Climate change and disaster risk management: towards a resilient South Asia
Natural hazards are no strangers to a majority of South Asians. The region is periodically afflicted by inundated deltas, parched plains, flooded urban sprawl, severe droughts, cyclone-hit crops, and eroding beaches and riverbanks. South Asia experiences every conceivable weather-related disaster. The region is also a melting pot of poverty, wars, accidents, and other natural and man-made hazards that leave lives, homes, and livelihoods of many of its two billion people regularly at risk. Climate change is now adding significant additional risks to this already volatile disastrous situation. The signs are everywhere—in the retreating Himalayan glaciers, the sinking coral islands of the Maldives and the drought-devastated farming lands across the Indian subcontinent. Climate change, born of warming land, sea, and atmosphere, is primed to exacerbate current trends in floods, droughts, and cyclones and introduce new, hitherto unknown challenges to the development paths of every country in the region. This policy brief brings out the fact that climate induced disasters and its relevance in South Asia also need to have integrated approach to build the resilience of countries in the coming years.