alexa Climate Change and Indigenous People: Perceptions of Transhumant Herders and Implications to the Transhumance System in the Himalayas
ISSN: 2381-8719

Journal of Geology & Geophysics
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Research Article

Climate Change and Indigenous People: Perceptions of Transhumant Herders and Implications to the Transhumance System in the Himalayas

Aryal S1, 2*, Maraseni TN2, Cockfield G1,2
1Faculty of Business andLaw, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, QLD 4350, Australia
2Australian Centre for Sustainable Catchments, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, QLD 4350, Australia
*Corresponding Author : Aryal S
Australian Centre for the Sustainable
Catchments and Faculty of Business Education
Law and Arts, University of Southern Queensland
Toowoomba, QLD 4350, Australia
Tel: 61 7 4631 2100
E-mail: [email protected], [email protected]
Received June 19, 2014; Accepted June 28, 2014; Published July 02, 2014
Citation:Aryal S, Maraseni TN, Cockfield G (2014) Climate Change and Indigenous People: Perceptions of Transhumant Herders and Implications to the Transhumance System in the Himalayas. J Geol Geosci 3:162. doi:10.4172/2329-6755.1000162
Copyright: © 2014 Aryal S. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited
 

Abstract

Climate change poses differential vulnerability for different communities, sectors and regions. People, whose subsistence livelihood is based on the direct utilisation of natural resources are most affected by climate change and have different but accurate perceptions of climate change than those people following modern lifestyles. The herders of the higher Himalayas follow vertical transhumance and combine it with subsistence agriculture for their livelihood. Although, climate models have predicted pronounced warming in high altitude areas of the Himalayas and there are many indications that climate change impacts different aspects of transhumance, there is no information on how transhumant herders have perceived change in climate and how these changes might impact transhumance system. One hundred and forty five transhumant herders were interviewed from three Village Development Committees (VDCs) namely Khumjung in Solukhumbu, Kalinchok in Dolakhaand Majhigaun in Bajhang; representing Eastern, Central and far-Western mountainous areas of Nepal respectively to explore their perceptions about climate change and other observed changes in biophysical indicators. About 80% of the herders perceived increasing summer temperature, 92% decreasing winter rainfall and more than 93% noticed decreasing snowfall. Majority of the herders agreed that there was fast melting of snow in the rangelands, rainfall events were becoming more and more unpredictable, drought events increased, there was early induce in greenery and maturity of grasses in the rangelands and appearance of new livestock diseases. These observations suggest that transhumant herders in the Himalayas have experienced change in climatic variables and have noticed change in bio-physical indicators that have implications to the transhumance system. The findings help to devise adaptation strategies for indigenous communities and incorporate them in the climate change policies in the Himalayas.

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