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Adaptation to climate change, Vulnerability and Micro- Insurance Business: A Study on Forest Dependent Communities in Drought prone areas of West Bengal, India

Jyotish Prakash Basu
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Jyotish Prakash Basu: Associate Professor& Head, Dept. of Economics, West Bengal State University, Email:

No 2011/14, Working Papers from Maastricht School of Management

Abstract: There are two main responses to climate change. One is adaptation and other is mitigation. The adaptation process includes three essential stages i.e. vulnerability assessment, capacity building and implementation of adaptation measures. The fundamental goal of adaptation strategies is the reduction of the vulnerabilities to climate-induced change. In India 700 million rural populations directly depend on climate-sensitive sectors like agriculture, forest and fisheries and natural resources such as water, biodiversity, mangroves, coastal zones, and grass lands for their subsistence and livelihood. Forests are not just carbon stores. Forests are home to the people who are entirely or partly dependent on forests for their livelihood. In India about 300 million rural poor are dependent on forest for livelihood and more than half of them are tribal and depend on non-timber forest products (NTFPs). Forest as the vulnerable sector and constitute an integral part of social life of tribals and others living in and around forest areas and contribute substantially to the food supply and livelihood security of tribal populations in India. The objectives of the paper are four fold. First, the paper attempts to measure quantitative vulnerability assessment for the forest dependent communities where drought hazards are prevalent and to identify household adaptation strategies to reduce vulnerability due to climate change. Second, the paper tries to estimate the factors responsible for decisions of adaptation to climate change using probabilistic model of Heckman’s two-step process. Third, the paper tries to discuss how Security Diagram Approach and Fuzzy Inference system are used to measure drought vulnerability in India. Lastly, the paper also examines the development policies of the Government of India including the role of micro-insurance and weather-indexed insurance to enhance the resilience of climate change. The paper is an empirical study based on data collected through field survey. This study covers four villages- Rangakula, Khayarakura, Dhansimla and Bandhgaba, both are scheduled tribal based villages located in Sonamukhi forest area in the District of Bankura, one of the drought prone districts of West Bengal, consisting of 100 households in 2010. Socio-Economic Vulnerability Assessment for each village has been calculated. In this study, six factors i.e., public health facility, sanitation, educational status; live stock assets, food sufficiency from agriculture and awareness to climate change have been incorporated for socioeconomic vulnerability assessment of each village. Vulnerability Indices have been calculated using Three Categorized Ranking Method (TCR) assigning scores of 1 to 3, 1 being the least vulnerable. Besides, this paper has identified the households’ adaptation strategies like out-migration; formation of self-help group (SHGs), water harvesting, accessibility of non-timber forest products and livestock rearing. The paper has identified key vulnerabilities as education, health hygiene and food insufficiency. The socio-economic factors and climatic factors both affect the decisions of adaptations to climate change. Micro4 insurance and weather indexed insurance are providing services to marginalized section of the community in developing countries including India. The Government of India has undertaken little policy action to reduce climate-related vulnerability particularly in the drought- prone regions of West Bengal. This paper has important policy implications for poverty, livelihood vulnerability and migration.

Keywords: vulnerability; adaptation; security diagram; socio-economic vulnerability assessment; fuzzy inference system; migration; micro-insurance (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O11 O13 Q54 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 40 pages
Date: 2011-11
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr, nep-env, nep-ias and nep-mfd
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1)

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