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Titel: Embracing Proactive Measures for Climate Change Adaptation: People's Understanding of Climate Change and Initiation of Adaptation Activities
Sprache: Englisch
Autor*in: Darjee, Kumar Bahadur
Schlagwörter: Climate change; People's perception; Adaptation strategy; Proactive adaptation; Climate change policy; Nepal
Erscheinungsdatum: 2023
Tag der mündlichen Prüfung: 2023-12-12
Climate change is one of the crucial components in the interaction of physical, chemical, and biological processes of the Earth system. While climate change is unequivocally a global phenomenon, its impacts are local and disproportionate, mostly based on geographical fragility and temporal scales; and the vulnerability of individuals, groups, and communities. Rising temperature and changing precipitation patterns and their wide-ranging consequences have adversely impacted people’s livelihoods around the globe. So, climate change adaptation has become an inescapable option in addressing climate change impacts in minimizing vulnerability to growing and potential climate risks. Geographical diversity coupled with socio-economic disparity results in inconsistent impacts of climate change and thereby actual adaptation is variable, both locally and globally. Geographically at-risk, poor, and developing countries face the need for a wide range of adaptation measures in terms of timing and scale. However, designing and implementing appropriate climate change adaptation strategies has proven to be very challenging due to limited local-specific climate data, financial resources, inadequate infrastructure, and insufficient access to information and technology. As a result, the impacts of climate change are often felt more acutely in these countries and communities. In this backdrop, this thesis investigates how local people perceive climate change and its impacts; and explore the list of locally tailored activities (menu for adaptation) practiced by local households and communities, suggesting that policymakers and climate scientists emphasize bottom-up adaptive strategies for effective and efficient implementation.
The climate change trends and variability using data from local meteorological records were analyzed and compared with local people’s perception. The empirical data and evidences were collected from more than 500 households representing three ecological regions of Nepal to analyze how people perceive and anticipate climate risks and implement locally doable adaptation measures proactively; and to investigate the determining factors in choosing proactive adaptation options. In addition, the thesis examines policies coherence and contradictions in addressing local practices.
The study followed socio-cognitive processes for climate change risk appraisal and adaptation appraisal of individual to implement proactive adaptation measures against locally experienced impacts of climate change. Furthermore, the content analysis of major policies of Nepal including National Adaptation Program of Action, Local Adaptation Plan of Action, Community Level Adaptation Plan of Action, and Climate Policy 2019 have been performed to examine vertical coherence of policies and programs in addressing local people needs and their practical skillset to combat with climate change.
The quantitative and qualitative data acquired from local meteorological stations and household surveys were analyzed. We analyzed temperature and precipitation patterns, including the Rainfall Anomaly Index (RAI) and the Precipitation Concentration Index (PCI). Proactive measures were evaluated based on essential criteria extracted from published literature and insights gathered from consulting experts. We employed the ordered logistic regression model to explain the explanatory power of essential socio-economic and demographic factors in influencing the choice of proactive adaptations.
The results showed that, over the last three decades, temperature and precipitation trends and variability between regions varied, largely corroborating the local experiences. The temperature increased in Mountain, Mid–hills, and Low-land by 0.061⁰C yr-1, 0.063⁰C yr-1, and 0.017⁰C yr-1, respectively. In contrast, average annual rainfall decreased by -9.7 mm yr-1, -3.6 mm yr-1, and -0.04 mm yr-1 for the regions, respectively. Although the amount of rainfall decrease observed in the Mountain was the highest, its variability was found to be relatively low, and vice versa in Low-land. Approximately 88% of respondents perceived temperature rise, and 74% noticed rainfall decline. The local people linked these changes with their livelihood activities, as exemplified by, for example, crop’s quality and quantity or birds’ migration. The results indicate that local understandings complement the scarce observational data and provide a reliable and additional foundation to determine changes in climatic variables. The result also shows that small changes in climate variables have noticeable implications on human behavior change leading to implement local level adaptation measures.
The study confirms that local people in Nepal are not only aware of escalating climate risks but also engage their cognition and knowledge proactively to adapt locally. The results show that 84% of households adapted both proactive and reactive measures, while 10.5% applied solely reactive adaptation and 5.6% were exclusively focused on proactive adaptation measures. Over 50 different proactive adaptation measures were implemented by the households. The measures were significantly associated with agricultural diversification, cash crop cultivation, livestock raising, small-scale enterprise development, and disaster control. Socio-economic and spatial factors such as a household’s wellbeing, land holding size, geographical location, livelihood options, and the number of adaptation measures implemented by the households were found to be decisive factors in choosing proactive adaptation. The results suggest that even small proactive initiatives by the households can offer multiple benefits against climate risks as an architect of individuals. However, the analysis of coherence and contradiction of different layers of policies and strategies show that this local knowledge and practices of community have been hardly acknowledged in the policy process due to some contradiction in focus and implementation mechanism. The framework for Local Adaptation Plan of Action considers the local governments as implementing units, while National Adaptation Program of Action puts an emphasis on the local community groups. Emphasizing the role of local government in planning and program implementation suggests that the current framework for implementing the Local Adaptation Plan of Action breaches the provisions intended for community-level institutions, as conceived in the national framework. Through the Community Level Adaptation Plan of Action, local communities have planned and implemented adaptation measures envisioned in the thematic areas identified in the climate change policy of Nepal: agriculture and food security; forests and biodiversity; water resources and energy; climate-induced disasters; public health; and urban settlements and infrastructure. Nevertheless, the Community Level Adaptation Plan of Action is not institutionalized under government policies as a local level implementing unit. So, the consensus for a local implementing unit in the policies has remained a key issue. We suggest the identification of a suitable and acceptable unit for implementing climate change adaptation at the community level. Only if an appropriate implementing units and appropriate measures are identified the policies can be successful with a broader acceptance and desirable outcomes enshrined in the climate change policies.
Finally, local perceptions of climate change and the initiatives undertaken by the communities highlight the importance of incorporating local perspectives, knowledge, and expertise into broader policy frameworks for both climate change adaptation and mitigation. By acknowledging and integrating the insights gained from these grassroots’ efforts, policymakers and planners can develop robust and contextually tailored strategies to tackle climate change in a transdisciplinary approach to contribute climate goal of Paris Agreement which has been a centerpiece of global efforts to tackle climate change.
URL: https://ediss.sub.uni-hamburg.de/handle/ediss/10862
URN: urn:nbn:de:gbv:18-ediss-117128
Dokumenttyp: Dissertation
Betreuer*in: Köhl, Michael
Enthalten in den Sammlungen:Elektronische Dissertationen und Habilitationen

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