Co-production of climate change vulnerability assessment : A case study of the Indian Lesser Himalayan region, Darjeeling

Parveen Kumar*, Christopher Brewster

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The intensity and extent of climate change impacts differ significantly with the geographical and ecological structure of the landscape. This is especially evident in mountain ecosystems where topographic, climatic and biological gradients make them extremely vulnerable to global environmental changes . Designing strategies to mitigate and adapt to global climate change on such local landscapes requires a context-specific vulnerabilities that take into account their particular characteristics. Presently, there are two main challenges in assessing climate change vulnerability in mountain ecosystems: 1) The models that are used for vulnerability assessments at global scales are being used at local scales with broad variables from few sectors that do not capture the range of characteristics of mountain ecosystems 2) indigenous knowledge about climate change are not considered in these models, which makes the implementation of mitigation/adaptation measures less successful. In this study, we highlight these issues drawing from our data collected in India’s Lesser Himalayan region (Darjeeling). We used a mixed research approach that combines a vulnerability assessment model with a participatory knowledge approach. We based climate change vulnerability around the socio-ecological system of the mountain landscape. The results from the interactive process showed that Darjeeling region is experiencing higher climate change vulnerability than the results produced by the model at the subregional level. We highlight critical variables that influence the socio-ecological system and need to be taken into account when assessing vulnerability and future adaptation scenarios. The study offers a decision support process for policymakers to plan climate mitigation/adaptation measures and future sustainability pathways.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Integrative Environmental Sciences
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Mar 2022

Keywords

  • Perception
  • socio-ecological system
  • climate change
  • vulnerability
  • Lesser Himalaya
  • RURAL MOUNTAIN COMMUNITIES
  • BUILDING RESILIENCE
  • MIDDLE HILLS
  • ADAPTATION
  • IMPACT
  • POVERTY
  • PREFERENCES
  • PERCEPTIONS
  • EVOLUTION
  • CAPACITY

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