Mains Paper 3: Environment| Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: Particulars of the Index
Mains level: Impact of climate change on Himalayan States
- The Department of Science and Technology (DST) will be commissioning a study to assess the climate risks faced by States in India.
- This follows an assessment of the global warming risks faced by 12 Himalayan States.
Climate Vulnerability Index
- Last year the IIT at Mandi and Guwahati, and the IISc Bengaluru, coordinated with authorities of 12 Himalayan states to evolve a common methodology, and determine how districts there are equipped to deal with the vagaries of climate change.
- The researchers prepared a ‘vulnerability index’ of each of these States based on district-level data.
- Vulnerability would be a measure of the inherent risks a district faces, primarily by virtue of its geography and socio-economic situation.
- The eight key parameters included: percentage of area in districts under forests, yield variability of food grain, population density, female literacy rate, infant mortality rate, percentage of population below poverty line (BPL), average man-days under MGNREGA and the area under slope > 30%.
Ranking of the states
- On a scale ranging 0-1, 1 indicating the highest possible level of vulnerability, at the top of the scale were Assam with a score of 0.72 and Mizoram at 0.71, whereas Sikkim, with an index score of 0.42 was relatively less vulnerable.
- This doesn’t mean that States with a lower score are safe in an absolute sense.
- In fact, some districts in Uttarakhand [at 0.45 and at the lower end of the scale] are more vulnerable than those in Assam.
- Different factors contributed to a State’s vulnerability.
- In Arunachal Pradesh, the key factors are low female literacy and high percentage of population above BPL whereas in Nagaland the key issues are loss of forest cover, steep slope and high yield variability.