Promoting India’s Panchayats as Vanguards of Local Climate Adaptation



Identifying and tackling local and regional vulnerabilities to global climate change is one of the defining challenges facing India today. This Very Short Policy Brief discusses the important role of India’s local government bodies – panchayats – in coordinating, integrating, and implementing strategies for adapting to climate change. It outlines key strategies to promote local action and more effective governance of climate adaptation strategies, including:

  • Building policy frameworks that explicitly recognize panchayats as a central force in coordinating local responses to climate threats
  • Learning from, and building synergies with, existing programs for decentralization in natural resource management, rural development, and public service delivery
  • Strengthening the answerability of government actors and increasing opportunities for citizen engagement in planning processes
  • Building local capacity for coordinating effective climate responses