ICIMOD Report on Himalayan Climate Variability Examines Farmers’ Responses to Change

16 February 2012: The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) has released a study that investigates the impacts of climate change on mountain peoples' livelihoods, and aims to improve understanding of their vulnerability and adaptation to climate change.

The report, titled “Climate Variability and Change in the Himalayas: Community perceptions and responses,” features four case studies in India, Nepal and Bhutan that use a community-based vulnerability and capacity assessment. It notes perceptions of changing rainfall patterns, particularly in the western part of the study areas, and the presence of new species and pests, such as mosquitoes.

The report describes coping strategies to deal with climate variability and change that are currently being employed by local stakeholders, including: adjusting agricultural calendars; stopping paddy planting; changing livestock composition to cope with fodder and water scarcity; and increasing the use of pesticides. The assessment identifies differences in adaptive capacity among casts and poverty levels, as well as livelihood choices. It stresses the need to: plan for climate uncertainty; address poverty and social inequality; raise awareness; move from coping to adaptation; support livelihood diversification; improve service delivery of institutions; and seize opportunities. The report was produced with support from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). [Publication: Climate Variability and Change in the Himalayas: Community Perceptions and Responses]