Climate change vulnerability to agrarian ecosystem of small Island: evidence from Sagar Island, India
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The present study assessed climate change vulnerability in agricultural sector of low-lying Sagar Island of Bay of Bengal. Vulnerability indices were estimated using spatially aggregated biophysical and socio-economic parameters by applying principal component analysis and equal weight method. The similarities and differences of outputs of these two methods were analysed across the island. From the integration of outputs and based on the severity of vulnerability, explicit vulnerable zones were demarcated spatially. Results revealed that life subsistence agriculture in 11.8% geographical area (2829 ha) of the island along the western coast falls under very high vulnerable zone (VHVZ VI of 84–99%) to climate change. Comparatively higher values of exposure (0.53 ± 0.26) and sensitivity (0.78 ± 0.14) subindices affirmed that the VHV zone is highly exposed to climate stressor with very low adaptive capacity (ADI= 0.24 ± 0.16) to combat vulnerability to climate change. Hence, food security for a population of >22 thousands comprising >3.7 thousand agrarian households are highly exposed to climate change. Another 17% area comprising 17.5% population covering 20% villages in north-western and eastern parts of the island also falls under high vulnerable (VI= 61%–77%) zone. Findings revealed large spatial heterogeneity in the degree of vulnerability across the island and thus, demands devising area specific planning (adaptation and mitigation strategies) to address the climate change impact implications both at macro and micro levels.
Authors are thankful to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), WorldClim database, CGIAR-CSI Geoportal for providing free access to the data used. Authors are also thankful to Census of India, India Meteorological Department, District Agricultural Department (West Bengal), Survey of India, National Atlas and Thematic Mappings Organization (NATMO) for providing data at free of cost to carry out the study. Authors also duly acknowledge technical help of Dr. Abdul Fiyaz R, Scientist at Indian Institute of Rice Research, Hyderabad, while carrying out data analysis.
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