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Germany to develop software that will determine whether development projects would withstand climate changes, reports Gigil Varghese.

india Updated: Sep 23, 2008 01:25 IST
Gigil Varghese
Gigil Varghese
Hindustan Times

Global agencies investing in development projects in Asia and Africa are keen to know if their investments are going to withstand climate changes such as melting snowcaps and rising sea levels.

“Agencies investing in the developing world want to check if their investments are climate-change proof and readjust the project if found otherwise,” said Dr Jurgen Kropp, senior scientist at the Potsdam Institute of Climate Change and Impact Research in Potsdam, Germany.

Global agencies such as the World Bank, United Nations, Asian Development Bank, United Kingdom’s Department for International Development and Canada-based International Development Research Centre are keen to know if their investments are secure.

“We are developing a software through which any agency in the world can check if their investment would be climate-change proof,” said Kropp. I was in India in March and an official from National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) was keen to know if their loans to farmers were climate proof, said Kropp.

Three projects, being implemented by the German Government aid agency GTZ in India, have been tested for climate vulnerability. A project for increasing tribal and rural population in Tripura, Indo German project for resource management with NABARD and the decentralisation of water management project with the Ministry of Agriculture have already been tested for climate change vulnerabilities.

“We will soon help development agencies as we are developing a software which will check if the investments are climate-change proof. Six scientists from all over the world will be working on this project,” said Kropp.

The cost of developing this software is about 4 million Euros of which 2 million have already been sanctioned by the German ministry of environment. “The software will be ready by 2010,” said Kropp.

“Anyone could log on and find out how climate change proof their investments would be and can then plan how to reduce risk,” said Kropp.

Development projects could either be altered or entirely shelved.

“The possibility that projects would not be considered if they are vulnerable is not encouraging but it is better to know the risks and plan accordingly. It will help in adapting to climate change in the long run,” said Kropp.

It will help to know the exposure to climate change, analyse the risks involved and finally help reduce risks.

The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) was founded in 1992 and now has a staff of about 180 people

PIK researchers in the natural and social sciences work together to study global change and its impacts on ecological, economic and social systems.