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AdaptCap India - Indo-German Environment Partnership Programme

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The coastal regions in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, India, are greatly affected by climate change. Floods and cyclones, soil salinization, extreme temperatures and unreliable, heavy rainfalls are endangering livelihoods. The three-year AdaptCap project has set out to strengthen the adaptation capacities...



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The coastal regions in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, India, are greatly affected by climate change. Floods and cyclones, soil salinization, extreme temperatures and unreliable, heavy rainfalls are endangering livelihoods. The three-year AdaptCap project has set out to strengthen the adaptation capacities of coastal communities along the South Indian coastline and minimize their climate change-related risks.

The project aims at reducing coastal communities’ vulnerabilities by interlinking adaptation, mitigation and disaster risk reduction activities. It follows an integrated approach that combines needs and vulnerability assessments, capacity building for the communities and local bodies, implementation and monitoring of pilot measures as well as networking and visibility promotion. AdaptCap emphasises the value and strength of partner-led local action in dealing with the diverse needs of the six urban and 18 rural pilot communities. Local partnerships made it possible to develop and install technical adaptation measures in a short time span and co-create Local Adaptation and Mitigation Guides (LAMGs). In designing its activities the AdaptCap project gives a voice to people from the target communities to share their experiences with disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts.

This project is financed by the European Commission under the programme Thematic Programme for Environment and Sustainable Management of Natural Resources, including Energy. It is implemented on behalf of the European Commission by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in partnership with AVVAI Village Welfare Society, Academy of Gandhian Studies, ICLEI South Asia and adelphi.

Disaster Reduction Goal

The majority of the target communities were badly affected by the tsunami in 2004. Cyclones have been hitting the region frequently, and their intensity has been increasing in recent years. Storm surges and heavy rains flood homes and agricultural fields, damage local infrastructure and have been leading to soil and groundwater salinization. This jeopardizes people’s physical safety, food and water security, their health and agricultural livelihoods. The AdaptCap project aims to reduce the coastal communities exposure to climate-change related disaster risks and strengthen their response capacities.

Making disaster risk reduction a policy priority, institutional strengthening (HFA 1)

A training of trainers approach helped strengthen and train local communities to adapt to climate change and reduce the severity of a disaster impact. Training modules at community level included:
- ‘Introduction to CC and the concepts of adaptation, mitigation and disaster risk reduction’
- ‘Assessing CC impacts and developing adaptation measures’
- ‘Integrating CC adaptation into local planning activities’
- ‘Operation and maintenance of technical adaptation measures’.

Shared Learning Dialogues at the city levels served to discuss these topics with local authorities, urban community stakeholders and experts from academia and practice, improving knowledge for climate and disaster risk reduction at the local government levels.

Together with India’s National Institute for Disaster Management (NIDM), the AdaptCap partners promote an integrated approach for mainstreaming climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction, so called climate adaptive DRR (CADRR), into policies and planning at local, state and national levels. One key activity in this regard has been the drafting of a technical paper on CADRR which will be published in early 2014.

Risk assessment and early warning systems (HFA 2)

Disaster risks and related needs at the community level were part pf the vulnerability and needs assessments (V&NAs) conducted together with the communities. These assessments enabled the communities to identify and prioritise, amongst others, the climate change-related disaster risks they faced. Based on these assessments appropriate risk adaptation and/or mitigation measures have been developed. The procedures and results of the V&NA have been compiled in Local Adaptation and Mitigation Guides (LAMGs) for the villages and local planning authorities.

Education, information and public awareness (HFA 3)

Trainings (see HFA Priority 1) and Shared Learning Dialogues helped raise awareness on climate change and disaster impacts and improve communities’ and local authorities’ response capacities. Providing support in developing LAMGs further strengthened these stakeholders’ knowledge of climate change-related risks and options for addressing these. The LAMGs compile background information on climate change as well as climate change adaptation, mitigation and disaster risk reduction, information on the procedures and results of the V&NAs and technical and management oriented information on the technical pilot projects. The LAMSs are also is used as supportive tool for local planning processes.

Preparedness for effective response (HFA 5)

Training programmes were implemented which have strengthened the target communities’ knowledge on climate change and related disaster risk as well as adequate response measures, allowing them to more proactively address these risk. The preparedness has been directly improved through implementing technical pilot measures which made crucial local infrastructure more resilient to climate change and disaster risks.

Examples for some of the 18 technical pilot measures are:

> Thirumalai Nagar (Thiruvallur District, Tamil Nadu): Installing climate-smart street lighting to light up public and work life in the village

> Kumarakudi (Nagapattinam District, Tamil Nadu): Strengthening the bund and constructing a shutter to protect agricultural land from being flooded and turning saline

> Chinnakaramedu (Cuddalore District, Tamil Nadu): Constructing a lined fresh water pond protected by a bund to harvest rain water and secure water for drinking and irrigation

> Poovula Doruvu (Nellore District, Andhra Pradesh): Installing an efficient irrigation system to save water and energy and protect agricultural livelihoods

> Govupeta (Visakhapatnam District, Andhra Pradesh): Introducing individual latrines and smokeless cook stoves to improve livelihoods

> Dasaraju Palli (Prakasam District, Andhra Pradesh): Installation of a water filtration unit to ensure clean drinking water

Disaster Risk Reduction Focal Point(s)

a) Flood protection: Technical measures such as bunds, shutters and canals help control the floods and enable better drainage preventing flooding and subsequent salinization
b) Storm protection: Infrastructure and thus livelihoods are made storm-proof by improving the structures of buildings vital for the community and installing solar pumps and lights to have a reliable water system and power supply
c) Improve water (management) infrastructure: Construct and safeguard ponds, tanks and water treatment systems to help harvest fresh water for a continuous reliable supply and prevent saltwater intrusion into freshwater reservoirs


For information on the AdaptCap project go to

For more information on the technical pilot measures go to

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