Local knowledge and ideas are key to action on climate disruption

Press release, 20 September 2019 Vulnerable coastal areas of South Asia face a ‘perfect storm’ of increasing climate uncertainties combined with threats to livelihoods from inequality, industrial development and marginalisation, according to an international team of researchers working with local partners in India and Bangladesh. But the region can adapt to climate change more effectively…

Unpacking uncertainty in times of climate change

By Shilpi Srivastava, Hans Nicolai Adam and Lyla Mehta Climate change undoubtedly is one of the most significant development challenges of our times. Research over the last few decades has demonstrated clearly the links between anthropogenically induced emissions and climatic changes. Despite these scientific advancements, uncertainties persist at multiple scales; with respect to future societal…

What is revolutionary about the Green Revolution?

The dramatic increase in yields of wheat and rice in the 1960s and 1970s in India, along with many other countries in the post-colonial world, was framed as a technological breakthrough made possible by miracle hybrid seed varieties. This breakthrough ostensibly averted mass scale hunger and was central, so the story goes, to realising substantive…

Unpacking the epic narratives of the Green Revolution

by Lidia Cabral, Poonam Pandey and Xiuli Xu Nearly 50 years since its apex, the Green Revolution – a chapter in history associated with rapid expansion in agricultural production driven by science and technology – retains the power to inspire. In spite of the criticism emphasising its social and environmental costs, there is talk about…

Cities, Uncertainty and Systems Change

Depending who and where you are in the world, you will be experiencing the effects of climate change differently. Here in the UK, the recent hot-weather days in February might have felt unsettling, even as your body welcomed the warmth and sunshine. Meanwhile, people in some parts of the United States were caught in freezing…

water pipe

Water crisis’ disproportionate toll on women can no longer be ignored

STEPS member Lyla Mehta has written an article with Ria Basu for the Indian magazine Firstpost about the impacts of ‘water crisis’ on women. Often, access to water is about power and social relations, not just physical scarcity. For most of us, accessing water is as simple as turning the taps on in our kitchens…

Change mural

How do ‘transformative spaces’ open up possibilities for action?

A paper by Fiona Marshall (SPRU), Jonathan Dolley (SPRU) and Ritu Priya (South Asia Sustainability Hub) explores how ‘transformative space making’ can contribute to systemic change that supports pro-poor transformations to sustainability. The authors describe transformative spaces as follows: “The metaphor of transformative spaces is used here not to suggest a bounded location in space…

sunset over coastal pool

Uncertain Climate: new short film explores complex uncertainty in India

A new short film summarises key themes from the project Climate Change, Uncertainty and Transformation, which explored the myriad forms of uncertainty faced by the people at the forefront of climate change in three areas of India – dryland Kutch, the megacity of Mumbai and the island region of the Sundarbans. Amid striking images of…

small fishing boats with flags waving in the breeze

Views from the coast: uncertainty beyond climate change

Coastal areas are a poster child for climate vulnerability. They are marked and scarred by sea level rise, salinization, warming water, declining fish stocks, storms, changes in currents and weather patterns. But there are other currents and other patterns too. Against the global background of climatic change, a more careful look at places and communities…

Gurgaon skyline with skyscrapers and construction

The Power of a T-Lab: Sharing lessons on water and justice in Gurgaon, India

by Dinesh Abrol, Pravin Kushwaha and Bikramaditya K. Choudhary, South Asia Sustainability Hub & Knowledge Network. As big cities change rapidly, people moving into them can struggle for access to basic services like clean water and sanitation. One such city is Gurgaon, a secondary city that’s experienced rapid urban transition over the last two decades….