Understanding Uncertainty: Views from Kachchh, Mumbai and Sundarbans

Bhatt, M. R. et al.
Publication language
Date published
01 May 2018
Accountability and Participation, Disaster preparedness, resilience and risk reduction, Environment & climate

This issue of Southasiadisasters.net focuses on the theme of climate related uncertainty. This issue draws heavily from the work of the Research Council of Norway (RCN) funded project 'Climate Change, Uncertainty and Transformation'. This project spawned three round tables recently held at Gandhinagar, Mumbai, and Kolkata to understand the perspectives of various stakeholders such as policy makers, administrators, climate scientists, activists and community leaders on climate related uncertainty. This issue is replete with the insights of these stakeholders on how they understand, experience, interpret and are impacted by climate change related uncertainty. These round tables drew heavily from the experience of the precariousness faced by at-risk communities in the Kachchh, Mumbai, and Sundarbans areas of India due to climate change related uncertainty. Among the key lessons emerging from this dialogue is that uncertainty for local communities is not just an inconvenience in the form of extended periods of erratic weather but an existential threat to their livelihoods. This uncertainty destroys the ecological resources such as mangroves which not only provide India's coastline with a protective cover but are also central to the livelihoods of such at-risk communities. Therefore, any solutions to the problem must be rooted in the local milieu of such communities and must take into account their perspectives. Most importantly, this issue covers a wide range of themes that are central to the dialogue on climate change related uncertainty. For instance, themes as diverse as distress migration, focus on rural women's employment, the need for more participatory environmental risk assessments and the need for contextualization of solutions have been discussed here. It is hoped that through this issue, concrete action on climate change related uncertainty takes place in this country