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Originally Published by Sven Harmeling and Camilla Schramek on Reuters

 

To ensure a climate resilient future, the G20 must commit to increasing the protection of women and girls

A new report by CARE International - G20 and Climate Change: time to lead for a safer future - shows that each of the G20 countries has significant work to do to effectively tackle climate change.

The G20 of course have a key role to play and need to do much more in shifting the world towards a cleaner, near-zero emission pathway as soon as possible. This is essential to bend the emissions curve before 2020 and to reduce emissions quickly enough to keep the world within the 1.5 degrees limit which is such an essential component of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Reducing the risk driver climate change is also an important component of a comprehensive resilience approach. Developed countries have a particular responsibility in that context.

G20, climate resilience and adaptation

However, it is also worth looking into the G20 countries’ approaches to tackling and preparing for climate change impacts.

For example, according to the ND GAIN index, which analyses countries’ readiness and vulnerability to climate change impacts, the five most vulnerable G20 countries are India, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and Argentina.

However, their level of readiness differs along the different categories applied, such as economic and social readiness and governance. Of course, there are many poorer countries ranked much more vulnerable and less ready.

Many G20 countries undertake significant investments in either building new or updating existing infrastructure. The steep increase in natural disasters in G20 countries in the last decades, and the scientific projections for the future (including slow-onset risks such as sea-level rise), make it evident that G20 countries must adapt to climate change and develop close to zero-carbon infrastructure.

Bringing investments in line with the need to build climate resilience (and radically reduce emissions) is reflected in the goals of the Paris Agreement. Many G20 countries have already developed comprehensive national climate change adaptation strategies.

Climate change is a major source of injustice as it disproportionately affects the people who are the least responsible for its causes and who have the least capacity to adapt. In CARE’s experience, climate resilience requires locally determined actions that consider the interests and different vulnerabilities of the community and have the flexibility to respond to the impacts of climate change as they change over time.

It is essential that G20 countries work to tailor climate information services and adaptation activities to the needs, schedules, cultural contexts and interests of vulnerable groups; these groups are often marginalized because they are less resourced and their voices unheard in major decision-making processes affecting their lives.

Climate change and gender equality: more work ahead

In many countries, there tends to be a disparity between sexes: women’s roles are often carers and providers of food and water, and they have a lack of access to resources and decision-making power, making them particularly at risk.

All G20 countries have committed to promote gender equality through adopting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Meaningful climate action needs to tackle gender inequality and contribute to promoting, respecting and fulfilling all human rights. Women must play a critical role in addressing climate change, and barriers to unequal engagement and opportunities be overcome, through collaborative efforts of men and women.

CARE’s report looks at two existing gender equality indices and how G20 perform there. In both the UNDP Gender Equality Index and the World Economic Forum Gender Gap Index, there are no G20 countries among the top five most gender equal. And for the WEF index, none of the G20 countries are in the top 10.

With regard to the countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions – which outline each country’s contribution to the Paris Agreement - only Mexico devotes a specific section on gender and climate change, with Brazil, India and Indonesia at least mentioning gender. The other G20 countries fail to address gender in their NDCs. Thus, there is definitely more work ahead.

Key actions G20 could take 

The G20 countries, at the upcoming summit on July 7 and 8, must send a strong signal that the leaders have understood the severity of the climate crisis and the opportunities of responding urgently and strongly.

To ensure a climate resilient future, the G20 must commit to increasing the protection of the poor and vulnerable, in particular women and girls, against climate risks, in their own borders and through cooperation.

This should include proactive adaptation, pro-poor insurance approaches and investing in social protection systems in vulnerable developing countries. In particular developed countries within the G20 need to significantly ramp up adaptation finance to poor countries by 2020, as well as providing additional finance to address loss and damage, when people experience climate impacts beyond what they can adapt to.

The cooperation with other countries, in particular with the V20/Climate Vulnerable Forum and Africa should advance climate resilience in all actions it takes, including infrastructure investments.

G20 countries should also commit to fully promoting gender equality and human rights in all climate action. G20 countries should promise to regularly exchange experience and report on progress achieved in this regard (including in relation to the NDCs). They should also promise to support the work on a strong gender action plan under the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Sven Harmeling is advocacy coordinator and Camilla Schramek is communications officer for climate change at CARE International

 

Originally published by Marek Mazurek via South Bend Tribune

SOUTH BEND — South Bend has joined cities around the country in publishing climate change data that was taken down from the Environmental Protection Agency's website by the Trump administration in late April.

On June 13, Mayor Pete Buttigieg announced on social media that South Bend would store the data on its online servers.

“It’s an expressions of values,” Buttigieg said in a phone interview with The Tribune. “(Posting the data) lets us state as a community our belief that climate change is a real issue.”

The site can be found at climatechange.southbendin.gov and contains extensive data and other information about climate change, such as how the phenomenon has affected various parts of the country and what actions can reduce its effects.

Buttigieg said making information available is important in combating the effects of climate change.

“Information can’t be suppressed just because it’s inconvenient,” Buttigieg said.

The mayor said publishing the data is a small gesture, but one that speaks to the city’s commitment to the issue.

In late April, the EPA’s website on climate change was changed and now redirects users to ascreenwhich reads, “This page is being updated. … We are currently updating our website to reflect EPA’s priorities under the leadership of President Trump and Administrator (Scott) Pruitt.”

In a statement released on April 28, the EPA’s associate administrator for public affairs J.P. Freire said the changes to the website involve updating outdated language.

“EPA renews its commitment to human health and clean air, land, and water, our website needs to reflect the views of the leadership of the agency,” Freire said. “We want to eliminate confusion by removing outdated language first and making room to discuss how we’re protecting the environment and human health by partnering with states and working within the law.”

The city of Chicago was the first to publish the archived climate change data on its website and published a separate website called "Climate Change is Real" on May 7, which provides the coding information and archived files for other cities and institutions to post the data, free of charge.

Beyond Chicago, other cities which have archived versions of the EPA data online including: Atlanta, Boston and Houston.

Buttigieg said he was first made aware of Chicago’s site when concerned residents wrote to him after Trump announced the United States' withdrawal from the Paris Agreement.

South Bend’s move to publish climate change information comes on the heels of Buttigieg’s decision to join the Mayor’s National Climate Action Agenda — a group of cities that pledge to lower greenhouse gas emissions and work on federal policies surrounding environmental protections.

South Bend joined the MNCAA on June 2, one day after Trump announced the United States would withdraw from the Paris climate accord.

 

 

Originally published by Moin Qazi on Deccan Chronicle

Israel took 70 years to solve its water problem; India won’t need that long.

India supports 15 per cent of the world’s population but possesses only four per cent of the world’s water resources. World Bank data shows that only 35 per cent of India’s agricultural land is irrigated — defined as the artificial application of water to land or soil. This means that 65 per cent of farming depends on rainfall.
 India supports 15 per cent of the world’s population but possesses only four per cent of the world’s water resources. World Bank data shows that only 35 per cent of India’s agricultural land is irrigated — defined as the artificial application of water to land or soil. This means that 65 per cent of farming depends on rainfall.
 
 
India’s weather pundits are starting to sweat over this year’s monsoon prospects and the country’s water equation. According to international water safety organisation Water Aid, India has the most rural people living without access to clean water — 63.4 million. The rural poor were highly vulnerable to the effects of extreme weather and climate change, the group said in a report.

India ranks in the top 38 per cent of countries worldwide most vulnerable to climate change and least ready to adapt, according to the Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index. Rural communities dependent on farming to make a living will struggle to grow food and feed livestock amid soaring temperatures, and women — typically responsible for collecting water — may have to walk even greater distances during prolonged dry seasons.India supports 15 per cent of the world’s population but possesses only four per cent of the world’s water resources. World Bank data shows that only 35 per cent of India’s agricultural land is irrigated — defined as the artificial application of water to land or soil. This means that 65 per cent of farming depends on rainfall.

Successive Indian governments have done little to conserve water for off-season use. Even after constructing 4,525 large and small dams, the country has managed to create per capita storage of only 213 cubic metres — compared to 6,103 cubic metre per capita in Russia, 4,733 in Australia, 1,964 in the US, and 1,111 in China.

Farmers in India do a lot of talking about the weather — specially, it seems, when there is no weather in sight. During the month of May, when the land heats up like a furnace and most fields lie fallow, when wells have run dry and the sun taunts from its broiling perch in a cloudless sky, there is no topic more consuming — or less certain — than when and how the summer monsoon will arrive.

India’s water crisis stems from a complex mix of economic, geographic and political factors. While climate change has caused rains to become more erratic, most parts of the country receive a more than adequate amount of rainfall. Water harvesting and management, though required, remains little more than a fad. Many of the areas that are prone to flooding are the same ones that face drought months later. A staggering $52.7 billion has been allocated to so-called major and medium irrigation projects from the First Five-Year Plan (1951-56) to the 11th (2007-12), but irrigation has reached only 45 per cent of India’s net sown area.

Today, India’s agricultural sector accounts for more than 90 per cent of total water drawn, but contributes only 15 per cent to the country’s GDP.

Second, it has been observed that even though minimum support prices are currently announced for 23 crops, the most effective price support is for sugarcane, wheat and rice. This creates highly skewed incentive structures in favour of these water intensive crops.

As traditional mixes of crops have been replaced with high-yielding wheat, rice, sugarcane and cotton, the consumption of water has gone up. In addition, new artificially modified seeds may be giving higher crop yields, but they are also thirstier than natural seeds.

Scientists and activists have consistently warned that relentless groundwater extraction will lead to a steep drop in water tables across the country. Some farmers in these parched states now need to drill down 100 metres or more for water, compared to the 1.5 metres that was the norm in the 1960s, according to research by a local government scientist.

India will need to rein in the systemic corruption that has dogged irrigation projects across the country. In some states these projects have sparked social unrest and political turmoil as seen in Maharashtra and Karnataka, where tenders were awarded at grossly inflated prices.

The proliferation of power plants is another area that requires serious re-examination. Government policies that make water and land cheap in the area seem to be the reason for the location of thermal plants.

Without government intervention to reset the revenue balance in favour of less water-intensive crops, experts warn the sustained production of thirsty crops will further deplete scarce water resources. The government has asked farmers to shift to less water-consuming crops, but it does little to support such a change. Erratic prices for vegetables, oil seeds and pulses limit the incentives for farmers to plant them.

India must rein the huge corruption in irrigation projects in Karnataka and Maharashtra. In these states they are sparking social unrest and political turmoil. The best hope comes from the judiciary which has cracked  the whip on these scams. It has also disallowed drinks majors PepsiCo and Coca Cola from drawing water from Thamirabarani river for their bottling plants in view of the acute water shortage. The burgeoning of power plants is another point that requires a serious relook.

Israel has been a role model for the world in matters of water management and India is now actively seeking the country’s help. Israel’s successes were in large part due to the major innovation of drip irrigation. The country has also set the template for reusing wastewater in irrigation. It treats 80 per cent of its domestic wastewater, which is recycled and constitutes nearly 50 per cent of the total water used for agriculture.

Realising its dire predicament decades ago, Israel studied the “water equation” and made itself all but independent from mother nature. Israel took 70 years to solve its water problem; India won’t need that long, as it can emulate Israeli advances. But New Delhi must summon the political will to act before the water runs out. Changing governance, raising money and installing technologies all take time and the climatic stresses are mounting fast.

 

 
Originally published by Azua (Zizhan) Luo on NewSecurityBeat
 
Myanmar

 

As climate change leads to more weather variability and natural disasters, the need for adaptation is more urgent than ever. The Notre Dame Global Adaptation Initiative (ND-GAIN) aims to enhance understanding of adaptation and inform the public and private sectors on actions and investments.

The annual ND-GAIN Country Indexrecently updated with new data, ranks 181 countries on vulnerability and readiness to adapt to natural disasters and extreme weather events. The index allows decision-makers to target their assistance in order to help the communities most at risk.

The index breaks climate change vulnerability into subcategories of water, food, health, infrastructure, ecosystems, and human habitat, and looks at underlying factors like the economy, governance, and social structures. Researchers also measure common factors of successful adaptation to climate change, including changes to the economy, increased access to resources, agricultural capacity, and political stability.

There’s a large difference generally between developing and developed countries when it comes to adaptation. People living in least developed countries are 10 times more likely to be affected by a climate disaster than those living in wealthy countries, said Meghan Doherty, program director of ND-GAIN, in a webinar for the release of new data. It could take more than 100 years for those living in lower-income countries to reach the level of resilience of those in upper-level income countries.

This inequality “really highlight[s] the need for mitigation, as well as early and targeted investments in adaptation,” said Doherty.

Video: ND-GAIN Country Index Release - January 11, 2017

But it’s not all bad news. Myanmar experienced the most improvement as measured by the index over the last year. Political change, including constitutional reforms, new elections, and the lifting of some sanctions, have helped open the country up. Access to health services has improved too, according to the index. Others that have made marked recent gains are Ghana, the Solomon Islands, Cape Verde, and Sri Lanka. Considering the last five years of change, Russia, Uzbekistan, Iran, and Rwanda have made significant improvements.

“Avoid the preventable and manage the unavoidable”

Burundi experienced backsliding over the last year, thanks to political instability after a coup in 2015 and civil unrest. Brazil also saw declines in health, ecosystem services, and human habitat scores. (Note: This was before President Trump decided to pull the United States from the Paris Agreement.)

“At a time when adaptation to climate change is critical, this data shows that policymakers are a key component to ensuring countries large and small are prepared to face potentially devastating natural disasters,” said Patrick Regan, associate director of the Environmental Change Initiative for ND-GAIN and professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame.

ND-GAIN is conducting research at sub-national scales as well, said Doherty, honing in particularly on the intersection of conflict and climate change at the state and urban levels. The goal, she said, is to “avoid the preventable and manage the unavoidable in this new era.”

 

Sources: ND-GAIN, University of Notre Dame.

 

Photo Credit: A rice field in Myanmar, August 2013, courtesy of flickr user Josep Castell. Video: ND-GAIN.

 

Originally published by Jessica Sieff on phys.org

 

The latest data released by the Notre Dame Global Adaptation Initiative (ND-GAIN) shows governance is a major factor for countries improving preparedness for climate change. The annual ND-GAIN Country Index ranks 181 countries on vulnerability to extreme climate events such as droughts, superstorms and other natural disasters as well as readiness to successfully implement adaptation solutions.

The top five countries showing the biggest amount of improvement in preparedness over the last year were Ghana, Solomon Islands, Cape Verde, Sri Lanka and Myanmar. Countries showing the least amount of improvement included Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chile, Macedonia, Burundi and Brazil – host to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

ND-GAIN researchers measure common factors of successful adaptability to climate change, such as improved economies, access to resources including reliable drinking water, agricultural capacity and political stability.

"Political changes bring opportunities for countries to improve on the overall stability of the country with regard to climate issues," said Patrick Regan, associate director of Environmental Change Initiative for ND-GAIN and professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame. "At a time when adaptation to climate change is critical, this data shows that policy makers are a key component to ensuring countries large and small are prepared to face potentially devastating ."

The findings will be shared at the United Nations World Data Forum in Cape Town, South Africa, Jan. 15-18.

More About ND-GAIN's Biggest Movers:

  • Myanmar tops the list of those countries making improvements. The country saw sweeping political changes following decades of military rule and experienced constitutional reforms, elections and elimination of economic sanctions, and it expanded its information and communication technology infrastructure.
  • In Sri Lanka, progress has been steadily improving since violent conflict ended in 2009. Recent elections ended political corruption and, subsequently, reforms have helped improve the country's readiness score substantially.
  • Burundi saw the least amount of progress – making it the biggest degrader in 2015. The country has suffered civil unrest and a coup was announced in May 2015, making Burundi one of the most politically unstable countries in that year.

The index also measures those countries improving or degrading over a five-year period. Countries making significant improvements over a five-year period include Russia, Uzbekistan, Iran and Rwanda. Those countries whose score slipped during the same period include Syria, Cuba, Spain and Argentina.

 

ND-GAIN's full country ranking as well as country profiles and visualization tools are available at index.gain.org. A webinar that discusses ND-GAIN's new data is also available here.

The ND-GAIN Country Index aims to unlock global adaptation solutions that save lives and improve livelihoods while strengthening market positions in the private sector and policy decisions in the public sector. Measuring not only vulnerability but also the readiness to take on investment, it informs strategic, operational and reputational decisions regarding supply chains, capital projects and community engagements. The index includes 21 years of data across 45 indicators for 181 . ND-GAIN is housed in the Environmental Change Initiative of the University of Notre Dame.

 

 

 

Originaly published by Doyin Adeoye on the Nigerian Tribune

To mark the World Water Day held on March 22, WaterAid Nigeria has called for urgent action from the international community and the government to reach the 41 million rural people in Nigeria without access to clean water.

WaterAid’s annual analysis of global water access, entitled ‘Wild Water: The State of the World’s Water,’ released ahead of World Water Day on 22 March, examined the vulnerability of rural communities around the world to extreme weather events resulting from climate change, including cyclones, ruinous flooding and prolonged drought.

The report warned that changes in weather patterns could make it even harder for the world’s poorest people to access clean water.

According to the Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index, Nigeria ranks in the top 31 per cent of nations worldwide most vulnerable to climate change and in the top eight per cent least ready to adapt to it.

Today, 663 million people are without clean water globally, and the vast majority of them, that is 522 million, live in rural areas. These communities face particular challenges in gaining access to clean water, due to their often isolated location, inadequate infrastructure and a continued lack of funding.

WaterAid UK Chief Executive, Barbara Frost, said “This World Water Day is a timely opportunity to reflect on how extreme weather events make the daily struggle to access clean water even more difficult for the world’s poorest people. Many of the countries featured in the report are already regularly hit by severe cyclones, floods and drought. Rural communities, which are marginalised by their remote location and a continued lack of funding for basic services, often bear the greatest burden of these events.

“Clean water is not a privilege; it is a basic human right. Yet over half a billion rural people are still living without access to clean drinking water. It is staggering to think that if all of these people stood in a queue, it would wrap around the Earth’s circumference six and a half times.

“Assisting communities to develop climate-resilient facilities is critical to the realisation of Goal 6 and to poverty eradication,” she said.

In the same vein, WaterAid Nigeria Country Director, Dr Michael Ojo, said: 41 million rural people in Nigeria are still living without access to clean water. On World Water Day, we call upon our government and others around the world to keep their commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals, and ensure everyone is able to realise their right to clean water by 2030.

“Our leaders need to deliver on their promises to meet the Sustainable Development Goals, including Goal 6 to ensure access to safe water and sanitation for all, because everyone – no matter where they live – deserves affordable access to these life essentials. The Federal Government recently launched the Partnership for Expanded Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (PEWASH), a national multi-sectoral collaboration for the improvement of rural water supply, sanitation and hygiene. This is a great start tackling lack of access in rural areas but there is a need to quickly focus on measures, with government leadership, to address this scourge in our towns and cities too,” he said.

To this end, the organisation has therefore called on governments to prioritise and fund water, sanitation and hygiene, fulfilling these fundamental human rights and building communities’ resilience to extreme weather events and climate change.

It also urged government leaders to increase efforts to meet their commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals, including achieving targets to reach everyone everywhere with safe, clean drinking water, adequate sanitation and hygiene for all by 2030.

Originally published by Maninder Dabas on www.indiatimes.com

Nearly 63 million Indians living in rural areas are without the access to clean water, says  Wild Water, a report on the state of the world’s water, released by WaterAid.  According to the report, lack of planning, competing demands, rising population and water draining agricultural practices are putting excessive strain on water resources.

And such a  huge population without the access to clean water, the diseases like cholera, malaria, dengue and diarrhoea are quite common in the rural landscape. 

waterrr

REUTERS

The report also forewarned that rural communities dependent on farming to make a living will struggle to grow food and livestock amid soaring temperatures and women who draw water in most of the rural households may have to walk even greater distance during prolonged dry seasons. 

Though the report also described India as one of the fastest growing economies but also said the ensuring water security for its growing population would be one of the key challenges for the country.

According to India's official Ground Water Resources Assessment, more than one-sixth of the country's groundwater supply is currently overused. "Droughts have become almost a way of life in the Bundelkhand region of North-Central India. Here, three consecutive droughts have pushed millions of people into a vicious cycle of hunger and poverty," it said.

India ranks in the top 38 percent of countries worldwide most vulnerable to climate change and least ready to adapt, according to the Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index. "With 67 percent of the country's population living in rural areas and 7 percent of the rural population even now living without access to clean water, India's rural poor are highly vulnerable to the effects of extreme weather events and climate change," it said.

water

REUTERS

The report said today, 663 million people globally are without clean water and the vast majority of them - 522 million - live in rural areas.  According to WaterAid India's Chief Executive VK Madhavan, with 27 out of the 35 states and union territories in India disaster prone, poorest and the most marginalised across the country will bear the brunt of extreme weather events and climate change and will find it the hardest to adapt.

"This World Water Day, WaterAid is calling on the government to deliver its promise to meet the Sustainable Development Goals, including ensuring access to safe water as part of Goal 6 to everyone, everywhere. "Along with access to safe water, it is critical that communities have the necessary tools, infrastructure and preparedness to deal with the effects of extreme weather events and climate change", he said in a statement.
"These communities face particular challenges in gaining access to water due to isolated locations, inadequate infrastructure and a continued lack of funding," he said.

Originally published on www.moneycontrol.com

Lack of government planning, competing demands, rising population and water-draining agricultural practices are all placing increasing strain on water, said the WaterAid's report.

World Water Day 2017: 63 million in India do not have access to clean water

India has the maximum number of people - 63 million - living in rural areas without access to clean water, according to a new global report released to mark World Water Day tomorrow.

This is almost the population of the United Kingdom, said "Wild Water", a report on the state of the world's water.

Lack of government planning, competing demands, rising population and water-draining agricultural practices are all placing increasing strain on water, said the WaterAid's report.

Without access to clean water, 63 million people are living in rural areas in India. Diseases such as cholera, blinding trachoma, malaria and dengue are expected to become more common and malnutrition more prevalent, it said.

Rural communities dependent on farming to make a living will struggle to grow food and feed livestock amid soaring temperatures, and women - typically responsible for collecting water - may have to walk even greater distances during prolonged dry seasons, the report forewarned.

Describing India as one of the world's fastest growing economies, it said ensuring water security for the growing population is one of the main challenges facing the country.

According to India's official Ground Water Resources Assessment, more than one-sixth of the country's groundwater supply is currently overused.

"Droughts have become almost a way of life in the Bundelkhand region of North-Central India. Here, three consecutive droughts have pushed millions of people into a vicious cycle of hunger and poverty," it said.

The report warns about the implications of extreme weather events and climate change for the world's poorest.

India ranks in the top 38 per cent of countries worldwide most vulnerable to climate change and least ready to adapt, according to the Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index.

"With 67 per cent of the country's population living in rural areas and 7 per cent of the rural population even now living without access to clean water, India's rural poor are highly vulnerable to the effects of extreme weather events and climate change," it said.

The report said today, 663 million people globally are without clean water and the vast majority of them - 522 million - live in rural areas.

According to WaterAid India's Chief Executive VK Madhavan, with 27 out of the 35 states and union territories in India disaster prone, poorest and the most marginalized across the country will bear the brunt of extreme weather events and climate change and will find it the hardest to adapt.

"This World Water Day, WaterAid is calling on the government to deliver its promise to meet the Sustainable Development Goals, including ensuring access to safe water as part of Goal 6 to everyone, everywhere.

"Along with access to safe water, it is critical that communities have the necessary tools, infrastructure and preparedness to deal with the effects of extreme weather events and climate change", he said in a statement.

"These communities face particular challenges in gaining access to water due to isolated locations, inadequate infrastructure and a continued lack of funding," he said.

 

India is home to 63.4 million rural people without access to clean water, the highest in the world. Rural populations in poor and geographically isolated areas face particular challenges in terms of accessing clean water. And extreme weather events and climate change make such challenges more acute. Despite being one of the world’s fastest growing economies, ensuring water security for its growing population is one of the main challenges facing the country. In this photo story, we look at the struggle of vulnerable rural communities to access clean water in Bundelkhand and explore how improving access to water, sanitation and hygiene services can change their life.

75.8 million Indians lack access to safe water. Majority of these people come from impoverished communities and are forced to collect dirty water from open ponds and rivers or spend most of what they earn buying water from tankers. India loses 2-4% of its gross domestic product each year because of unclean water.

Woman and girls are at a higher risk for infections due to their frequent contact with unsanitary water. With 167 maternal deaths per 1,00,000 live births and 28 newborn deaths per 1,000 live births, India has one of the highest rates of maternal and infant mortality. 1 out of 5 newborn deaths could be prevented by ensuring access to clean water.

Sheela, 35, lives with her five children in the village of Kubri, Bundelkhand region, Uttar Pradesh, India. Here, three consecutive droughts have pushed millions of people into a vicious cycle of hunger and poverty. “I spend half of my day in fetching water as a minimum of 12-13 rounds are required for this big a family. Each round takes around 20 minutes. My body aches because of carrying this heavy weight every single day. Even after all this my kids keep on falling sick as I can’t clean them for days due to water shortage,” says Sheela.

Women are typically saddled with the burden of being water providers for their families. In rural India, women travel a few kilometres daily carrying up to fifteen litres of water in each trip. The pressure creates back, feet, and posture problems and robs them of the much needed time to earn an income or take care of their children.

Sheela, 35, carries water from a village hand pump in Kubri Village, Chitrakoot, Uttar Pradesh. Here, three consecutive droughts have pushed millions of people into vicious cycle of hunger and poverty.

Chhoti, 50, lives with her children in the village of Kubri, Uttar Pradesh, India. Here, three consecutive droughts have pushed millions of people into vicious cycle of hunger and poverty. “In this far off village, there is no source of livelihood except farming. Due to scanty rainfall in the last few years, we are almost dying of hunger. Whatever little we were able to sow, we are consuming it cautiously as we can never be sure of rainfall in the next season,” explains Chhoti. In India, 63.4 million people in rural areas live without access to clean water while it ranks in the top 38% of countries most vulnerable to climate change and least ready to adapt to climate change, according to the Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index.

Adolescent girls often miss out on school or college to fetch water for their families in rural India. Lack of access to drinking water in school affects the learning environment for both students and teachers.

“My daughter Munni (15) is not of marriageable age but I am getting her married as there is nothing to eat in the house because of scanty rainfall in last few years. Had the rains been normal, I would have waited for her to attain legal marriageable age,” says Rani. Rani, 45, lives with her three kids in Bhikhampur village in Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh. Here, three consecutive droughts have pushed millions of people into vicious cycle of hunger and poverty.

Chunkawan, 60, is a farmer in Gidurah, a small village located in the Bundelhkand region of Uttar Pradesh. “Last year, there was no rainfall and my land dried up. Though the land here is very fertile, yet no one could sow anything because there was no water for irrigation. There is only one well in this village. Whatever little water we got, we had to consume it for cooking, drinking and feeding our cattle,” Chunkawan explains.

Though the primary collectors of water are women, decision-making power lies with men. Women’s involvement in decision-making about water resources is critical, as programmes that include women at all stages of planning, implementing and monitoring are more efficient, effective and sustainable.

Usha, 35, lives with her three kids in Bhikhampur village in Uttar Pradesh. In 2015, a mini piped water supply system was implemented in the village with support from WaterAid India and each household was provided with a tap connection. “I am really happy because of the tap connection as now we get water within the house. Earlier, I used to spend around 2 hours per day to fetch water,” says Usha.

Vidya, 40, lives with her family in Bhikhampur village in Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh. In 2015, a mini piped water supply system was implemented in the village with support from WaterAid India and each household was provided with a tap connection. “I feel very relaxed because of the tap connection as I own two buffaloes. Feeding water to animals is a big deal if you have to run to a well every time,” explains Vidya.

Sankhi, 25, lives in Bhikhampur village in Uttar Pradesh. She used to spend 2-4 hours every day to fetch water for the family. In 2015, a mini piped water supply system was implemented in the village with support from WaterAid India and each household was provided with a tap connection. “I hardly had time to study. Water is a necessity. There is no education over water. But I am glad that now because of the water connection within the household, kids don’t have to waste their precious time on fetching water,” says Sankhi.

Originally published on http://ndci.global/global-adaptation-index-nd-gain/

ND-GAIN produces a tool that measures a number of aspects of a country’s vulnerability to climate change effects, and also its readiness to absorb investment that will help combat adverse effects.  The tool has a long time-series, which makes it possible to see how countries have fared over time on both measures, and a wide array of visualisation options to allow data to be presented and analysed. The tool covers 181 countries.

A good starting point for understanding the uses of the ND-GAIN resource is to look at how it helps us see how the world overall has evolved over the past 20 years or so (the time series goes back to 1996).

The matrices below show vulnerability and readiness in a quadrant schema, where countries in the top left quadrant (the “red zone”) are highly vulnerable and have low readiness to absorb investment, while countries in the bottom right quadrant (the “green zone”) are less vulnerable and more ready for investment.

Thus in Figure 1 – and picking out some sample countries for illustrative purposes – in 1996 Haiti, Benin, Kenya, Nicaragua, Egypt and Morocco fell into the red zone; Mexico was in the “amber” zone, with middling vulnerability and readiness; Malaysia was just entering the green zone, while Korea and Singapore were already quite well established there.

Figure 1 – ND-GAIN Matrix 1996


20 years of focus on climate change is paying dividends at a global level

Figure 2, the matrix in 2015, shows how, globally, there has been a noticeable overall progression in a “good” direction, namely downwards and rightwards, towards the less vulnerable/more ready quadrant.

This progression indicates that 20 years of focus on climate change and investment to fight it have paid some dividends. However, the fortunes of countries are very mixed.  Haiti, Benin and Kenya all remain in the red zone; Nicaragua has progressed slightly in terms of readiness, and is now in the amber zone; but Egypt, Morocco and Mexico have all moved now into the green zone.  Malaysia and Korea have also made progress within that zone, but Singapore is now in a world-leading group that includes Denmark, Norway, New Zealand and the UK.

 

Figure 2 – ND-GAIN Matrix 2015

What does ND-GAIN’s Country tool measure?  The methodology is summarised below

The Vulnerability score measures a country’s exposure, sensitivity and capacity to adapt to the negative effects of climate change.  Six life-supporting sectors are assessed: food, water, health, ecosystem service, human habitat, and infrastructure.  The higher the score, the more vulnerable a country is.

The Readiness score measures a country’s ability to attract investments and convert them to adaptation actions. Three components of readiness are assessed: economic, governance and social.  10 economic measures include indicators such as ease of starting a business or enforcing contracts. 4 governance measures include assessments of political risk and control of corruption.  4 social indicators include levels of ICT infrastructure and education.

If we want to understand the reasons for, say, Morocco’s progress over the period, we can look at the underlying factors behind its overall score.  From the charts below we can see that there has been a steady reduction in the country’s vulnerability since the turn of the century, while readiness, which was flat for the first decade, has improved dramatically since 2005.

Drilling down further in the data (but not charted here), we can see that while most sub-indicators of Vulnerability (such as food and water security) have improved, Morocco’s ecosystems remain almost as vulnerable as 20 years ago. Similarly, under Readiness, we can see that while economic and social indicators have improved, governance indicators have actually worsened over the period.

ND-GAIN’s tools should help countries and funders understand their priorities for addressing vulnerability – Patrick Regan

“ND-GAIN’s tools should help countries understand their priorities for addressing vulnerability,” says Dr Patrick Regan, Director of the Global Adaptation Initiative at the University of Notre Dame.  “Equally, it could help funders to see that, while A, B or C vulnerability issue identified by the country is indeed a threat, before addressing it the country first needs to build capacity or improve governance. It could then create a programme with the country to work through the various steps needed, which should improve the effectiveness of the support the funder provides.

Right now, a lot of attention is being focussed on needs, but attention also has to be paid to adaptive capacity, which is where the readiness measures come in. Investing in solving for needs when there is insufficient capacity to usefully absorb that investment is not an optimal outcome.”

Dr Regan says that the ND-GAIN platform is used by a range of actors, from companies, governments and consultants to academia and news media. The team is now working on getting to the next level of granularity below countries.  The first manifestation of this is a study of resiliency in 250 cities in the US.  This will be expanded over time to major world cities, while for larger countries like Nigeria, ND-GAIN is working on regional-level data.

NDCi.global Comment

Like the Climate Funds Update, we believe that ND-GAIN has a lot to offer in terms of peer comparison. Any country would do well to understand what Singapore has been doing right for more than 20 years to get it into a top-5 spot, but at any level of performance countries can see in this very rich data set what has and hasn’t been working for their neighbours or countries elsewhere in the world that face the same issues.

The good news, as the global matrix shows in its direction of travel over the years, is that investing in effective change does produce results.  There is clearly, however, a long way to go in terms of generalising best practice.

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