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Project CLACE helps the coastal communities build their adaptive capacities through particpatory actions and climatechange education.



The occupation of the coastal communities of south western India is primarily fishing. The community is facing grave problems such as coastal erosion and erratic weather patterns which can be linked to climate change(MOEF, GOI).The Indian government has taken various measures to combat the effects of climate change on coastal communities and develop adaptation strategies. These measures are now being mainstreamed into the various development plans through a top down approach. However, there exists a huge gap between the intended outcomes of these plans and the realities on ground. Which has rendered the efforts of many adaptation measures futile (NATCOM,). Many reasons can be attributed for this failure. Various studies have shown that the failure can primarily be attributed to lack of participation and awareness among the individuals of the coastal communities (Babette Never, Parul Rishi et al.). 

The Goal of Project "CLACE" is to help coastal communities increase their participation in the all-round development by creating awareness on climate change. The communities' increased exposure to adverse effects of climate change coupled with high sensitivity, low adaptive capacity hinder the development and pose a serious threat to their survival. Certain studies conducted along the coastline of India show that low adaptive capacities can be attributed to low levels of awareness, poor performances in a variety of human development indices and lack of basic scientific knowledge to understand climate change.

The objectives of Project CLACE are: 



What actions do you propose?

Primary Objective of  CALCE is to encourage participatory action and self-empowerment of local coastal communities of south western India. The coastal communities of the south-western India face many problems such as lack of appropriate livelihood options, probable climate change induced natural hazards such as coastal sea erosion and loss in productive fish catch, polluted waters, salt water intrusions, cyclones and water shortages among others.  Over the years significant research has shown that climate change cannot be tacked by governments alone. The communities and the people getting affected by climate change have a critical role to play in defining their future. Apart from strengthening critical social, institutional and economical infrastructure the Governments can provide various programs under which the citizens can avail the benefits. These programs trickled down from the top level of the governmental institutions to the local government at the village and the community level. Governments also provide programs to tackle developmental issues from the bottom up approach but these schemes often do not reach the most vulnerable and displaced. The benefits of the various may not harnessed by these people due to their lack of awareness. To deal with these problems, the top down approach proposed by the Government of India on its own is insufficient.  The Government of India provides various schemes such as free education under the Right to Education Act, rural employment guarantee schemes, pension schemes for the economically weaker sections of the society, flexible crop insurances etc.  In order to successfully implement these schemes the government expects people’s participation. But participation only becomes possible when people are aware of the schemes, and are able to successfully harness the benefits of these schemes and increase their adaptive capacities. 

McCarthy et al (2001) refer to vulnerability as ‘‘a function of wealth, technology, education, information, skills infrastructure, access to resources, and stability and management capabilities. Over the years research along the coast of India has shown that one of the major aspects of adaptive capacity buildings is to increase awareness and knowledge of climate change along the local communities (MOEF, GIZ,Babette NeverParul Rishi et al. ). Projects such as Adaptcap implemented on the eastern coast of India have shown that low awareness on  climate change adaptation among local government officials and political parties and their limited willingness caused delays in implmentaing the adaptation measures. Climate change awareness Awareness initiatives taken up by adaptcap have successfully shown how communities could better utilize their potentials with the heightened knowledge on climate change. The project saw better participation and contribution by community members.  The research work done by Parul Rishi et al. demonstrates how the location of the communities w.r.t to the coastline is related to their tacit knowledge on climate change and how knowledge promotes the communities expectation on institutions to play more effective roles and also believe in their capabilities of bringing about positive change in dealing with climate change .

The actions are proposed at Udupi district, Karnataka state, which is along  the  the south western cost of India. Udupi district has a population of around 1.1 Million (Census India 2011). Around 70% of the population along the coast are in rural areas. Various studies have already identified the vulnerability of the coastal areas to cliamte change induced sea level rise and other environmental problems such as coastal sea erosion (G.S Dwarakish et al., 2009). A map showing the vulnerablity of the coast to costal erosion and inundation is given below. 

Source: G.S.Dwarakish et al., 2009

Source: G.S Dwarakish et al., 2009)

The Proposed actions will be taken along the coast of Udupi and Kundapur talukas (local administrative regions). The total approximate area of infulence for the study is around 230 Sq.Kms comprising of around 80 villages.  The villages around Gangolli, Kundapur, Kode Bengre, Hoode, Kalyanpur and Malple will be selected for the pilot project.  



Similar Programs and studies on Climate Change Awareness: 

  1. Development Alternatives
  2. Paryavaran Mitra of Center for Envionment Education 
  3. Adaptcap
  4. BASIC program


Objective of CLACE:

1.Study: Identify vulnerable coastal communities, identify cross-cutting issues including the aspects of human development and climate change, document and map the findings.  

2.Engange: Identify and engage key stakeholders into the project, discuss issues and brainstorm solutions.

3.Build: Build essential knowledge, tools and strategies for awareness creation and participatory actions. 

4:Deliver: Deliver the built knowledge to members of the community for capacity building 

5:Document: Document the experiences and outcomes and publish the findings for further use -this collective knowledge developed by the communities can benefit similar communities all over the coast.   

Proposed actions:

  1. Setting up of the team of advisors, members volunteers for the Project CLACE. The team will be comprising of a total of 12-15 persons
  2. Preliminary site visit and identification of vulnerable coastal communities communities. 
  3. Meetings, discussions and brainstorming for detailed discussions on the project to discuss its viability, feasibility, the cost and timeline of implementation. 
  4. Preparation of a detailed methodology of the project, the contents of the teaching/ awareness program, education material, method of assessment for vulnerabilities, tools to identify the strengths, weakness opportunities and threats of the local communities and their contextual settings. 
  5. Study: Identify vulnerable coastal communities, identify cross-cutting issues including the aspects of human development and climate change, document and map the findings.
  6. Site visits to the coastal communities to understand the local settings and the physical conditions, risks and conduct the vulnerability analysis and most important of all listen to what they have to say. Most of the local communities have great ideas to improve their livelihoods. Our goal is to listen to these ideas encourage participation and help these people shape their ideas. 
  7. Engage: Identify and engage key stakeholders into the project, discuss issues and brainstorm solutions.
  8. Refining and fine tuning the methodology, contents of the teaching/ awareness material.
  9. Build: Build essential knowledge, tools and strategies for awareness creation and participatory actions. 
  10. Conducting the review of the findings from the preliminary study with the group of advisors and experts from various allied fields to get their feedback and increase overall understanding and further refine methodology. 
  11. Continual presentation and discussion of the findings with the local community through the village school.
  12. Document: Document the experiences and outcomes and publish the findings for further use -this collective knowledge developed by the communities can benefit similar communities all over the coast. The studies shall be published online on a website which can be openly accessed by other communities. They can also share their experiences and can add to the collective local knowledge.  


Using local schools as centres for knowledge dissipation:

Every village in the coastal community houses a primary school as mandated by the government.

1.    Schools are the centres which shape the foundation of the future generations of these communities; they have the power to shape the young minds and educate them about the challenges that lie ahead and provide them with the temperament to deal with them. The parents of these kids will also be invited along with the village head and other local actors who are basically the stakeholders. Schools will act as a place of interaction for both parents and the children who are the future of these communities.

2.    The preliminary study shall already have identified schools or other relevant centres of knowledge dissipation within the villages and coastal communities. 

3.    A schedule of events where these talks and lectures will be provided shall be displayed in each of these villages and people will be invited to attended lectures, talks and presentation given by the members of the project CALCE. These lectures shall be delivered in phases if necessary and will be delivered in the local languages and in a manner that the local teams will be able to make the best use of.

4.    The people attending these lectures will also be given education kits which contain the necessary knowledge material which can be the basic concepts and explanations as to how are their risks placed, their vulnerabilities, why they are facing these risks, ways to improve livelihood options and also skills and ways manage the natural resources they own. 

5.    They will also be given the basic information on where to approach for availing various helps with respect to various schemes by governments, health, higher education, and most importantly opportunities to develop livelihood options. 


Documentation and Publishing:


This is the most important phase. This is the phase where the project CLACE will share its useful local knowledge to other coastal communities and help them shape their ideas and learn from each other. The stage shall include of the documented activities of the awareness building stage. This will help local communites communities approach the government and other organizations for assistance, help build strong healthcare faculties, education and livelihood options. This will enable them to be more aware of all the necessary information on weather, disaster warnings, diseases outbreaks, health care checkups and facilities , other NGO and self help centers, Government schemes and local contact information of  various people for the necessary assistance etc. 



Who will take these actions?



The action will basically be co-ordinated by the team members and volunteers of the CLACE project of Manipal University. Manipal University is a Deemed University and is ranked as one of the primer education and research institute in India. The project will be collaborated with the local communities, other NGO and government officials. They following stakeholders will interact and contribute to the project CLACE. 


1.    Local Government of Udupi District, Officials of the Udupi District Administration, officials of the Karnataka State Government and central government,  Social and Political Institutions, Civic Bodies.

2.    Village Panchayats

3.    School Teachers

4.    Local Volunteers from the coastal communities

5.    NGOs

6.    Other University students as Volunteers

Where will these actions be taken?

The Proposed actions will be taken along the coast of Udupi and Kundapur talukas (local administrative regions). The total approximate area of influenceI for the study is around 230 Sq.Kms comprising of around 80 villages.  The villages around Gangolli, Kundapur, Kode Bengre, Hoode, Kalyanpur and Malple will be selected for the pilot project.  

What are other key benefits?

·         The project will educate the local communities in the risks they face and help build the knowledge of the future generations of these communities 

·         Provide them with the knowledge to manage their resources and develop livelihood alternatives.

·         Help improve the health and infrastructure of the coastal communities.

·         Provide them with all the necessary information during disasters and emergencies.

What are the proposal’s costs?

The basic cost of the proposal will be 

1. the website where the findings will be published. the hosting costs for 10 years and the content development is around  $4500.

2.The research incentives for the volunteering team 

  •  10 hours a week for 15 members * 2 years (minimum project duration)=14400
  • A remuneration of 12$ for 1 hour which includes all overheads(travel allowances and daily allowances)


therefore total research incentives = 14400*12=$172800.

total project cost=&177300.00

Time line

Since the project involves continuous engagement with the coastal community the initial project duration will be two years.

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