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Key Achievements

Understanding that climate change is a challenge in managing risk and opens a wide range of opportunities for economic and social development. We definitely face challenges, but responding those challenges and tackling them creatively can make climate-change an important way to help build a more vibrant world in the near-term and beyond. Climate change cross cutting theme at MSSRF has tapped challenges in to opportunities and achieved noteworthy accomplishment in addressing climate change issues. The outcome of climate change cross cutting theme is not a standalone achievement; rather it is a collective accomplishment of all partnering programme areas. The following are some of the key achievements of climate change cross cutting theme at MSSRF.

  • Light housed two major initiatives on climate change
  • Completed 8 and more major projects on climate change
  • Conducted more than 23 International and National workshops and training programs
  • Participated in more than 193 climate change conferences, seminars and conferences
  • Published more than 39 research articles and more in peer reviewed publications
  • Represented at the UNFCCC-Conference of Parties


I. Lighthouse initiatives

Genetic Resources Centre for Adaptation to Sea Level Rise: One of the developments of anticipatory research at MSSRF on problems relating to potential changes in sea level, aiming at developing location-specific crop varieties, such as rice varieties that offer resistance to coastal salinity. It led to the development of  “Gene bank” by conserving genes from salt-tolerant mangrove species, genetically engineered into crop plants would provide a necessary genetic shield against salinity.

Below Sea Level Farming Research and Training Centre: As an effort to address  anticipatory research using advanced technologies as well as participatory research with local communities, MSSRF played a significant role in advocating to establish an International Research Training Centre for Below Sea Level farming established at Kuttanad, Kerala. The only region in India with experience of cultivating rice under below sea level conditions that address the challenges of rising sea levels.

II. Landmark projects

Vulnerability Assessment (V&A) and Enhancing the Adaptive Capacity to Climate Change in Semi Arid India: This programme secured the livelihoods of the rural poor and vulnerable communities by promoting adaptation measures that build and enhance their capacity to better cope with the adverse impacts of climate change and by improving their disaster preparedness. The results obtained under this project provided useful inputs in the implementation of the Missions on Water, Sustainable Agriculture and Energy Use Efficiency envisaged under India’s National Action Plan for Climate Change (NAPCC).

ClimaAdapt: This programme improved adaptive capacity of the agriculture and water sectors through the development of appropriate adaptation measures and providing inputs to climate and sectoral plans.  The program assessed the situation, provide support for monitoring the progress, use modern ICTs for awareness and capacity building  and  mainstreaming  gender.

III. Policy perspectives

PISCES- Policy Innovation Systems for Clean Energy Security: PISCES sought to redefine policies and principles that governments in developing regions can apply to enhance the role of bio energy in delivering energy access and diversifying livelihood options for the rural poor. MSSRF focussed on how climate change is likely to affect bio energy provisioning and how to respond to the challenges of sustainable energy security.

Strengthening  the  capacity  for  policy  research  on  mainstreaming  adaptation  to climate change in the agriculture and water sectors: The international collaborative projects assessed the barriers in integrating adaptation concerns at both policy and operational levels and attempts to develop an adaptation metric framework for monitoring the progress in mainstreaming adaptation in sectoral policies and operations in India.

NATCOM to UNFCCC: Extensively studied the vulnerabilities of the fishing and agricultural communities, specifically using various participatory methodologies in the context of food security and livelihood security in selected areas along the east coast; an adaptation framework has been developed taking into account the projected scenarios of sea level rise in these areas.

IV. Building the capacity building

Climate Risk Management (CRM): CRM is aimed to build capacities at the local level to manage climate related risks. It trained a cadre of Master Trainers in local-level climate risk management; and imparted training for Climate Risk Managers at the community level on weather-based farming.

Community Management of Climate Change: Role of Panchayats & Nagarpalikas: Community Level Adaptation to Climate Change and its Relevance to  National Action Plan —  A Road Map  for Policy Development”  brought  out  under the V&A project initiatives as a background document for the National Dialogue was the first ever document to look at the relevance of field level knowledge generated on adaptation options.

Community-based Biodiversity Management for Climate Change Resilience: Developed a strategic action plan to mainstream the methodology and  associated  practices  of community  biodiversity  management  (CBM)  to  the  impacts  of climate change by increasing resilience of farming communities dependent on plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (PGRFA).

IV. Clustering with the coasts

Climate change cross cutting theme together with Coastal System Research (CSR) has made a number of interventions to enhance adaptive capacities of coastal communities to sea-level rise. Some of the major initiatives and achievements through various projects are (i) Strengthening the bio -shield role of Mangrove forests through restoration and conservation projects such as Joint Mangrove Management (JMM) through the lens of adaptation to sea-level rise; (ii) Conservation and management of coastal resources as a potential adaptation strategy for sea level rise; (iii) Reclamation of coastal saline soils of Karnataka: An integrated approach towards bio-saline agriculture; (iv) CCA RAI-demonstration project of Integrated Mangrove Fishery and Farming System (IMFFS); (v)Seawater Farming as the adaptive capacity of the coastal community;   (vi )Augmenting water resources:  Role of Seawater; (vii ) Reinforcing the resilience of poor rural communities in the face of food insecurity, poverty and climate change through on-farm conservation of local agro-biodiversity.