Pathways of Resilience to Future Storms - Assessing resilience to tropical cyclones in rice cropping coastal communities in east India (15239)
This paper introduces an ongoing research project assessing the resilience of rice-croplands, and associated livelihoods, to tropical cyclones in coastal Odisha. Coastal Odisha is frequently exposed to intense cyclones (e.g. 1972, 1999, 2013) which cause loss of life and extensive damage to infrastructure and livelihoods. Odisha has high levels of rural poverty, 39% of the rural population reside below the poverty line. The state is also a renowned food insecurity hotspot, and coastal communities have experienced a lack of development, due to a complex interaction of social, cultural, political and environmental factors. Previous studies have highlighted that the 1999 super-cyclone damaged the rice cropping landscapes of the rural and marginal poor in coastal Odisha and has disrupted livelihoods for over a decade with further marginalisation of the most vulnerable. This research seeks to identify what factors enable the resilience of rice cropping, allowing it to persist and recover in the face of extreme shocks (e.g. cyclone) and year-to-year and intra-annual stresses. Further, it also seeks to understand the extent to which resilience in the rice cropping system transfers into enabling resilience of livelihoods and inclusive socio-economic development. Finally, a detailed analysis of the local policy and governance is undertaken to explore whether it provides an enabling environment for resilient rice cropping. To fully capture the complexity of rice cropping-livelihood interactions in local communities and their integration into hierarchical governance structures a mixed-methods approach of remote sensing image analysis, household surveys, census and agricultural statistical information and policy analysis is undertaken.