Publication: Governing Climate Change Adaptation in Ganges Basin : Assessing Needs and Capacities

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The Ganges basin shared by India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and China is the most heavily populated river basin in the world. It sustains approximately 500 million people. Even though people living in the basin have coped with and adapted to change in climate for centuries, they are finding it increasingly difficult, as both the frequency and magnitude of climate-induced extreme weather events have increased over the years. Both market and non-market impacts of climate change are increasing, and increasing quite significantly. In 2007, floods resulting from monsoon rains killed over 2000 people and displaced more than 20 million people in Bangladesh, India, and Nepal. As traditional coping mechanisms are proving to be increasingly insufficient, improvement in climate change adaptation planning and practices in the basin is becoming increasingly urgent. This paper makes an attempt to assess the effectiveness of climate information system, infrastructure, and institutions, which are considered as three important pillars of successful climate change adaptation. The needs and capacities of agencies and institutions to observe, collect, disseminate climate information products and early warning, and existing physical and institutional structures’ robustness and flexibility in responding to climatic change and climate-induced extreme events are evaluated.
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