Building a Climate-Resilient South Asia

Eight hundred million South Asians– or half the region’s population—are at risk to see their standards of living and incomes decline as rising temperatures and more erratic rainfalls will cut down crop yields, make water more scare, and push more people away from their homes to seek safer places.

This worst-case scenario and relevant adaptation strategies to climate change underpin the ... view more


A welcome and introduction from Laura Tuck, Vice President, Sustainable Development, World Bank including how the World Bank is investing in climate co-benefits.


A presentation from Muthukumara S. Mani on the current climate related risks in South Asia. Topics covered include key questions when thinking about investments for addressing climate change including; Where to invest, When, How Much, Costs, and Trade Offs.


An introduction to and initial reactions from the event panelist, a group of diverse experts and practitioners. Hear from Mahmuda Begum and Aisha Khan.


Hear from panelist Anand Patwardhan and Jaime Madrigano, as well as questions and answers with audience participation.


In this short bite size video tune into the Q&A session and hear from audience members both in person and online and the response from the expert panel.


This report preview will aid in the development of targeted policies to improve resilience of the people, especially the poor and vulnerable, to future climatic shifts. Using historic and projected climate and household survey data, this study investigates the historic spatial patterns of climate change across South Asia at the district level, the effect of changes in long-term average climate on living standards at the household level, and where the future hotspots may be.

About the Presenters

Laura Tuck

Vice President, Sustainable Development, World Bank

Laura Tuck assumed the position of World Bank’s Vice President for Sustainable Development on July 1, 2015. In this role, she oversees the work of the Global Practices and Cross-Cutting Solutions Areas (CCSAs) that bring together the best expertise from across the World Bank Group, and from partners, to help countries tackle their most complex challenges in the area of sustainable development. The practices and CCSAs under her responsibility include Agriculture; Climate Change; Energy and Extractives; Environment and Natural Resources; Public-Private Partnerships; Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience; Transport and ICT; and Water.

Before taking this position, Ms.Tuck served for close to two years as Vice President for the Europe and Central Asia (ECA) region. During this period, ECA’s lending and advisory services increased substantially, stepping up support for programs and projects aligned with the goals of reducing poverty and increasing shared prosperity.

Her extensive experience in sustainable development includes a decade leading the Bank’s work in this area in two regions. Between 2002 and 2006 she was the Director for Sustainable Development in ECA and, from 2006 to 2011, she held the same position in the Latin America and the Caribbean Region. She then became Director of Strategy and Operations supporting the Regional Vice President in the Middle East and North Africa region, followed by a stint in the same position in ECA.

Muthukumara S. Mani

Lead Economist, South Asia Region, World Bank

Mr. Mani is as Lead Economist in the Office of the Chief Economist of the World Bank’s South Asia Region. He primarily works on green growth and climate change mitigation and adaptation issues in the region. Prior to joining the region, he led the World Bank's work on assessing environmental implications of development policy lending reforms in the Environment Department of the World Bank. Prior to joining this position, Mr. Mani was an economist in the Fiscal Affairs Department of the International Monetary Fund, where he was responsible for analyzing environmental implications of macroeconomic policies and programs, and in integrating environmental considerations broadly in the IMF country programs.

Idah Pswarayi-Riddihough

Country Director for Sri Lanka and the Maldives in the South Asia Region, World Bank Group

Ms. Idah Pswarayi-Riddihough is the Country Director for Sri Lanka and the Maldives in the South Asia Region (SAR). Ms. Pswarayi-Riddihough, a Zimbabwean national, joined the Bank in 1995 as a Young Professional (YP). She earned her PHD from Oxford University in 1993. She has since held various operational and corporate management positions, her most recent being Director of Strategy and Operations, in the Human Resources Vice Presidency. She has worked in 4 different regions, South Asia, East Asia, Middle East and North and Africa and the Africa Region. Her most recent posting in South Asia was as the Director of Operational Services from 2012 to 2014, where she also supervised teams covering operations in Financial Management and Procurement.

Jaime Madrigano

Associate Policy Researcher, RAND Corporation

Jaime Madrigano is an Associate Policy Researcher at the RAND Corporation. She applies epidemiologic methods to evaluate the environmental and social determinants of health. Her prior work has examined adverse health impacts resulting from exposure to air pollution and extreme weather, focusing on vulnerable populations. Ms. Madrigano is also interested in how people perceive risk as it relates to climate change, public health, and health care decision-making, and has conducted research on framing climate change as a public health issue. Prior to joining RAND, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University's Earth Institute and was an assistant professor at Rutgers University. Madrigano received her Sc.D. in epidemiology and environmental health from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Anand Patwardhan

Professor of Public Policy, University of Maryland in College Park

Anand Patwardhan is a Professor of Public Policy at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland, USA. Prior to this position was Professor in the Shailesh J Mehta School of Management at the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay. Mr. Patwardhan has a Bachelor of Technology (Electrical Engineering) from IIT-Bombay and a MS (Environmental Science & Engineering) and PhD (Engineering and Public Policy), both from Carnegie Mellon University. His research interests are in the area of environment – climate studies, focusing on mitigation and adaptation responses to climate change; including the diffusion and adoption of clean technology and broader issues of science, technology and innovation policy. He has been a member of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) of the Global Environment Facility (GEF); and a coordinating lead author for the Fourth and Fifth Assessment Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He is currently co-Chair of the Executive Committee of the Global Energy Assessment, and is a member of the Steering Committee of the Programme of Research on Vulnerability, Impacts and Adaptation (PRO-VIA) of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Aisha Khan

Executive Director for Civil Society Coalition for Climate Change (CSCCC) and CEO of Mountain and Glacier Organization (MGPO)

Aisha Khan is the Executive Director for Civil Society Coalition for Climate Change (CSCCC) and CEO of Mountain and Glacier Organization (MGPO) with responsibilities for management, policy planning, government relations, advocacy, capacity building and sustainability of programmatic activities at the national, sub national and international level. She is based in Islamabad, Pakistan. She is the founding member of Mountain and Glacier Organization (MGPO) and Civil Society Coalition for Climate Change (CSCCC). She has over 18 years’ experience in development work, designing and implementing sustainable development programs to build resilience and reduce vulnerability of unserved and underserved communities. Before serving as ED and CEO she has lived in 10 countries in Europe, Latin America, Africa, North America, South East Asia and South West Asia. Her work includes interaction with government and civil society on issues such as education, gender and conservation of natural environment. She has contributed in enhancing core program areas and expanding outreach, focusing on social economic and environmental wellbeing of the people. She has worked successfully in collaboration with multiple donors, national and sub-national authorities and communities. She is a team player and leads by example. She has attended many national and international conferences and is on the Board of Directors of Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and Energy Conservation Fund (ECF). She is also member on the Certification Panel of Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy (PCP) and the Steering Committee of Pakistan Glacier Monitoring Network. Aisha Khan contributes articles to newspapers and magazines.

Mahmuda Begum

Additional Secretary, Economic Relations Division, Bangladesh

Mahmuda Begum joined the Bangladesh Civil Service in 1986. She worked as Assistant Commissioner and Magistrate in different districts of Bangladesh. Her work experience covers field administration, criminal Justices, Local Government Institutions, Land Administration and Secretariat. As a career civil servant she underwent different professional trainings in various training institutions of home and aboard.

Ms. Mahmuda’s current position is Additional Secretary, (World Bank) in Economic Relations Division, where she is entrusted with the responsibility of aid and project programming with World Bank Group.

She is an Alternate Governor of MIGA, WB-Group, a Director of the Agrani Bank Board of Directors and was an Alternate Governor of IDB.

Ms. Mahmuda did her Masters in Zoology from Dhaka University. Later, she pursued another Masters in Rural Management Studies from University of Sydney, Australia in 1997.