Title: Vulnerability and adaptation assessment a way forward for sustainable sectoral development in the purview of climate variability and change: insights from the coast of Tamil Nadu, India

Authors: A. Ramachandran; Dhanya Praveen; P. Radhapriya; S.K. Divya; K. Remya; K. Palanivelu

Addresses: Centre for Climate Change and Adaptation Research, College of Engineering, Guindy Campus, Anna University, Sardar Patel Road, Chennai – 600 025, India ' Centre for Climate Change and Adaptation Research, College of Engineering, Guindy Campus, Anna University, Sardar Patel Road, Chennai – 600 025, India ' Centre for Climate Change and Adaptation Research, College of Engineering, Guindy Campus, Anna University, Sardar Patel Road, Chennai – 600 025, India ' Centre for Climate Change and Adaptation Research, College of Engineering, Guindy Campus, Anna University, Sardar Patel Road, Chennai – 600 025, India ' Centre for Climate Change and Adaptation Research, College of Engineering, Guindy Campus, Anna University, Sardar Patel Road, Chennai – 600 025, India ' Centre for Climate Change and Adaptation Research, College of Engineering, Guindy Campus, Anna University, Sardar Patel Road, Chennai – 600 025, India

Abstract: This paper attempts to identify the most vulnerable coastal districts of Tamil Nadu with respect to climate variability. An index-based vulnerability assessment was done choosing groundwater, agriculture, and fisheries sectors. Individual sectors' vulnerability levels vary widely across the districts due to the differences in its physical exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity. In the groundwater sector, Villupuram and Thanjavur districts showed very high vulnerability. Ramanathapuram and Thoothukudi districts exhibited highest vulnerability with respect to agricultural sector. In the fisheries sector, Thoothukudi and Villupuram districts demonstrated high levels of vulnerability. From the overall composite vulnerability assessment, Thoothukudi and Villupuram districts were found to have extra care and immediate attention as it falls under high to very high vulnerability category in all the three sectors among 13 coastal districts. It implies the need for strengthening the adaptive capacity to tackle this challenge. Adaptations have been identified and prioritised through interaction with the stakeholders using pair wise ranking method. Public awareness on conservation of water resources, changes in the farming practices, improving water efficiency and diversification of market and products and diversified livelihood portfolio got first priority ranking.

Keywords: vulnerability assessment; adaptation; climate change; climate variability; prioritising adaptations; sustainable development; sectoral development; sustainability; exposure; sensitivity; India; vulnerable coastal districts; groundwater; agriculture; fisheries; adaptive capacity; public awareness; water conservation; water resources; farming practices; water efficiency; market diversity; product diversity.

DOI: 10.1504/IJGW.2016.077896

International Journal of Global Warming, 2016 Vol.10 No.1/2/3, pp.307 - 331

Received: 24 Mar 2014
Accepted: 22 Sep 2014

Published online: 20 Jul 2016 *

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