Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Climate Change and South Asia: What Makes the Region Most Vulnerable?

Islam, A.K.M. Nazrul and Sultan, Salma and Afroz (2009): Climate Change and South Asia: What Makes the Region Most Vulnerable?

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Climate change is no more a distant possibility rather a reality. Due to geo-physical conditions and socio-economic-demographic backwardness South Asia is projected as one of the worst affected regions from global warming and climate change. The region is the home of about 1.5 billion of the world’s population and a chunk of the global poor. Climate change will affect agriculture sector across South Asian countries very hard. The overwhelming dependence on agriculture and natural resources for living makes the people of this region very vulnerable from climate change. South Asia is under serious threat from sea-level rising and increasing incidences of extreme events such as floods, droughts, cyclones, storms and irregularity of monsoon. Rapid urbanization has only fuelled the situation which may turn pathetic due to large-scale influx of ‘climate refugees’ to the ill-equipped cities in near future. It is not yet too late to be pessimistic, rather quick and effective actions across areas where South Asia is vulnerable can make a significant difference. There is need for global, regional and local level mitigation and adaptive strategies to face the reality of climate change. South Asian countries ‘as a block’ can make a better negotiation with the international communities and designing joint coping mechanisms. For that there is need for more regional understandings, collaborations and cooperation for minimizing the negative effects of climate change on South Asian countries. The article tries to review the overall situation of climate change in South Asian context and also explains various reasons of this vulnerability from different dimensions.

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