With climate change affecting the Himalayan landscape and weather patterns causing longer summers and shorter winters, a study by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in collaboration with the states of Indian Himalayan region has warned that the livelihood and survival of communities in the Himalayan states are likely to be threatened.
Pointing out that of the 12 Himalayan states, Assam, Mizoram and Jammu and Kashmir are the most vulnerable to the impact of the climate change, the study has found that high vulnerability leaves the region with low capacity to resist or recover from the impact of a climate hazard.
The study also points out that Himalayan communities are generally more vulnerable to climate change because they have fewer options of livelihood, limited infrastructure and a high dependence on natural resources. The authorities in all 12 states — Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura, Uttarakhand and West Bengal in the Indian Himalayan region collaborated in the study.
Aimed at identifying the drivers of vulnerability and developing ways of adapting to and mitigating their impact, the study titled ‘Climate Vulnerability Assessment for the Indian Himalayan Region Using a Common Framework’ was conducted by the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) at Mandi and Guwahati, and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) at Bengaluru. The drivers of vulnerability vary across states. In Assam, the drivers include low per capita income, and low percentage area under crop insurance.