India's 7500 kilometres of densely populated coastline is vulnerable to coastal floods, erosion, hurricanes, cyclones, and tsunamis. The coastal states of India are increasingly facing environmental and socio-economic pressures, exacerbated by global climate change and climate variability. India’s Initial National Communication 2004 (NATCOM 1) to UNFCCC predicted a mean sea level rise of 15 to 38 centimetres along the Indian sea coast by the mid-21st century. Current government expenditure on adaptation to climate variability already exceeds 2.6% of GDP, with agriculture, water resources, health and sanitation, forests, coastal-zone infrastructure and extreme weather events being specific areas of concern.
To date, little action has been taken to increase climate change adaptation (CCA) capacities. Thus, coastal communities lack the appropriate institutions and processes to effectively confront these challenges. In addition, India’s economy is closely tied to its natural resource base – projected climate variability in climate-sensitive sectors like agriculture will impact both the economy and the entire population.
The project therefore focused on reducing the vulnerabilities of communities in two severely affected Indian states, Tamil Nadu (TN), Andhra Pradesh (AP). Proactive measures focusing on preparedness for climate variability and climate change related disasters are now able to enhance the resistance of coastal communities and thus contribute to livelihood security and poverty alleviation. In addition, the project built upon the existing work of the BMZ-supported ASEM project in Gujarat as it planned climate-proofing measures, focusing on climate resilient disaster risk reduction for eco-industrial estates.