Coastal cities in India need to plan and implement climate risk management strategies as an integral part of city development to overcome the risks posed by climate change, natural disasters and other extreme events.
These are some the findings of three reports released today at a National Conference on 'Climate Resilient Coastal Cities' organised by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in association with the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
The reports include case studies on Panaji and Visakhapatnam, and a Working Paper 'Planning Climate Resilient Coastal Cities: Learnings from Panaji and Visakhapatnam, India'.
They focus on the impact of sea level rise and other climate parameters like rainfall and storms on the infrastructure of coastal cities, as an estimated 320 million people in India today live in coastal areas.
R K Pachauri, Director General, TERI, said, "India's coastal cities are particularly vulnerable on account of sea level rise as an impact of climate change, as well as the increase in frequency and intensity of climate related extreme events which in recent years have caused substantial damage to life and property."
Vinod C Menon, Former Member, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), said India's coastal areas are spread over eight per cent of the geographical area in 84 districts falling within 13 states and Union territories.
"In the last 270 years, 21 of the 23 major cyclones with casualty figures of about 10,000 lives or more worldwide occurred mostly in India and Bangladesh, over the area surrounding the Indian subcontinent," he said.