Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation by Communities in a Tribal Region of Central Himalaya: A Study from Uttarakhand Himalaya India

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"The analysis presented in the paper, apart from some secondary information, is based on climate data from local weather stations and primary survey conducted in six villages situated between altitude 900mt and 2000mt. A total of 95 households representing different socio-economic strata were randomly selected for in-depth interviews. The response unambiguously indicates increase in temperature, decrease and erratic nature of rainfall, long dry spells during monsoons, decrease in snowfall, increase in crop diseases and decreased water discharge in springs etc. during last couple of decades. The impact of climate change has been assessed on the farming and horticulture which are primary economic activity of local communities being practiced by 75 % of the population. Overwhelming majority of respondents reported that the climate variation has adversely affected yield of traditional mixed crops, cereals, pulses, oil seeds and horticultural crops such as apple. As an adaptation strategy, the farming communities are concentrating on cash crops in better managed fields in place of low-yielding scattered land. They are replacing traditional crops with more remunerative vegetable crops (Tomato, Chillies, Ginger, and Peas etc) that can provide better economic returns. However with only 10 % of geographical area under cultivation and 85% of it being rain-fed, this strategy is unable to support community needs. This has resulted in increased out-migration which has become a supporting mechanism for some households. Additionally, communities are adapting other strategies such as change in crop varieties and alternative employment etc."



adaptation, climate change, community, Himalayas, mountain regions