Community-Level Environmental and Climate Change Adaptation Initiatives in Nawalparasi, Nepal

Eloise M. Biggs, Gary R. Watmough, Craig W. Hutton

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world and much of its rural population is at, or near, subsistence level. In recent years the timing and intensity of the monsoon in Nepal, as well as temperature extremities, have changed and this is severely impacting upon agriculture, the mainstay for over 80% of the population. Flash flooding and drought has led to landslides, water shortages and irrigation problems, which have adversely affected subsistence farming. This research conducted social surveys in rural locations to ascertain which adaptation initiatives have been implemented at the community level and determine how indigenous populations have adapted to climate-induced environmental change, with a focus on water resources. The principle research aim was to qualitatively understand how rural inhabitants have adapted/are adapting to changes in climate, the environment and water from a bottom-up perspective. Water is an essential resource for sustaining community livelihoods in rural Nepal, providing an indispensable resource for irrigation, consumption and sanitation. Research conducted in communities within the Nawalparasi district found disparities in living standards relative to resource availability. Results indicated that water stress is impacting on food security and there is a need to better adapt crop production and irrigation systems to ensure viable future sustainability. In addition, illiteracy, education facilities and accessibility were found to be strongly linked to community adaptability.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationClimate Change Management
PublisherSpringer-Verlag
Pages591-609
Number of pages19
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012

Publication series

NameClimate Change Management
ISSN (Print)1610-2002
ISSN (Electronic)1610-2010

Keywords

  • Adaptation
  • Climate change
  • Communities
  • Delphi
  • Food security
  • Nepal
  • Rural
  • Water resources

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