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Purpose – This work offers an investigation of the planning and implementation of climate-adaptation and vulnerability-reduction strategies in coastal mega-cities of the…
Purpose – This work offers an investigation of the planning and implementation of climate-adaptation and vulnerability-reduction strategies in coastal mega-cities of the Global South, utilizing Kolkata, India, as a case study. This research is designed to identify factors that aid the implementation of climate-centered action in resource-constrained environments of developing countries and provide a set of policy guidelines reflecting best practices.
Methodology/approach – This work draws principally upon analysis of semistructured field interviews conducted in Kolkata, India, during December 2010 and January 2011. The findings are informed by additional data sources as well, including field observations, informal dialogues and meetings, and a review of secondary literature.
Findings – This work identifies several key success factors, including organizational restructuring, resource redistribution, technological innovation, use of external consultants, coupling of climate and development projects, and integration of climate approaches into infrastructure projects.
Research limitations – This research draws upon Kolkata as a case study; thus the work's broader applicability and utility depend on the similarities between the situation in Kolkata and that of other urban areas. As a local study, this work may also offer fewer insights for regional and national policy.
Originality and value – This work fills a timely, unmet need for a greater understanding of climate-adaptation action in the context of cities of the developing world. The extensive use of personal interviews provides unique insights into the minds of planning officials and professionals and draws upon their practical experience to draw lessons for a wide range of similar environments.
On the eve of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development's (UNCSD) conference on sustainable development (Rio+20) in June 2012, the United Nation's Environmental Program (UNEP)'s Global Outlook Report (GEO-5) provided sobering data on global environmental progress. The report indicated that world nations are making little headway on significant environmental targets set for themselves under the Millennium Development Goals. The UN indicated that world nations made progress on only 4 of the 90 most significant objectives from the Millennium Plan: reducing substances depleting the ozone layer, removing lead from fuel, increasing access to water supplies, and increasing research on ways to reduce pollution in marine environments. However, in some cases no progress or regression occurred in reaching goals on climate change issues including limiting increases in average global temperatures to less than two degrees above preindustrial levels nor advances in issues such as revitalization of depleted fish stocks, protection of biodiversity, and combating desertification (UNEP, 2012).