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In harm's way: Climate security vulnerability in Asia

Joshua Busby, Todd G. Smith, Nisha Krishnan, Charles Wight and Vallejo-Gutierrez, Santiago

World Development, 2018, vol. 112, issue C, 88-118

Abstract: Asian countries have among the highest numbers of people exposed to the impacts of climate-related hazards and, thus, at greatest risk of mass death. Floods, droughts, and storms have always tested civilian governments and international humanitarian aid agencies. However, climate change threatens to make the problem worse by increasing the intensity and possibly the frequency of climate-related hazards. Humanitarian emergencies potentially upend and reverse progress on development priorities, making improved spatial awareness of likely hot spots a priority for adaptation and preparedness. This article presents the findings of the effort to map sub-national “climate security vulnerability” in 11 countries in South and Southeast Asia. Climate security vulnerability is defined as areas where large numbers of people are at risk of death due to exposure to climate-related hazards and the follow-on consequences of exposure, including but not limited to conflict. The Asian Climate Security Vulnerability Model Version 1 (ACSV V1) found that Bangladesh, parts of southern and western Myanmar (the Ayeyarwady region and Rakhine state), and parts of southern and northwest Pakistan (Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces) were the most vulnerable from a climate security perspective. In terms of absolute numbers, the largest numbers of people who are exposed to climate hazards are in India followed by Bangladesh. Model results are compared with a geo-referenced version of the EM-DAT Disaster Database and by creating alternative model specifications informed by a survey of 18 regional experts.

Keywords: Climate change; Vulnerability; Adaptation; Asia (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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