Title: Mainstreaming ethnoclimatology for climate change assessment and adaptation in mountain ecosystems

Authors: Bhaskar Padigala

Addresses: Faculty of Planning and Public Policy, Center for Environmental Planning and Technology University, Ahmedabad-380009, India

Abstract: Native communities inhabiting the Himalayan environment are mostly susceptible to environmental and other drivers of transformations but these communities have been living in the highly variable climatic environment for centuries and thus, possess an vast amount of localised traditional knowledge that has helped these communities to survive and thrive in such extreme ecosystem. But ongoing discourses on vulnerability and adaptation to climate change impacts these ethnic knowledge systems has not been given much of an importance. Hence, this study has tried to explore the different ethnoclimatological practices followed by local communities in Himachal Pradesh, India. Changing social and economic scenarios and inadequate governmental interventions are slowly leading to the disappearance of the traditional knowledge. However, local ethnoscientific knowledge has a tremendous potential to meet the challenges of climate change impacts. Hence, there is a need to integrate traditional knowledge with the scientific understandings to develop sustainable local or regional climate change assessment, mitigation and adaptation strategies that are best suited for the local ecosystem and involve local communities' participation.

Keywords: ethnoclimatology; traditional knowledge; local communities; adaptation strategies; climate change assessment; mountain ecosystems; Himalayas; ethnic knowledge systems; India; mitigation strategies; local ecosystems.

DOI: 10.1504/IJGW.2015.072659

International Journal of Global Warming, 2015 Vol.8 No.3, pp.360 - 374

Received: 12 Nov 2013
Accepted: 12 May 2014

Published online: 23 Oct 2015 *

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