Communities, Commons and Climate Change Adaptation: Some Empirical Evidences from Nepal

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"Recent studies demonstrate that rural communities dependent on agriculture and forest resources are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change in Nepal, since about 25% of the population still live under poverty (<$1.25), and a major percentage of this section of population is forest and agricultural dependent. There are tremendous impacts of climate change, which local people experience in Nepal. Such impacts make the socioecological and economic system vulnerable in particular. The main impacts recorded by various studies conducted in Nepal are declining of agricultural productivity, disappearance or extinction of medicinal and aromatic plants, melting of glaciers, floods, change in rain pattern and shift of rainy season, and rise in temperature. The impacts on ecological and biological systems have serious consequences on the lives and livelihoods of people, particularly those living in poor rural areas and whose livelihood is connected to local commons. The study is based on a review of 516 Community Adaptation Plan of Action (CAPAs) and Local Adaptation plan of Action (LAPAs) prepared between 2009-2011 in 15 districts of Nepal, the baseline study of the Multi Stakeholder Forestry Programme (MSFP), and a review study conducted in late 2012 on community adaptation in order to understand the local adaptation practices in three districts. A total of 516 adaptation plans were reviewed and more than 175 variables were defined for database preparation. The adaptation plans were first categorized into three broad categories: CAPA prepared at Terai districts (96 CAPA), CAPA prepared at hilly districts (274 CAPA), and LAPA prepared at hilly districts (146).These studies bring a number of insightful reflections and linkages between local commons, communities and climate change. Preliminary findings from the analysis of 516 CAPs revealed that community people have given high priority for climate education (37%), flood control (14%), use of low emission energy products like bio-gas, improved cooking stoves (17%), water security (15%), and food security (12%). While from a recent study, it has shown that a number of local adaptation practices - such as on- and off-farm quick impact related activities, rainwater harvesting, agri-cooperatives were initiated for managing local commons and securing livelihoods. Community Adaptation Plans of Action (CAPA) and Local Adaptation Plan of Actions (LAPA) is an adaptation plan prepared at community and VDC level respectively and is considered as the best practice to ensure the bottom up planning process."



IASC, forests, adaptation, livelihoods, community