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Document Type

Review

Abstract

This article reviews the theoretical concept of ‘sustainable adaptation’ to climate change and water scarcity using a gender-relations approach by answering the following questions: i) What is a sustainable adaptation to climate change? ii) Based on a literature review, how does gender interact with climate change adaptation to water scarcity and droughts in rural India? (iii) How do the concepts of sustainable adaptation, degrowth, and gender relations interact on the ground, pertaining to water justice?

The paper argues that climate change adaptation and development goals can harmonize only if they rectify root causes of vulnerabilities. For adaptation actions to yield sustainable outcomes, they need to be embedded in a just degrowth politics that transforms unequal power relations, including gender relations with water. In India, degrowth is about ecological, economic, and social justice that calls for transformation of the economy. This transformation looks into the lifecycle of goods - how goods are produced, composed, assembled, distributed, consumed, and regenerated today; further degrowth strategy explores alternate, just, non-extractive, decolonial, and democratically-led trajectories that sustain the web of life. This paper discusses five interrelated principles of sustainable degrowth-based adaptation that center on community-based notions of water and gender justice.

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