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Local People Perception on Climate Change; Its Impacts and adaptation measures, A Case of Dhading District Central Nepal

Thesis Abstract by Subash Duwadi

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has defined climate changes as a change of climate that is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and that is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.

This research was carried out in Mahadevstan, Benighat, Dhusa and Gajuri VDCs of Dhading district. The study examines how farmer’s perceptions regarding Climate Change correspond withtemperature and rainfall data at the nearby meteorological station of the Mahadevstan and bydocuments local adaptation responses to the impacts of climate change, and its variability.Total 225 respondents were randomly interviewed by making transect walk ranging from about 1000 mto 2300 m from mean sea level.

There was 0.0972% per annum increases in temperature of Dhading district in January while there has been 0.051% per annum increases in temperature in the months of July between 1978-2008. The average rainfall in the month of January between 1978-2008 is 8.71mm while this hasbeen 421mm in the month of July. The growth in the average temperature of Mahadevstanbetween the periods 1978-2008 has been 0.02390C per annum. The growth in the maximum temperature is around 0.120C.

The correlation analysis between maize yield and total annual average rainfall is found to be negative (-0.22) while that of correlation analysis between maize yield and the total annualaverage temperature is found to be positive (0.2136).The correlation analysis between the paddy yield and total annual average temperature and total annual average rainfall was positive with 0.244 and 0.229 respectively.

The statistical analysis of the temperature data from 1978-2008 in Dhading district showed alinear trend of increasing with the increase mostly in the monsoon period. Over 30 years examined, rainfall is characterized by the large inter annual variability with a substantialdecrease in the amount of rainfall over the final four years of the data. However, there isnoticeable long running trend of the increasing rainfall. The responses reported by the localpeople on the climate variability is in the line with the climatic data records. The analysis showsthat 90% respondents perceive the temperature has increased and 97% said that are experiencing unpredictable rainfall patterns since last 10 years.

There is a mixed perception (agree to don’t know) in the statements like the rainfall is decreasing every year during rainy season, the rainfall is decreasing every year during winter season, theweather is becoming dry every year, the yearly rains are not supporting crop production asbefore, climate change has lead to crop infestation and diseases, and there is now scarcity of the fuel wood.

Impacts were observed contributing to loss of the species and the local landraces, declining productivity and the yield, late monsoon, increased drought period, hail storm abnormally, wind flow pattern getting warmer, decreasing water sources, changes in flowering and fruiting time,reduction of some indigenous plant like Artemisia indica, outbreak of the diseases and the pests,rapid encroachment by the invasion like Ageratina adenophora and Ageratum species, and the emergence of the human diseases
.
Farmers have adopted different measures to cope with the effect. Some have cultivated different crop while others have adopted varities/ crops to shorten the growing season and also practiced the rainwater harvesting techniques. Some farmers have used the organic manure to their crops.

The mulching has been practiced extensively in some VDCs. Optimum utilization of the marginal lands by planting fodder trees, fruit trees and the other grasses, forest protection by handed over the forest to the community groups are the other adaptation measures applied by the
farmers.
Key words: Climate change, Impacts, Adaptation, Temperature, Rainfall, Farmers Perception
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