Local perceptions and adaptation of indigenous communities to climate change: Evidences from High Mountain Pangi valley of Indian Himalayas

The present study was undertaken with aim to understand the perceptions of indigenous communities about climate change pattern and its local impacts on climate variables, seasons, agriculture, biodiversity and adaptive strategies in geographical and technological-isolated Pangi valley situated in Chamba district, Himachal Pradesh. Randomly selected 120 respondents were interviewed and their perceptions were recorded on pre-designed questionnaire. The climate change impacts are experienced in the form of decreased snowfall (98.3%), temperature rise (97.5%), late onset of monsoon (90.8%), decreased rainfall (76.7%), reduced snow-melted water availability (86.7%) and increased drought incidences (85.8%) of over the years. Further, these climatic changes affecting agriculture through early shifts in crop season (80.8%), shorter growing season (91.7%), introduction of fruit and vegetable crops (90.8%), increased incidence of insect-pest (81.2%) and diseases (84.2%) and thereby decline in crop yield (70%). However, majority of the respondents undertaken adaptive strategies such as crop diversification, traditional mixed-cropping, mixed farming, crop rotation and agro-forestry/agro-horticulture systems to cope with climate change but they are either little or unaware of modern farming practices such as snow water/glacier runoff harvesting, agro advisory services, mulching and zero tillage as adaptation strategies.

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