Strengthening Adaptation Capacities and Minimizing Risks of Vulnerable Coastal Communities in India (AdaptCap)

Submitted by Sibylle Kabisch | published 7th May 2012 | last updated 17th Mar 2020
536a4577aa87aadapt-cap-logo 1 - climate adaptation.

AdaptCap Project in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, India

India has a 7,500 km long, densely populated coast line, which is vulnerable to coastal floods, erosion and cyclones. The coastal states of India are increasingly facing environmental and socio-economic pressures exacerbated by global climate change and resulting climate variability. Small rural communities along the coast of India are highly vulnerable to climate change impacts mainly due to three reasons. First of all, there is a strong resource dependency. India is an economy based on its natural resources. The projected climate variability in climate-sensitive regions and livelihoods will therefore impact both population and economy. For rural areas this dependency is particularly strong. Secondly, the exposure to climate change is very high. India is the most flood-affected nation in the world after Bangladesh. Rural communities in coastal areas are often situated in low-lying exposed locations close to the shore or surrounded by wetlands. The villages are prone to flooding and periodically suffer from cyclones, coastal erosion and droughts. Finally, small rural communities have a very limited adaptive capacity. Rural communities often lack the infrastructure, resources and knowledge to deal with the above mentioned climate related challenges and the additional stress put on their livelihoods by climate change. 

In the face of these challenges, significant adaptation efforts are required to reduce the vulnerability of such communities to climate change and to, ultimately, ensure sustainable development. One practical approach that intends to address development and the combination of community-based adaptation, disaster risk reduction and mitigation of climate change is the 'AdaptCap – Climate Proofing Vulnerable Coastal Communities' project. Dealing with the diverse needs of coastal communities in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu and considering the existing urban-rural linkages, the AdaptCap project aims at reducing the vulnerabilities to climate change 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 as well as the implementation and monitoring of pilot measures. One objective of this project is also to make clear the value and strength of partner-led local action.

Please refer to the websites, downloadable brochure and article posted below for further information:

  • The report ‘Piloting Peoples’ Climate Adaptation’ illustrates how the project and its pilots are set up – from ways in which communities participate and innovative technologies are used to managing the project and finding sustainable solutions. It gives an impression of the overall experiences made in promoting adaptation in Indian coastal communities.
  • The websites of the adaptation measure give a detailed overview of the particular issues each of the communities faces as a consequence of climate change. In addition, they present the implementation costs and financing of these measures as well as the operation and maintenance, monitoring and evaluation activities. The key benefits for the communities are also highlighted. 



[1] Strengthening Adaptation Capacities and Minimizing Risks of Vulnerable Coastal Communities in India (AdaptCap)

Further resources

Website of AdaptCap India

AdaptCap Brochure

AdaptCap Report

AdaptCap Article

Websites of adaptation measures in Tamil Nadu

Rain water harvesting through a bund-protected pond - Chinnakaramedu

Flood protection through a wing-wall river bund – Kaduvetti

Flood protection through a backwater river bund – Nadupalayam

Preventing flooding through bund strengthening and shutter construction – Kumarakudi

Preventing flooding through a coastal bund – Perumalpettai

Drinking water system repair and training – Pillai Colony

Pond renovation, bund and shutter construction – Kadapakkam

Drainage and irrigation channel renovation with assessment of piped water – Thangal Perumpulem

Climate-smart street lighting – Thirumalai Nagar

Websites of adaptation measures in Andhra Pradesh

Constructing a storm-proof fishing equipment storage facility – Srirampuram

Saving water and energy with an efficient irrigation system – Poovula Doruvu

Cyclone resistant causeway across the Buckingham Canal – Ramudupalli Palem

Drinking water filtration and distribution system – Dasaraju Palli

Harvesting rainwater through irrigation pond and channels – Motumala

Solar powered water purification – Vengamukka Palem

Introducing individual latrines and smokeless cook stoves – Govupeta

Installing a drinking water purification and distribution system – Chepala Dibbada Palem and Chukkavani Palem