Understanding the Cross Scale Implications of Forest and Water Management for an Adaptation and Mitigation in the Nepal Himalaya

Posted on: 2010-04-01

ISET-Nepal and ISET-International, with support from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), are carrying out academic research in six village development committees in the western region of Nepal: Kagbeni VDC, Mustang District; Ramche VDC, Myagdi District; Rupakot VDC and Rupa lake watershed in Kaski District; Madanpokhara VDC, Palpa District; Hansapur VDC, Arghakhanchi District; and Dubiya VDC, Kapilbastu District.  The research area spans all of Nepal’s physiographical regions-the Trans-Himalayan, the high mountains, the mid-hills and valleys, the Siwaliks, and the Tarai.

The research documents specific impacts on food and agriculture system, forestry, water and livelihood systems as a consequence of changes in weather patterns. It evaluates systemic interactions among regional climate, food and agriculture system, forestry, water management, and livelihoods and in the process identifies the particular interactions that make some groups more vulnerable than the others. The study investigates critical challenges, particularly the roles and inter linkages between forest, agriculture and water management strategies play in both adapting to and mitigating the impacts of climate change particularly in the Nepal Himalaya.

 The vulnerability of six VDCs and its populations has been assessed with analytical tool developed using the natural hazard-based approach and the social approach. The study captures the vulnerability at ward-level and identifies the most marginal people within the vulnerable ward where interventions are required to build adaptive capacity and resilience. Though the study is still continuing, it will be worthwhile to share some of the findings.  The study found that Hansapur VDC of Arghakhanchi District is the most vulnerable and Madanpokhara VDC of Palpa District is the least vulnerable VDC among six VDCs. Most residents of Hansapur still rely on traditional firewood system for cooking, their year round food sufficiency is low and there is critical problem on availability of safe and sufficient drinking water. Kagbeni VDC of Mustang District is the least vulnerable in terms of energy use because of its low dependence on firewood for cooking and the highest use of clean energy for lighting. But, food sufficiency with own production is below ten per cent and is susceptible to highest disasters. Year round food sufficiency with own production is higher for Rupakot VDC of Kaski District and Dubiya of Kapilbastu District as they are less vulnerable compared with other VDCs.

 


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