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Micro-Level Vulnerability Assessment of Estuarine Islands: A Case Study from Indian Sundarban

28th May 2015 3pm, University of Southampton, Building 2, Room 1039

Rituparna Hajra, School of Oceanographic Studies, Jadavpur University

Vulnerability is the probable exposure to the damaging effects of any natural, social and policy level changes along with their negative impacts for a community or system. The estuarine islands within Indian Sundarban are becoming more vulnerable due to their fragile ecosystem with increasing population pressure. Assessment of island vulnerability is usually more focused towards the climate change impacts, rather than taking into account all other drivers with due weightage. Three estuarine islands namely Sagar, Ghoramara and Mousani at the western part of Indian Sundarban Delta (ISD) have been chosen for this gap analysis through micro-level vulnerability assessment considering potential influencing drivers. The household survey data have been collected from twenty seven (27) sampled 'Mouza' (lowest administrative boundary) through cluster random sampling. Mouza level analysis has been carried out following the 'Composite Vulnerability Index' (CVI) considering physical and social variables like erosion, housing condition, electrification, population density, adult education, sanitation and economic condition as the percentage of people 'Below Poverty Line' (BPL). Result suggests that all these mouzas are within the rank of 'High to Moderate' vulnerability, and sensitive to both the socio economic and environmental changes. The 'hot spot' mouzas identified are Sapkhali, Ghoramara, Bankimnagar, Shibpur and Baliara. This study is an approach towards the identification of thrust areas for policy adaptation, which is crucial to minimize the existing vulnerable conditions in this region.

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