Regional Environmental Change

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 335–348 | Cite as

Adapting cropping systems to climate change in Nepal: a cross-regional study of farmers’ perception and practices

  • Sujata ManandharEmail author
  • Dietrich Schmidt Vogt
  • Sylvain R. Perret
  • Futaba Kazama
Original Article


Climate change is a global challenge that has a particularly strong effect on developing countries such as Nepal, where adaptive capacity is low and where agriculture, which is highly dependent on climatic factors, is the main source of income for the majority of people. The nature and extent of the effects of climate change on rural livelihoods varies across Nepal in accordance with its highly diverse environmental conditions. In order to capture some of this variability, a comparative study was performed in two different ecological regions: Terai (lowland) and Mountain (upland) in the western development region of Nepal. The study focuses on perceptions of, and on adaptations to climate change by farmers. Information was collected from both primary and secondary data sources. Climate data were analyzed through trend analysis. Results show that most farmers perceive climate change acutely and respond to it, based on their own indigenous knowledge and experiences, through both agricultural and non-agricultural adaptations at an individual level. The study also shows that there is a need to go beyond the individual level, and to plan and provide support for appropriate technologies and strategies in order to cope with the expected increasing impacts of climate change.


Climate change Ecological regions Indigenous knowledge Adaptation Nepal 



This research is supported by Norwegian government, Local Initiatives for Biodiversity Research and Development, Pokhara; Nepal Wheat Research Program, Bhairahawa; and District Agriculture Development Office, Mustang, Nepal. We would like to acknowledge Dr. S. L. Ranamukhaarachchi for his contribution in this study. Furthermore, we thank GCOE Program of University of Yamanashi and all others who have directly and indirectly helped us to successfully complete this research.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sujata Manandhar
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dietrich Schmidt Vogt
    • 2
  • Sylvain R. Perret
    • 3
  • Futaba Kazama
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Eco-Social System EngineeringUniversity of YamanashiYamanashi, KofuJapan
  2. 2.Centre for Mountain Ecosystem Studies, Kunming Institute of BotanyChinese Academy of SciencesHeilongtan, KunmingChina
  3. 3.UMR G-Eau, Cirad, Asian Institute of TechnologyKlong Luang PathumthaniThailand
  4. 4.International Research Center for River Basin EnvironmentUniversity of YamanashiYamanashi, KofuJapan

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