Climate change unites fishermen in Kutch and Sundarbans

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Climate change unites fishermen
Kolkata, March 4: Separated geographically by hundreds of miles, the drylands of Kutch in Gujarat and the wetlands of Sundarbans are bound by similarities in the effect climate change has on the farmers and fishermen, research has found.

Being conducted by UK-based research body STEPS Centre, the study on climate-induced uncertainties takes the perception of people into account, which is often overlooked in scientific reports and policy dialogues.

"Our research shows that the vulnerabilities related to livelihood and work-related hazards are similar in nature in both Kutch and Sundarbans as a result of climatic shocks," University of Sussex's Lyla Mehta, the convener and the brain behind the project, said.

She said that the tale of a farmer or a fisherman, whether in Kutch or Sundarbans, is no different in nature, both affected by changing rainfall patterns and increase in incidences of storms and cyclones, although they are markedly contrasting ecologically.

Kutch, a dryland in western Gujarat, is known for scarcity and ecological uncertainty while Sundarbans in West Bengal is an archipelago of islands hit hard by an increase in floods, storms, salinity and erosion caused by rising sea-levels.

"There has always been good years and bad years for farmers and fishermen in both these places, but now climate change has added another layer of uncertainty, especially with the changing rainfall patterns and repeated climate shocks such as cyclones, floods and droughts," Barun Kanjilal said.


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