India is at the front line of the effects of climate change.
Recent studies estimates that developing counties will suffer 80% of the damage from climate change, and India is amongst them. Changes in rainfall patterns, agriculture yields, glacier melt, disease prevalence, extreme weather events will be the ‘new normal’ in India.As a country with a 7,500 kilometre-long coastline, we will experience sea surges and salinisation that will affect infrastructure, fisherfolk, agriculture, and the livelihoods of millions.
The changing climate will bring cross internal geographies and rural-urban boundaries. Rising temperature will affect our economy from tourism to agriculture. Cities on the coast will bear the brunt of rising sea levels from Kolkata, to Kochi, to Mumbai and Chennai.
CSM’s ambition is to create platform for fresh and challenging thinking on a range of issues connected to climate change in India. The objective is to deepen and broaden understanding of this vital subject in India through easily accessible and informative materials.In turn, this will contribute to a better-informed public debate and more progressive policy outcomes on climate change for India, our region and the world. We believe that entrepreneurship in India can help harness new solutions and can create a new wave of green entrepreneurs in the field of energy, water, and food security.
Our objective is to improve national growth prospects and bring real benefits to local communities as they confront a climate and resource-constrained world. Ultimately we seek to re-position India as country that understands the risk and rises to the challenge of climate change and sustainability.
Current projects in focus
1. Western Ghats, agro forestry and sustainable coffee
Geologically older than the Himalaya, the Western Ghats is the most fragile and vulnerable region. Extending over six states, a biodiversity hot-spot, the Westerns Ghats is under threat due to climate change whose impacts are far reaching – from an acute water crisis to shattered livelihoods. The Western Ghats is home to India’s coffee and the coffee sector employs over a million workers and extends over a million acres. India is the fifth largest producer of coffee and is unique as it is grown in the shade of forest canopies. Contrary to popular perception, 98.5% of farmers that grow coffee in India are small farmers. With most of India’s unique shade-grown coffee produced in the threatened biodiversity hotspot of the Western Ghats, there is a clear ecology-economy-equity link
By developing a unique partnership with Karnataka Growers Federation, the largest farmers’ federation in Karnataka, CSM embarked on Sustainable Coffee initiative and has started to document key knowledge areas and started building progressive alliance with government, academics and consumers. We bring out bring together robust and persuasive analysis on the following issues:
- climate impact on the coffee sector in India
- sustainable livelihoods
- biodiversity protection
- sustainable agricultural productivity and renewable energy
- standards and certification in the sector
- sustainable consumption & role of consumer bodies
The programme has a research, education, policy and popular consumer dimensions. CSM would seek to bring in other key knowledge partners ranging from private sector partners, retailers, policy bodies, academic institutions.
Together with KGF, CSM commissioned a study examining “The Ecosystem Valuation and Biodiversity Services of shade grown coffee in the Western Ghats of South India.” The report has been prepared by GIST Advisory Services and examines the interlinkages between shade-grown coffee practices in representative areas of Karnataka and their contribution to maintaining and enhancing ecosystem services and local socio-economic development.
You can download the full report PDF Online Version
You can read the executive summary here executive summary
2. Engagement with Business
Business is one of CSM’s core constituencies under its Climate Challenge India initiative. CSM believes that business can be a powerful force for unlocking innovation and building a more ‘can-do’ approach to the climate challenge in India. The country needs to transition beyond the carbon age to a new industrial age more in tune with ecological limits and the needs of its citizens.
With its long and deeply-embedded enterprise culture, and an international diaspora of more than 20 million people worldwide, India has unique untapped advantages when it comes to addressing climate change. CSM’s business engagement programme seeks to mobilise Indian business on a pro-climate agenda, and build leadership platforms for vanguard companies, large and small.
In so doing the programme seeks to build the confidence needed for Indian politicians and policymakers to take bolder steps in providing the required policy and legislative frameworks. CSM’s business engagement programme currently comprises the following broad activity areas: policy dialogue; leadership platforms; publications; broadcasts.
3. Food and Agriculture
This identifies and addresses the rapid transformation in the food sector. We are building partnerships with organisations that deal with the persistence of hunger and under-nutrition, poverty, access to food, prices and the costs of cultivation. As India struggles to meet its MDG goals, climate change impacts on agriculture are profound.
4. Social Enterprise
Business in a changing India is about how entrepreneurs can help address issues of poverty, health, education and help build social and community capital. Our recent study, ‘Made in Bangalore’, of business in Bangalore, has received global attention. We are discussing plans for taking the idea of fair trade into
fair enterprise towns.
5. CSM Advisory Services
CSM provides advisory services in the fields we work in. This includes focused research, training and world-class event facilitation services. CSM’s senior staff are also available for lectures and presentations. To discuss what our expertise can do for your organisation, non-profit, NGO, institution or foundation, pleas contact < viva [at] csmworld [dot] org >
The challenge for India has never been greater – we believe India must take leadership on the issues of climate change – to turn this problem into solutions – for energy, for water and food. CSM seeks and calls for partnerships with individuals, organisations, leaders and academics who believe that through meaningful and cooperative partnerships we can find innovative solutions that are sustainable.