshwater Supply Worsen ‘water-stress’ caused by population growth and land-use change. Severe loss of glaciers and snow fields; reducing water availability. Expected to change seasonal flows in regions fed by melt water from mountain ranges like Hindu Kush, Himalayas and Andes. 2 bn people depend on water from seven major Himalayan rivers in Asia (Parry, et al., 2007, Kirby, et al., 2009 & NRC, 2012). 25
    • Impacts of Climate Change Water Supply (contd) Changes in precipitation and temperature also affect run-off and water availability. Some semi-arid areas, for example around the Mediterranean, southern Africa and north-eastern Brazil, will have less water. Areas affected by drought are projected to increase. Rising temperatures will affect fresh water quality, and in coastal areas rising sea levels will mean more saline contamination of groundwater (Kirby, et al., 2009) Public Health Health of millions of people at risk from increases in malnutrition, heat stress, diarrheal diseases, vector borne diseases, heart and breathing problems caused by climate induced ground level ozone, and the spread of some infectious diseases. 26
    • Impacts of Climate Change Industry, Agriculture, livelihoods, settlements and society Most vulnerable: those in coastal and river flood plains, whose economies closely linked with climate-sensitive resources and areas prone to extreme weather events. Agricultural yields and livelihoods affected by climate-related impacts on the quantity and quality of water resources. As temperatures increase, need for irrigation will rise in areas projected to become drier. Middle East and South-East Asia will suffer increasing water stress (Parry, et al., 2007). CC exacerbates existing stresses on agriculture sector such as the limited availability of water, land degradation, biodiversity loss etc; thus making already sensitive systems even more vulnerable. 27
    • Impacts of Climate Change Migration IPCC: greatest single impact of climate change could be on human migration, with millions of people displaced by shoreline erosion, coastal flooding and severe drought (IPCC, 1990). CC produces environmental effects and exacerbates current vulnerabilities making it difficult for people to survive where they are. Gradual changes (desertification, drought) have greater impact on movement of people than extreme events (cyclones, storms). Between 1979-2008, 718 mn people affected by storms as compared to 1.6 bn people affected by droughts (International Emergencies Disaster Database (EM-DAT), 2009). Mass influx of migrants can affect environment in places of destination and along transit routes. Can lead to overexploitation of resources and destruction of livelihoods in the host environment. 28
    • Climate Change and impact on India Indian sectors having highest vulnerability to CC impacts: water resources, coastal ecosystems, biodiversity, and agricultural productivity. 700 mn in rural areas depend on climate-sensitive sectors and natural resources. Adaptive capacity of dry land farmers, forest dwellers, fisher folk and nomadic shepherds very low. The per capita availability of freshwater to drop from 1,900 m3 (2007) to 1,000 m3 (2025). More intense rain, frequent flash floods in monsoons to result in a higher runoff and reduction in groundwater recharge. Himalayan river systems draining into Ganga basin gradually dying out. Changes to the monsoon are expected to result in severe droughts and intense flooding in parts of India. Source: (Kapur, et al, 2009 & Tyagi, 2003 ) IARI estimates that with every one degree celsius rise in temperature, India will lose 4-5 million tonnes in wheat production (Sharma, 2008). 29
    • Climate Change and impact on India Projected warming and shifts in rainfall could decrease crop yields by 30% by the mid-21st cen. Also reduction in arable land with pressures on agricultural output (Kapur, Khosla, & Mehta, 2009). Major impact on rain fed crops; cultivated in nearly 60% of cropland area. The poorest, most vulnerable farmers who practice rain fed agriculture. Rise of 0.5°C in winter temp. projected to reduce rain fed wheat yield by 0.45 tonnes per hectare (Lal, et al., 1998). Disease burden of climate dependent diseases very high. Duration of the malaria transmission likely to widen in northern, western states and shorten in southern states (Bhattacharya, et al., 2006). Increase in coastal water temps would exacerbate the abundance and toxicity of cholera. 50 % of India’s forests likely to experience shift in forest types, adversely impacting biodiversity, regional climate dynamics and livelihoods based on forest products. 30
    • Climate Change and impact on India Impact on Coastal Ecosystems Geographic location and demographic character. Tropical cyclones and associated storm surges. Of 65 coastal districts, 24 highly cyclone prone. Affected by sea-level rise and temperature increases. Heavily populated mega-delta regions at greatest risk due to flooding. Changes in Godavari, Mahanadi and Krishna coastal deltas will potentially displace millions. Damage aquaculture industries, and exacerbate already declining fish productivity. NATCOM projects: one-meter sea-level rise will displace approx. 7.1 mn people and about 5764 sq km of land area will be lost, along with 4200 km of roads (NATCOM, 2004). Marine wetlands, tropical ecosystems and species such as mangroves, coral reefs threatened by changes in temp, rising sea levels and increased conc of CO2. 31
    • Climate Change and Vulnerability • IPCC: Degree to which these systems are susceptible to, and unable to cope with, adverse impacts/effects of CC, including climate variability and extremes (Fussel & Klein, 2006). • Key Vulnerabilities. Magnitude of impacts, timing of impacts, persistence and reversibility of impacts, likelihood of impacts, potential for adaptation, distributional aspects of impacts, and importance of the system(s) at risk. • OECD: Vulnerability as a function of the character, magnitude and rate of CC and the degree to which a system is exposed, along with its sensitivity and adaptive capacity. Increases as the magnitude of climate change or sensitivity increases, and decreases as adaptive capacity increases. • Depends on Exposure, Sensitivity, Adaptive Capacity. 32
    • Climate Change and Vulnerability • Wisner et al. defined it as “the characteristics of a person or group and their situation that influence their capacity to anticipate, cope with, resist and recover from the impact of a natural hazard”. • Cutter and Finch defined social vulnerability as “a measure of both the sensitivity of a population to natural hazards and its ability to respond to and recover from the impacts of hazards”. • UNDP vulnerability as “the degree to which societies or socioeconomic groups are affected by stresses and hazards, whether brought about by external forces or intrinsic factors, that negatively impact the social cohesion of a country”. • Roots of vulnerability extend to social structures and settlement and development patterns; these constructs affect access to resources, power, information, and networks. 33
    • Climate Change and Vulnerability • Burton et al. “as a function of impacts and adaptation”. Impacts result from a system’s sensitivity and exposure to climate-related stimuli; adaptation results from a system’s capacity to adapt and its ability to apply adaptive capacity to reduce vulnerability. Also state “how vulnerability is defined in the context of CC will affect the factors considered and included in climate policy”. • Gamble et al. described the need to consider role of human and social capital in determining vulnerability to CC. Countries with greater human capital; could be less vulnerable to climate change because of increased capacity to address it. Also, need to consider social capital; trust, relationships, support networks, and knowledge transfer systems; in identifying climate vulnerability. • Human and social capital can contribute to address CC through coping and responses. Lack of capital can leave individuals isolated and at greater risk. 34
    • Climate Change and Vulnerability • Emphasize role of local institutions in implementing climate adaptation and building adaptive capacity for populations. • Cutter et al. “a socially constructed phenomenon influenced by institutional and economic dynamics”. The vulnerability of a system to CC determined by its exposure, physical setting, ability and opportunity to adapt to change. • Partially the product of social inequalities; social factors that influence the susceptibility of various groups to harm and that also govern their ability to respond. • Based on the above concept and “New Indicators of Vulnerability and Adaptive Capacity” by Adger et al, Granados constructed a vulnerability index with 6 dimensions; health, education, physical infrastructure, government, demographic and geographic factors, dependence on agriculture. 35
    • Climate Change and Vulnerability • Emphasize role of local institutions in implementing climate adaptation and building adaptive capacity for populations. • Cutter et al. “a socially constructed phenomenon influenced by institutional and economic dynamics”. The vulnerability of a system to CC determined by its exposure, physical setting, ability and opportunity to adapt to change. Partially the product of social inequalities; social factors that influence the susceptibility of various groups to harm and that also govern their ability to respond. • Based on the above concept and “New Indicators of Vulnerability and Adaptive Capacity” by Adger et al, Granados constructed a vulnerability index with 6 dimensions; health, education, physical infrastructure, government, demographic and geographic factors, dependence on agriculture. 36
    • Climate Change and Vulnerability Patnaik and Narayanan look at four diff. sources of vulnerability: • Demographic Vulnerability: Density of Population and Literacy Rate. • Climatic Vulnerability: Variance in annual rainfall, Variance in June- July-August Rainfall, and Frequency of extreme events. • Agricultural Vulnerability: Production of Rice, Cropping Intensity, Area under Cultivation, Irrigation Intensity, No. of Cattle and Livestock. • Occupational Vulnerability: Total Workers, Agricultural Labourers, Manufacturing Labourers and Non Workers (Patnaik and Narayanan, 2009). 37
    • The Coastal Region of India The coastline of India extends to 75,500 km as per CRZ, 2010. The coastal plains of India lie to both the eastern and western side of the peninsula (MOEF, 2010). The western coastal plain of the peninsular plateau extends from Gujarat in the north to Kerala in the south. The eastern coastal plain lies between the Eastern Ghats and the Bay of Bengal. It extends from West Bengal in the north to Tamil Nadu in the south. The temperature in the coastal regions exceeds 30°C coupled with high levels of humidity. Region receives both the northeast and southwest monsoon rains. Agriculture and fishing have been the dominant occupations in the coastal plains since ancient times. About 20% of the popn. lives in the coastal areas, a large percentage of this being in coastal cities, such as Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. One of the major factors responsible for the degradation of coastal ecosystems is the growth in human population that requires space for settlement and other resources, like soil and water. Source: (MOEF, 2010). 38
    • The way forward Rural and coastal areas in India are highly vulnerable to climate change. People there are heavily dependent on natural resources such as local water supplies, agricultural land and fisheries. Agricultural sector is already threatened by existing stresses such as the limited availability of water resources for irrigation, land degradation, biodiversity loss and air pollution. As temperatures increase, the need for irrigation will rise in those areas projected to become drier. Similarly, fisheries facing brunt of overfishing and pollution. CC will further add to the bandwagon and make already sensitive systems even more vulnerable. Loss of livelihood and income due to climate change may plunge vulnerable families and communities into a cycle of poverty and migration. 39
    • The way forward Communities have to adapt to survive the shocks due to CC. In India, this is a rather difficult task for marginal communities due to limited access to resources, livelihoods, basic services, education, nutrition, housing, infrastructure, insurance, information, their social status, occupation and access to governance structures. Geographic and demographic uniqueness of coastal region of India and its high susceptibility to climate change; study the impact of CC and assess vulnerability of local communities (along with a social dimension of adaptation and mitigation approach to those impacts). • Which coastal areas are more prone to climatic shocks? Which communities in the region are the most vulnerable and what are the reasons for their vulnerability? • What is the impact of climate change on agriculture, fisheries and the respective people employed in those sectors? • What are the traditional knowledge systems employed by the concerned communities in dealing with extreme events of climate change? 40
    • Thank You