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Guest Lecture on Coastal Vulnerability: Risk Factors and Mitigation

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Dr. Komali Kantamaneni
Date: 24 February 2021

Venue: Zoom meeting UNESCO Chair

Attendance: 34

Objective: The online guest speaker session was organised exclusively for the MSW students is to discuss and learn about how to assess social vulnerability in coastal areas as impacted by climate change.

About Resource Personnel: 

Komali completed her PhD at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Swansea, entitled Assessing coastal vulnerability: development of a combined physical and economic index. Her research produced, for the first time, a combined vulnerability assessment based on physical science parameters and economic drivers.

She holds an MBA in Business Studies from Cardiff Metropolitan University, and MSc in Environmental Sciences and a BSc in Biology from Acharya Nagarjuna University, India. Her academic background gives her different perspectives, and she engages with interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary projects such as coastal and water infrastructures, natural disasters, risk assessment and management.


Interests: coastal vulnerability; natural disasters (hydrological); climate change and risk analysis; GIS; development and application of holistic framework/systems around various facets of the environment and climate change

Discussion Points of Talk

Dr. Komali explained about the research she has been doing in coastal communities that are subject to increased risk of sea level rising due to climate change. She said that these areas need to be systematically measured and assessed for social vulnerability in order to create an index in which can delineate possible funding for mitigation measures.  She demonstrated her methods on how to achieve this, based on 4 categories of classification: 

Low physical/low economic
Low physical/high economic
High physical/low economic

High physical/high economic.Dr. Komali also shared with us about the Global Challenges Research Fund Project. This study assesses the physical, fiscal, and sociological impacts of natural disasters on coastal communities in South Asia. The data collected through fieldwork across India, China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines will be used to create a holistic set of recommendations to national organisations, which can be used to limit the harm from natural disasters.

Outcome: Students were able to explain about the different categories of coastal vulnerability impact due to climate change. And the students learned about specific areas where Dr Komali has conducted research.

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