by Floriane Clement
International climate change debates are often based upon simplistic assumptions of how men and women perceive and address risks and uncertainty. For instance, women are commonly portrayed as a homogenous group who are always more vulnerable than men to climate change simply because they are women. Yet the relationship between gender, poverty and vulnerability is neither straightforward, nor universal (Arora-Jonsson, 2011).
Just to illustrate, in some areas of Nepal it was found that poor women from landless households are more likely to attend community meetings and speak up because they feel less constrained by social norms than women from higher class and caste (Agarwal, 2010). They have therefore a higher capability to influence community decisions that might affect their vulnerability. Read more »
by Chase Sova and Jessica Thorn
Researchers from the University of Oxford arrived in Beora, Nepal on a hot, humid day in May of this year. It was here, between the mid-hills region of Nepal and the border of India, that the team would spend the next four months working with farmers, collecting data on the tools, methods and frameworks to support climate change adaptation.
The main objective was the “Farms of the Future” (FOTF) project, an initiative designed to test how the climate analogues tool (PDF) could be used to inform decision making and improve the adaptive capacity of small-holder farmers. The Farms of the Future project is embedded in the Systemic Integrated Adaptation (SIA) research programme which conducted the research.
To give a background, the analogues tool uses downscaled temperature and precipitation predictions and current data sets to identify spatial analogues, i.e. sites with statistically similar temperature and precipitation trends, for the predicted 2030 climate of a given reference site as Beora. In the FOTF project, the analogue tool outputs were used to inform the selection of locations for farmer exchanges. Read more »
by Chase Sova
The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) works in partnerships as a way to create impact and change. One of these partnerships include working with Oxford University and their researchers. Here, CCAFS works with a team, called the Systemic Integrated Adaptation (SIA) which consists of four Oxford PhD readers lead by research associate Ariella Helfgott of Oxford/Adelaide/Wageningen universities. The team is made up of researchers drawing from experience living and working across sectors in agriculture, conservation, finance and development in Asia, Africa, North and Latin America and Australia. Read more »
The Farms of the Future project helps farmers envision their future climate by taking them there… on a bus. Neil Palmer, from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) reports from Beora, Nepal, where the first farmer visits recently took place. This story was originally posted on the CIAT blog.
I knew not to expect “guide book” Nepal: majestic, snowy peaks; multicoloured prayer flags fluttering against clear blue skies. But nothing quite prepared me for the Terai. Around 120 km west of the capital Kathmandu, this is a hazy, sweltering, lowland plain, where daytime temperatures hover around 45 degrees Celsius, with little respite after dark.
With the sweat pouring off you day and night, it’s so hot it’s hard to concentrate. Every few minutes for the first few days, I’d close my eyes and catch fleeting, dream-like sequences of gulping down ice cold water; gushing Alpine waterfalls; news footage of buff-chested Russians swan-diving into semi-frozen lakes. You shake the images away, but the heat persists.
Despite the tough conditions, the Terai is Nepal’s breadbasket, producing around 50% of the country’s food. Rice, wheat, maize and a variety of vegetables are all grown here, in the northeastern reaches of the Indo-Gangetic Plain. Read more »
By Chase Sova
Persistence and diversification. Oddly enough, these two themes prove common between successful climate change adaptation, as well as getting to meet the Prime Minister of Nepal, Mr. Baburam Bhattarai. At least, this is the light-hearted lesson that The Adaptation to progressive climate change- and Oxford University Research Team drew from their recent meeting with the Prime Minister in early August. Read more »
Edited by Cecilia Schubert
In Nepal, the involvement of men and women in agriculture is starting to change.
“Before, women used to tend to the household work, while the men engaged themselves in the agricultural labor,” explained Nani Raut, a researcher who last year received a gender grant from the CGIAR Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). “But after the adoption of agricultural intensification practices, which are increasing in the country, women are now equally involved in agriculture,” she said. Read more »
By Marta Rivera-Ferre, Di Masso, Mailhos, López-i-Gelats, Gallar, Vara, and Cuellar
Local traditional knowledge (LTK) refers to institutionalized local knowledge, the know-how accumulated across generations, guiding human societies in their interactions with their environment. LTK is the basis for local-level decision-making in many rural communities and ensures the well-being of people through its multipurpose functions, including food security. However, LTK is rarely considered in the design of modern climate change (CC) adaptation (and mitigation) strategies. Adaptation is about changing policies, behaviour or infrastructures, and thus, depends on cultural factors, institutions or social networks. Incorporating LTK can be of great interest to develop such strategies in conjunction with local people. A study was performed focused on the most common LTK strategies for agriculture (LTKA) found in the IGP region and its potential capacity to CC adaptation and food security. Read more »
By Rasheed Sulaiman
Indian agriculture is extremely sensitive to climate change and its impact is increasing over time1. The Indo-Gangetic Plains (IGPs) in India, which is considered as its “bread basket” providing food security and employment to several hundred millions of people, is extremely vulnerable to climate risks2,3. Adaptation to the adverse effects of climate change is therefore vital for securing agricultural growth and poverty reduction for this region.
Adaptation is not a new phenomenon per se in agriculture as agricultural systems have always been responding to improved technologies, better market opportunities and changing weather patterns. However the nature and speed of adaptation vary considerably in different regions and among varied social groups. Understanding this process of local adaptation or innovation is extremely important for the successful design of policies, programmes and interventions that address climate risks. Read more »
By Krishna Krishnamurthy
Nepal is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate risks, and food security is especially sensitive to climate variability. For example, over the last decade, around 30,845 hectares of land owned by almost 5% of households became uncultivable due to climate-related hazards. In the Eastern Terai, too, the unusually low rains of 2005/2006 associated with the early monsoon resulted in crop losses of 30%; the cold wave of 1997/1998 also had negative impacts on agricultural productivity resulting in losses of up to 38% for chickpea and lentils, and 28% for potato. Read more »
Science Officer for CCAFS Indo-Gangetic Plains Dr. Gopal Datt Bhatta recently met with his Excellency the President of Nepal, Dr. Rambaran Yadav for an interesting conversation about CCAFS activities in Nepal. Here is a blog post about the meeting, written by Gopal Datt Bhatta.
In December of last year I got the opportunity to meet with the President of Nepal to tell him about CCAFS and our activities in the Indo-Gangetic Plains. Dr Rambaran Yadav really wanted to know more in detail of each intervention that are being implemented, especially in his own home country Nepal. I therefore mentioned different projects that are being undertaken and particularly emphasized climate smart village activities and what CCAFS aims to obtain with these models. Interestingly, His Excellency interconnected each and every activities of CCAFS climate smart village model with his childhood experiences. He gave lots of examples of what is happening in the nature and particularly in the terai and hill areas of Nepal. He observed: ‘’Some two or three decades before, the terai area used to have clear sky and luminous winter but now winter is very gloomy and there is no sign of sunshine throughout most of the winter season. This has resulted in several deaths in terai in recent years". Read more »
CCAFS Coordinating Unit - University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Science, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Rolighedsvej 21, DK-1958 Frederiksberg C, Denmark, phone +45 35331046; Email ccafs [at] cgiar [dot] org, EAN 5790000279012
Lead Center - International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)