Adapting to a Changing Environment

Organization: 
Himalayan Nature

Entry Overview

General Info
Ms. Shalu
Adhikari
Email : 
shaluadhikari0@gmail.com
Organization Address: 

Kathmandu, 977
Nepal
Problem
Population Impacted: 
310 ultra poor & ethnic/indigenous vulnerable communities of Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, Eastern Nepal
Size: 

Only 310 households were taken of the total beneficiaries of the Koshi tappu

Major Occupations: 
Agriculture and sustenance fishing
Local resources the community depends on, and for what purpose: 
Wetland resources such as fish, edible plants, snails, crabs etc
Local threats to resources: 
Over harvesting of wetland resources
Climate Hazards: 
Deforestation in the upstream leading to siltation, and deteriorating quality of water and higher temperature causing the loss of wetland bodies and decrease in quantity of wetland products
Level of exposure to these hazards: 
High level of exposure eventually effecting the livelihood of the vulnerable ethnic/indigenous fisher flocks and other indigenous wetland dependent communities whose livelihoods are directly dependent on wetlands
Level of sensitivity: 
Especially in countries like ours, where densely populated vulnerable communities reside along the side of the river and large wetlands, have been creating water related problems such as pollution and over extraction of sand and gravels. Consequently, that will have long term impacts on the resources and local livelihood that are dependent on resources. Climate change impacts are more severe to the poor and marginalized communities residing in vulnerable and critical wetlands and watersheds of Nepal. Higher sensitivity and higher exposure to these wetland dependent communities have been studied based on livelihood vulnerability index.
Level of adaptive capacity: 
The study found the adaptive capacity index-high because the sub-components such as socio-dempgraphic profile, livelihood strategies, social networks, accessibility and coping strategy more favorable. Wider opportunities of income generation, a diverse crop base and a wide range of livelihood opportunities the communities adopt to.
Solution
Describe Your Solution: 

The project has helped poor and vulnerable communities to take stewardship for adaptation to climate change, to improve their social and economic status and ensure long term water resource management ultimately by enhancing the biodiversity and sustainable use of water and wetlands resources. Local communities were provided with the diversified livelihood options including the "Singada" Trapa quadrispinosa plantation and harvest and by promoting fish farming for WDCs groups to link with the fish cooperatives at the piloted sites. Youth and local communities were mobilized in the information and awareness campaigns and the use of local media was done to disseminate information and awareness on climate change, its impacts on water and wetlands

Results
Ecological Costs: 
The ecological cost cannot be quantified in monetary terms however positive impacts on the overall habitat improvement can be well noticed.Illegal fishing in the reserve have drastically reduced and demands have started coming from the other group of comm
Ecological Benefit: 
Illegal fishing has stopped, farmers switching on to other alternative livelihood options, birds abundance has increased and vegetation cover has also increased.
Economic Indicators used to measure benefit: 

Birds monitoring and other species monitoring inside the reserve that were conducted on a regular basis indicated the increase in number of bird species and habitat condition of ecosystems.

Community/Social Cost: 
Two full time paid volunteers were diploid for almost 6 months for conducting field level implementation. (payment=US$ 200/volunteer/month)
Community/Social Benefit: 
Awareness campaign on the issues of climate change were conducted on a regularly for different tiers at different level, different workshop for different stakeholders and beneficiaries has helped increase the awareness and support for sustainable use of wetland resources on the long run. (1 workshop cost around US$ 200, total 6 were held)
Community/Social Indicators used to measure benefit: 
All the workshops were held at the user group level to sensitize and orient on the issues of climate change, adaptation and mitigation. A total of 253 workshops were held, the cost incurred for each were about US$ 200.
Economic Cost: 

As above, the economic cost would come come to around US$ 200 for each meetings.

Economic Benefit: 

Fish farmers have a slight better income and now their earning ranges from 200-300 US$/month/person from different livelihood options.

Ecological Indicators used to measure benefit: 

Local people have realized that rather than traditional occupation, diverse livelihood options are more income generating.

What were/are the challenges your community faced in implementing this solution?: 

Organizing meeting & workshop in order together them, make them understand the concept of climate change issues and concern were the most challenging

Action
Describe the community-based process used to develop the solution including tools and processes used: 

Framework prepared to guide the interlinkage between drivers of environmental change and their impacts on the state of ecosystem dynamics, ecosystem goods and services, and on livelihoods of community and to identify management and adaptation strategies to decrease the vulnerability of communities to change particularly to climate change in the long run and to increase the resilience of wetland ecosystem against climatic stressors. Secondary information and participatory action research focusing on assessment of biodiveristy, dependency on wetland resources and livelihood vulnerability was done. Climate awareness and sensitization workshops were held for the most vulnerable communities including the Majhi, Mallaha, Mushar (fisher folks) and skill enhancement trainings to diversify their livelihood opportunities and increase their income were provided to switch off their traditional occupation by providing support for fish ponds and linking with the fish cooperatives. This has also provided an opportunity to enhance their capacity and involve them in the decision making process. Apart from this organization Himalayan Nature, other partners include Bird Conservation Nepal, Koshi Development Foundation and Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve's Office etc in order to collaborate and coordinate for the adaptation of local communities to address the impact of Climate Change. The length of the project was from January -December 2012 entitled "Climate Change adaptation through mainstreaming wetland conservation for improved local livelihoods in KTWR Nepal".

How does your solution reduce the exposure of and buffer/protect the ecosystem affected?: 

Our activities created fish ponds on the seepage areas of the reserve that reduced the chances of entering the flood to the communities, help create biodiversity pools and promoted greenery along the seepage areas that helped in minimizing the climate hazard.

How does your solution reduce the sensitivity of the ecosystem affected?: 

One year of implementation has minimized the habit of fisher folks to regularly fish in the river and fish farmers have now switched to commercial fish farming that too reduced over harvesting of resources from the river. On the other end, the activities has helped increase the household income of fisher folks.

How has your solution increased the capacity of the ecosystem to adapt to potential climate changes?: 

Sensitization and awareness workshop to capacitate them to cope with the adverse impacts of climate change and coordination and collaboration with the local stakeholders on the issues will help increase the capacity of the ecosystem to adopt to potential climate changes.

How does your solution reduce the exposure of and buffer/protect the communities affected?: 

The use of biodiversity and ecosystem services of forest, wetland systems as a part of an overall adaptation strategy has helped people and communities adapt to negative effects of climate change.

How does your solution reduce the sensitivity of the communities affected?: 

Our activities have provided a wide range of livelihood options such as fish farming, livestock rearing, organic compost making, vegetable farming etc to reduce the sensitivity of the communities affected.

How has your solution increased the capacity of local communities to adapt to potential climate changes?: 

Fish farmers have aggregated into a cooperative to well manage their saving and develop strong social networks to plan, manage and better utilize their resources and exchange knowledge and experience to cope and adapt to potential climate changes.

Scale
Can this solution be replicated elsewhere?: 

It can be replicated to other critical wetland sites of Nepal where dependency of resources to wetland is very high.

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