The central government has identified the most vulnerable regions in India with respect to current climate risk

The central government has completed a detailed national level assessment of climate vulnerability of states and districts across India.

A report on this assessment, 'Climate Vulnerability Assessment for Adaptation Planning in India Using a Common Framework’, will be released by the Department of Science & Technology (DST) on Saturday.

The report identifies the most vulnerable states and districts in India with respect to current climate risk and key drivers of vulnerability.

This will help policymakers in initiating appropriate climate actions.

"It will also benefit climate-vulnerable communities across India through development of better-designed climate change adaptation projects," the DST said in a statement issued on Friday.

The nation-wide exercise was jointly supported by the Department of Science & Technology (DST) and the Swiss Agency for Development & Cooperation (SDC).

According to DST, 94 representatives from 24 states and 2 Union Territories participated.

The DST statement pointed out that in a developing country like India, vulnerability assessment is considered as an important exercise to develop suitable adaptation projects and programmes.

"While climate vulnerability assessments for various states and districts already exist, the states and districts cannot be compared to each other as the framework used for assessments are different, thereby limiting decision-making capabilities at the policy and administrative levels. This necessitated an assessment using a Common Vulnerability Framework," it explained.

DST and SDC, therefore, supported the development of a Common Framework for Vulnerability Assessment for the Himalayan region based on the definition provided in the latest 5th Assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) [AR5].

The Common Framework, along with a manual to apply the framework, was developed by IIT Mandi, IIT Guwahati, and Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore. The framework was applied to the Indian Himalayan Region, involving all 12 States (including pre-divided J&K) through capacity building process, the DST statement noted.

Based on the positive feedback received from the states and its usefulness to the Himalayan states for implementing climate change adaptation actions, it was decided to roll out the climate vulnerability assessment exercise for the entire country through capacity building of the States.

DST has been implementing two national missions on climate change as part of the National Action Plan on Climate Change.

As part of these missions, DST has been supporting the State Climate Change Cells in 25 States and Union Territories.

Besides other tasks assigned to these State CC Cells, carrying out assessment of vulnerability due to climate change at district and sub-district levels has been their primary responsibility, and the national level vulnerability assessment an extension of the same, the DST statement said.