Climate change is one of the, greatest threat for human security, especially safe future for children and future generation. “Climate change is the greatest challenge facing humanity at the start of the 21st Century. Any failure to meet the challenge raises the spectrum of unprecedented reversals in human development.” – (HDR 2007/2008).
The growing population, rapid industrialization and urbanization in India, the climate change posses increasing stress and additional pressure on the ecology and socio economic system. The changing scenario adversely affects agriculture, health, food security, water resource and bio-diversity as a whole. In particular this ultimately affects the vulnerable sections especially the landless, small and marginal farmers, socially excluded communities, tribal and coastal communities. In all these the women, children and physically challenged are the worst affected and are pushed to the periphery of food and life insecurity. Unfortunately this is not deliberately met or understood either by the vulnerable themselves or various development actors since this happen over a period of time gradually. Whenever one or some of the impact indicators are felt there is a substitute or coping strategy is worked out which is temporal and not sustainable.
Climate change refers to the change in average whether over time and over a region including temperature, wind pattern and precipitation mostly manmade. It attributes the changes in the variability or average state of the atmosphere over time scales ranging from decades of years. These changes are caused by processes of various inappropriate interventions in the name of development and human activities with vested interest. The problem was and is largely being created by the well offs/urban and industrialized sectors/regions and urban centres, while the poor are the main victims of climate change impacts. The various negative impacts of climate change are being felt locally, particularly among the poor and socially excluded. Climate change will increase food insecurity, hunger, poverty, migration and social conflicts at the micro – macro levels globally.
Climate change is basically a human rights issue, which is accepted by the UN human rights council with passing a resolution on March 28, on the subject. This is a great step forward that there is growing recognition that the poor and marginalized are particularly victims for not much of their fault. This further led to openly stating that climate change is a global problem, which requires a global solution. Though the NGO sector had been talking a lot about climate change there is very little done to understand the mitigation and adapt mechanisms used by these sections to reduce the impact of climate change on their livelihood patterns.
This gap has led to inappropriate policy response to climate change by the government and other players. To assess the potential impacts of climate change on the vulnerable, especially children and women, it is necessary to consider both the sensitivity and level of vulnerability on specific livelihood outcomes not only to changes in temperature, rainfall, drought, humidity, storminess but also with reference to social exclusion, access over resources, social security and so on. Vulnerability is a function both of the changes to exposure in climate and of the ability to adapt to that exposure.