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Environmental Management

, Volume 43, Issue 5, pp 779–789 | Cite as

Development, Malaria and Adaptation to Climate Change: A Case Study from India

  • Amit GargEmail author
  • R. C. Dhiman
  • Sumana Bhattacharya
  • P. R. Shukla
Article

Abstract

India has reasons to be concerned about climate change. Over 650 million people depend on climate-sensitive sectors, such as rain-fed agriculture and forestry, for livelihood and over 973 million people are exposed to vector borne malarial parasites. Projection of climatic factors indicates a wider exposure to malaria for the Indian population in the future. If precautionary measures are not taken and development processes are not managed properly some developmental activities, such as hydro-electric dams and irrigation canal systems, may also exacerbate breeding grounds for malaria. This article integrates climate change and developmental variables in articulating a framework for integrated impact assessment and adaptation responses, with malaria incidence in India as a case study. The climate change variables include temperature, rainfall, humidity, extreme events, and other secondary variables. Development variables are income levels, institutional mechanisms to implement preventive measures, infrastructure development that could promote malarial breeding grounds, and other policies. The case study indicates that sustainable development variables may sometimes reduce the adverse impacts on the system due to climate change alone, while it may sometimes also exacerbate these impacts if the development variables are not managed well and therefore they produce a negative impact on the system. The study concludes that well crafted and well managed developmental policies could result in enhanced resilience of communities and systems, and lower health impacts due to climate change.

Keywords

Impact assessment Development Climate change Adaptation Malaria 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors have benefited from discussions with Dr. Subodh Sharma, Dr. Rupa Kumar, Dr. Krishna Kumar, and other experts involved in India’s National Communication preparation process. Our special thanks are due to Mr Vijai Sharma, Secretary to the Government of India, Ministry of Environment and Forests for inspiring us to work in the area of climate change impacts, vulnerability, and adaptation. Authors also acknowledge the comments and encouragement received from Dr. Ole Mertz, Dr. Kirsten Halsnaes, and other participants during the ReNED climate seminar in Copenhagen during 2004 where some idea on this work was presented. Above all, the motivation and guidance by the eminent Indian scientist Dr. A. P. Mitra (Fellow of Royal Society, London) is acknowledged, with whom the authors had the privilege of having many lively discussions on this topic. Dr. Mitra passed away on September 3, 2007 and this article is dedicated to his memory.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amit Garg
    • 1
    Email author
  • R. C. Dhiman
    • 2
  • Sumana Bhattacharya
    • 3
  • P. R. Shukla
    • 1
  1. 1.Indian Institute of Management AhmedabadVastrapur, AhmedabadIndia
  2. 2.National Institute of Malaria Research (ICMR)New DelhiIndia
  3. 3.NATCOM PMCNew DelhiIndia

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