Review of water and climate change policies in South Asia

This report assesses the suitability of the water and climate-related policy environment (existing policy, legislation, strategy and planning instruments) for adapting to the impacts of climate change in the water sector in South Asia. South Asia will be exposed to a variety of impacts as a result of climate change, ranging from increased frequency and intensity of extreme events—floods, droughts and storms—to longer-term changes in climate and hydrological parameters, such as earlier onset of monsoons, reductions in mean annual river flows, and rising sea levels affecting coastal aquifers and surface waters. Each country of South Asia is exposed to a different suite of climate change impacts: for example, Bangladesh is particularly vulnerable to flooding and sea-level rise, while Nepal and Bhutan face the issue of glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs). These impacts will have a major effect on the economies and social welfare of the countries in the region. The poor and disadvantaged are particularly vulnerable to climate shocks and are likely to be severely impacted by climate change.

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