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RELEASE: Assessing Urban Vulnerability to Strengthen Climate Resilience: WRI India Releases New Report

WRI India’s new report spotlights the Climate Hazard and Vulnerability Assessment (CHVA) framework, highlighting the need to integrate equity into climate action planning

The launch of WRI India’s report "Climate Resilient Cities: Assessing Differential Vulnerability to Climate Hazards in Urban India,” on Monday.

New Delhi, February 26, 2024: WRI India released a new publication ‘Climate Resilient Cities: Assessing Differential Vulnerability to Climate Hazards in Urban India,’ today, in the presence of Shri. Kamal Kishore, Head of Department, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). The report introduces a unique approach, the Climate Hazard and Vulnerability Assessment (CHVA) framework, that addresses the social drivers of vulnerability with robust analytical methods, data sources and potential outputs.

In his keynote speech, Shri. Kishore emphasized the need to ensure the integration of such tools in the management of cities, "If we create tools that can assess vulnerability, it should also lead to action. How to make sure we integrate the use of this tool in the way our cities are managed, I think that is the real challenge. It should also be used for large-scale public communication to modify the demand for the kind of built environment that we have. While it is good to look at risks emanating from climate, particularly in our country, we also need to look at the interlinked geophysical hazards."

Speaking at the launch, Mr. Ani Dasgupta, President and CEO, WRI said, “A staggering 3.6 billion people are currently highly vulnerable to climate change impacts, that's nearly half the world's population. Existing vulnerability assessments largely focus on exposure to hazards, overlooking socioeconomic factors that render some urban communities more vulnerable than others. This research indicates that inequality is a key driver of climate risk vulnerabilities – deepening exclusion and marginalization and intensifying the impact of climate hazards such as flooding and urban heat.”

Based on WRI India’s work in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala, the report drives the case for integrating equity into climate action planning, enabling Indian city officials, planners, consultants and community members to deepen their understanding of urban climate hazards, its causes and its impact on communities. Additionally, the report offers all stakeholders stepwise guidance on conducting a vulnerability assessment in the Indian context, allowing them to address climate-induced vulnerabilities whilst planning, designing and implementing interventions that promote resilience.

The Climate Hazard and Vulnerability Assessment (CHVA) framework is an iterative tool. By making vulnerability assessment a process rather than a one-time event, the efficacy of interventions can be readily measured, and ongoing plans can be fine-tuned, to equip cities with the needed capacity to mitigate the impact of climate change induced hazards.

Madhav Pai, CEO, WRI India said, “This report is the outcome of our extensive work in climate action planning across Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kochi, Nashik, Solapur, and Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar. We have built on WRI’s existing tools, such as the Urban Community Resilience Assessment (UCRA) and the Inclusive Climate Action Planning (ICAP) to arrive at a framework and methodology that ensures the needs of marginalized groups are prioritized during the vulnerability assessment process.”

“Extreme weather events and climate hazards are experienced very differently by different people and communities, depending on a range of social, economic, political, and cultural factors. Understanding the interactions between climate hazards and socio- economic drivers of vulnerability is crucial to developing robust and inclusive climate action and resilience plans,” said co-author Lubaina Rangwala, Program Head, Sustainable Cities and Transport, WRI India.

About WRI India: WRI India, an independent charity legally registered as the India Resources Trust, provides objective information and practical proposals to foster environmentally sound and socially equitable development. Our work focuses on building sustainable and livable cities and working towards a low carbon economy. Through research, analysis, and recommendations, WRI India puts ideas into action to build transformative solutions to protect the earth, promote livelihoods, and enhance human well-being. We are inspired by and associated with World Resources Institute (WRI), a global research organization. Know more:

Media contacts:

Tanushree Venkatraman | WRI India
+91 9819761990

Rama Thoopal | WRI India
+91 6301365290

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