Nearly 300 million people inhabiting the dryland regions of India are dependant on agriculture for livelihoods. Many of the poor and resource dependent communities in these fragile and sensitive dryland ecosystems are exposed to climatic extreme events. Maharashtra too is known to be prone to the occurrence of extreme weather events such as droughts. However, their manifestation due to changes in climate is bound to affect the nature of their occurrence. Drought Risk Management strategies in Maharashtra, however, need to keep pace with climate change and Mainstreaming climate change into conventional Drought Management strategies is a plausible solution. In an effort to assess vulnerabilities and risks to climate change, the programme ‘Extreme Risks, Vulnerabilities and Community Based Adaptation in the Drylands of Maharashtra’ is formulated in collaboration with the Norwegian Embassy. Synchronizing technical capacities were Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research (NIBR), Norwegian Institute of Water Research (NIVA), and Center for International Climate and Energy Research – Oslo (CEICERO), The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and AFPRO.
The pilot project assesses vulnerability to climate change extreme events in the drylands of Maharashtra and its impact on agriculture and water resources, implications for community based adaptation in response to these extreme events. The findings from this research collaboration indicate changes in climate including variability for the district of Jalna, vulnerability of the natural and human system and adaptation measures to help mitigate the impacts. The Capacity Building Approach developed as an outcome indicates key stakeholders in drought management and thematic areas for their capacity building.