Multi-scale vulnerability assessment for adaptation planning
Vulnerability of communities and natural ecosystems, to potential impacts of climate change in developing countries like India, and the need for adaptation are rapidly emerging as central issues in the debate around policy responses to climate change. The present study presents an approach to identify and prioritize the most vulnerable districts, villages and households in Karnataka State, through a multi-scale assessment of inherent vulnerability to current climate variability. It also identifies the drivers of inherent vulnerability, thereby providing a tool for developing and mainstreaming adaptation strategies, in ongoing developmental or dedicated adaptation programmes. The multi-scale assessment was made for all 30 districts at the state level in Karnataka, about 1220 villages in Chikballapur district, and at the household level for two villages – Gundlapalli and Saddapalli – in Bagepalli taluk of Chikballapur district. At the district, village and household levels, low levels of education and skills are the dominant factors contributing to vulnerability. At the village and household level, the lack of income diversification and livelihood support institutions are key drivers of vulnerability. The approach of multi-scale vulnerability assessment facilitates identification and prioritization of the drivers of vulnerability at different scales, to focus adaptation interventions to address these drivers.