Research Insights on Climate and Water in the Hindu Kush Himalayas

Type Book Section - People’s Perceptions of and Adaptation Strategies to Climate Change in the Koshi River Basin, Nepal
Title Research Insights on Climate and Water in the Hindu Kush Himalayas
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2014
Page numbers 129-144
Publisher International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development,
City Kathmandu
Country/State Nepal
URL Insights on Climate Change and Water​Resource Management.pdf#page=143
This paper discusses people’s perceptions of climate variability and change, and their efforts to
cope with the impacts, in the Koshi basin in Nepal. The study is based on primary information
obtained through focus group discussions and key informant interviews in three ecological zones
– mountains, hills and TeraI (lowlands). People in the region have been experiencing increasing
temperatures and greater variability in precipitation, with impacts in different sectors that affect
their livelihood options including increasing scarcity of water, increasing risk of flash floods,
decline in yield of agricultural crops, shifting of eco-zones to higher elevations, loss of biodiversity,
and increasing incidence of disease. Communities have adopted different measures to cope with
water scarcity such as planting trees around springs, revitalizing rotational irrigation schemes,
building canals (pynes) and plastic-lined ponds for irrigation, and introducing sprinkler irrigation.
Agricultural measures include changing cropping patterns and the cropping calendar, using
failed crops as fodder, introducing crops with a shorter growing period, scattering ash or cow
urine and using fire to kill pests, introducing integrated pest management, and constructing
storage rooms to reduce post-harvest losses. Conservation of forests and biodiversity has been
addressed through conservation of marginal land, planting of different species, and community
management and conservation of forest. The challenge now is to improve these technologies
and scale up some of the measures already adopted to manage climate change risk. It is also
necessary to assess the appropriateness and effectiveness of the different strategies and practices
in the context of different climate change scenarios.

Related studies