Human security is a modern paradigm that addresses current global crises such as environmental threats. One significant threat is sea level rise, which has been widely reported on in government, academic and scientific studies. Worldwide, there are approximately 800 million people living in large and small coastal communities who are directly threatened by sea level rise. The IPCC has projected sea level rise of one meter by 2100. Such a rise is sufficient to flood many communities and cities, threaten human life, damage property, disrupt infrastructure such as water pipes and bridges and force millions of citizens into migration internally or abroad.
A country that will be dramatically impacted by sea level rise is India, which has a shoreline of 7517 km. Large cities including Calcutta and Mumbai as well as hundreds of smaller communities are located on the coast. Mumbai has an average elevation of only 14m (46 feet). A study of 136 port cities showed that the population exposed to flooding linked with a 1-in-100-year event is likely to rise dramatically from 40 million currently to 150 million by 2070 (Nicholls, 2008). Mumbai, which is a highly populated city and home to numerous slums, is highly vulnerable to flooding. “The value of global assets exposed to flooding is estimated to rise to USD 35 trillion, up from USD 3 trillion today.” (The World Bank, 2010)