Advertisement

Environment, Development and Sustainability

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 1167–1176 | Cite as

Farmers perception and awareness of climate change: a case study from Kanchandzonga Biosphere Reserve, India

  • Gopal Shukla
  • Ashok Kumar
  • Nazir A. Pala
  • Sumit Chakravarty
Article

Abstract

This study was an attempt to document the indigenous Lepcha people’s perception on climate change-related issues in five villages of Dzongu Valley located in Kanchandzonga Biosphere Reserve, India. Personal structured questionnaire was used for interview of 300 households selected randomly. Results showed that 85 % of the households have perceived climate change, mainly in the form of increasing temperature and unpredictable pattern of rainfall. In terms of climate change-related events, 75 % of the households believed that wind is becoming warmer and stronger over the past years. Majority of the households have observed changes in crop phenology, while about 90 % agreed that the incidences of insect pest and diseases have increased over the years, especially in their large cardamom crop. A comparison of community perceptions, climatic observations and scientific literature shows that the community have correctly perceived temperature change, unpredictable occurrence of rainfall and increased incidence of insect pest and diseases, which have largely influenced the experiences and perceptions regarding climate-related events. Results reveal that households have adopted the use of locally available material as mulches against soil erosion, to conserve the soil moisture and manage soil temperature. Majority of the households have diversified their cropping system through traditional agroforestry systems and intercropping. Unfortunately, most of the households were unaware about the scientific sustainable approaches to combating impact of climate change. This documentation will aid in assessing the needs in terms of actions and information for facilitating climate change-related adaptation locally in Sikkim state of India.

Keywords

Sikkim Himalayas Climate change Indigenous knowledge Farmers perception Lepcha community 

References

  1. Arora, V. (2006). The forest of symbols embodied in the Tholung sacred landscape of North Sikkim, India. Conservation and Society, 4, 55–83.Google Scholar
  2. Arrawatia, M. L., & Tambe, S. (2012). Preface. Climate change in Sikkim: Patterns, impacts and initiatives. Gangtok, Sikkim: Information and Public Relations Department, Government of Sikkim.Google Scholar
  3. Avasthe, R. K., Singh, K. K., & Tomar, J. M. S. (2011). Large cardamom Amomum subulatum (Roxb.) based agroforestry systems for production, resource conservation and livelihood security in the Sikkim Himalayas. Indian Journal of Soil Conservation, 39, 155–160.Google Scholar
  4. Bärring, L., & Persson, G. (2006). Influence of climate change on natural hazards in Europe, In P. Schmidt-Thomé (Ed.), Natural and technological hazards and risks affecting the spatial development of European regions (Special Paper, vol. 42, pp. 93–107), Geological Survey of Finland.Google Scholar
  5. Bhatt, J. C. (2010). Impact of climate change on hill farming. In Book of abstracts. International workshop on mountain biodiversity and impacts of climate change with special reference to Himalayan Biodiversity hotspot (pp. 5–8), Kosi-Katarmal, Almora, 6–8 December 2010.Google Scholar
  6. Brody, S. D., Zahran, S., Vedlitz, A., & Grover, H. (2008). Examining the relationship between physical vulnerability and public perceptions of global climate change in the United States. Environment and Behavior, 40, 72–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Byg, A., & Salick, J. (2009). Local perspectives on a global phenomenon-climate change in Eastern Tibetan villages. Global Environment Change, 19, 156–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Campbell, D. J. (1999). Response to drought among farmers and herders in southern Kajiado District, Kenya: A comparison of 1972–1976 and 1994–1995. Human Ecology, 27, 377–416.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chakravarty, S., Puri, A., & Shukla, G. (2015). Climate change vis-à-vis agriculture: Indian and global view—Implications, abatement, adaptation and tradeoff. In R. S. Sengar & K. Sengar (Eds.), Climate change effect on crop productivity (pp. 1–88). Boca Raton: CRC Press.Google Scholar
  10. Chaudhary, P., & Bawa, K. S. (2011). Local perceptions of climate change validated by scientific evidence in the Himalayas. Biology Letters, 7, 641–643.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chaudhary, P., Rai, S., Wangdi, S., Mao, A., Rehman, N., Chettri, S., & Bawa, K. S. (2011). Consistency of local perceptions of climate change in the Kangchenjunga Himalaya landscape. Current Science, 101, 504–513.Google Scholar
  12. Chettri, N., Shakya, B., Lepcha, R., Chettri, R., Rai, K. R., & Sharma, E. (2012). Understanding the linkages: Climate change and biodiversity in the Kanchenjunga landscape. In M. L. Arrawatia & S. Tambe (Eds.), Climate change in Sikkim (pp. 161–178). Gangtok: Government of Sikkim.Google Scholar
  13. Choudhary, J. S., Shukla, G., Prabhakar, C. S., Maurya, S., Das, B., & Kumar, S. (2012). Assessment of local perceptions on climate change and coping strategies in Chotanagpur plateau of Eastern India. Journal of Progressive Agriculture, 3, 8–15.Google Scholar
  14. Danielsen, F., Burgess, N. D., & Balmford, A. (2005). Monitoring matters: Examining the potential of locally-based approaches. Biodiversity Conservation, 14, 2507–2542.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Das, A. K. (1978). The Lepchas of West Bengal. Kolkata, India: Indian Editions.Google Scholar
  16. Dessai, S., & Hulme, M. (2004). Does climate adaptation policy need probabilities? Climate Policy, 4, 107–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dhaka, B. L., Chayal, K., & Poonia, M. K. (2010). Analysis of Farmers’ perception and adaptation strategies to climate change. Libyan Agriculture Research Center Journal International, 1, 388–390.Google Scholar
  18. Gautam, A., & Shivakoti, G. P. (2001). Evolution and impacts of community based forest management in the Hills of Nepal. Thailand: Asian Institute of Technology.Google Scholar
  19. Goswami, B. N., Venugopal, V., Sengupta, D., Madhusoodanan, M. S., & Xavier, P. K. (2006). Increasing trend of extreme rain events over India in a warming environment. Science, 314, 1442–1445.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hallegatte, S. (2009). Strategies to adapt to an uncertain climate change. Global Environment Change, 19, 240–247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hartter, J., Stampone, M. D., Ryan, S. J., Kirner, K., Chapman, C. A., & Goldman, A. (2012). Patterns and perceptions of climate change in a biodiversity conservation hotspot. PLoS One, 7(2), e32408.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hofmann, M. E., Hinkel, J., & Wrobel, M. (2011). Classifying knowledge on climate change impacts, adaptation and vulnerability in Europe for informing adaptation research and decision-making: A conceptual meta analysis. Global Environment Change, 21, 1106–1116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. IPCC. (2007). Climate change 2007: The physical science basis, summary for policy makers. Contribution of working group I to the third assessment report of the IPCC, Geneva, Switzerland, 2007: IPCC secretariat.Google Scholar
  24. Joshi, A. K., & Joshi, P. K. (2011). A rapid inventory of indicators of climate change in the middle Himalaya. Current Science, 100, 831–832.Google Scholar
  25. Kumar, A., Avasthe, R. K., Lepcha, B., Mohanty, A. K., & Shukla, G. (2012a). Impact of frontline demonstrations on yield enhancement of ginger (var. Majauley) in Tribal Reserve Biosphere of Sikkim Himalaya. Journal of Agricultural Science, 3, 121–123.Google Scholar
  26. Kumar, A., Avasthe, R. K., Shukla, G., & Pradhan, Y. (2012b). Ethno botanical edible plant biodiversity of Lepcha tribes. Indian Forester, 138, 798–803.Google Scholar
  27. Kumar, A., Shukla, G., Pala, N. A., & Chakravarty, S. (2015). Knowledge intensity and problem in ginger and large cardamom production technology of Lepcha tribes in Dzongu region of Sikkim. In P. S. Munsi, S. K. Ghosh, N. Bhowmick, & P. Deb (Eds.), Innovative horticulture: Concepts for sustainable development, recent trend (pp. 37–41). New Delhi, India: New Delhi Publishers.Google Scholar
  28. Laidler, G. J. (2006). Inuit and scientific perspectives on the relationship between sea ice and climate change: The ideal complement? Climate Change, 78, 407–444.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Manandhar, S., Pandey, V. P., & Kazama, F. (2013). Climate change and adaptation: An integrated framework linking social and physical aspects in poorly-gauged regions. Climatic Change, 120, 727–739.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Manandhar, S., Pratoomchai, W., Ono, K., & Kazama, S. (2015). Daisuke Komori Local people’s perceptions of climate change and related hazards in mountainous areas of northern Thailand. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 11, 47–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Manandhar, S., Vogt, D. S., Perret, S. R., & Kazama, F. (2011). Adapting cropping systems to climate change in Nepal: Across-regional study of farmer’s perception and practices. Regional Environment Change, 11, 335–348.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Meena, S. R., & Sisodia, S. S. (2004). Constraints in adoption of improved groundnut cultivation practices faced by the farmers in Udaipur district of Rajasthan. Rajasthan Journal of Extension Education, 12–13, 91–94.Google Scholar
  33. Mukhopadhyay, B., Mukhopadhyay, S., & Majumder, P. P. (1996). Blood pressure profile of Lepchas of the Sikkim Himalayas: Epidemiological study. Human Biology, 68, 131–145.Google Scholar
  34. Partap, B., & Partap, T. (2009). Climate change impact on hill agriculture and farmers adaptive strategies: A case study of Kullu Valley in Himachal Pradesh (online), October 26, 2011. http://www.indiawaterportal.org/sites/indiawaterportal.org/files/.
  35. Partap, U., Sharma, G., Gurung, M. B., Chettri, N. & Sharma, E. (2014). Large cardamom farming in changing climatic and socioeconomic conditions in the Sikkim Himalayas (p. 40). ICIMOD Working Paper 2014/2, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, Kathmandu, Nepal.Google Scholar
  36. Rahman, H., Karuppaiyan, R., Senapati, P. C., Ngachan, S. V., & Kumar, A. (2012). An analysis of past three decade weather phenomenon at the mid-hills of Sikkim and strategies for mitigating possible impact of climate change. Climate Change in Sikkim: Patterns, impacts and initiatives. Gangtok: Information and Public Relations Department, Government of Sikkim.Google Scholar
  37. Rana, J. C. (2010). Climate change impacting floral diversity and cropping patterns: A study in the Western Himalayan region. In Book of Abstracts, International workshop on mountain biodiversity and impacts of climate change with special reference to Himalayan biodiversity hotspot (pp. 90–95), Kosi-Katarmal, Almora, 6–8 December 2010.Google Scholar
  38. Salick, J., & Byg, A. (2007). Indigenous peoples and climate change. Oxford: Tyndall Center for Climate Change Research.Google Scholar
  39. Sharma, G. (2012). Climate change and sustainability of traditional farming systems in Sikkim Himalaya, India. In: K. G. Saxena, L. Ling, K. Tanaka & S. Takahashi (Eds.), Land management in marginal mountain regions: Adaptation and vulnerability to global change (p. 349), United Nations University and Bishen Singh and Mahendra Pal Singh, Dehra Dun, India.Google Scholar
  40. Sharma, G. (2013). Opportunities and challenges of large cardamom farming, beekeeping, and pollination system in Sikkim. Report submitted to ICIMOD (unpublished).Google Scholar
  41. Sharma, E., Chettri, N., Tsering, K., Shrestha, A. B., Jing, F., Mool, P., & Eriksson, M. (2009). Climate change impacts and vulnerability in the eastern Himalayas. Kathmandu: ICIMOD.Google Scholar
  42. Sharma, H., & Partap, U. (2011). Climate change adaptation and honeybees in mountain regions’. ENVIS Bulletin(Arthropods and their Conservation in India (Insects & Spiders), 14, 50–54.Google Scholar
  43. Sharma, G., & Rai, L. K. (2012). Climate change and sustainability of agrodiversity in traditional farming of the Sikkim Himalaya. In M. L. Arawatia & S. Tambe (Eds.), Climate change in Sikkim: Patterns, impacts, initiatives (pp. 193–218). Government of Sikkim, Gangtok, Sikkim: Information and Public Relations Department.Google Scholar
  44. Sharma, H. R., & Sharma, E. (1997). Mountain agricultural transformation processes and sustainability in the Sikkim Himalayas, India. Mountain Farming Systems Discussion Paper No 97/2. ICIMOD, Kathmandu.Google Scholar
  45. Sharma, E., Sharma, R., Singh, K. K., & Sharma, G. (2000). A boon for mountain populations: Large cardamom farming in the Sikkim Himalaya. Mountain Research and Development, 20, 108–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Shukla, P. R., Sharma, S. K., & Ramana, P. V. (2002). Climate change and India—Issues, concerns and opportunities (p. 317). New Delhi: Tata McGraw-Hill Publishing Company Limited.Google Scholar
  47. Sudmeier-Rieux, K., Jaquet, S., Derron, M., & Joboyedoff, M. (2012). A case study of coping strategies and landslides in two villages of Central-Eastern Nepal. Applied Geography, 32, 680–690.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Sugiura, T., & Yokozawa, M. (2004). Impact of global warming on environments for apple and Satsuma mandarin production estimated from changes of the annual mean temperature. Journal of Japanese Society of Horticultural Science, 73, 72–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Vedwan, N., & Rhoades, R. E. (2001). Climate change in the Western Himalayas of India: A study of local perception and response. Climate Research, 19, 109–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Warde, P. N., Bhople, R. S., & Choudhury, D. P. (1991). Adoption of dry land horticulture technology. Maharashtra Journal of Extension Education, 10, 108.Google Scholar
  51. Xu, J., Grumbine, R. E., Shrestha, A., Eriksson, M., Yang, X., Wang, Y., & Wilkes, A. (2009). The melting Himalayas: Cascading effects of climate change on water, biodiversity, and livelihoods. Conservation Biology, 23, 520–530.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gopal Shukla
    • 1
  • Ashok Kumar
    • 1
    • 2
  • Nazir A. Pala
    • 1
  • Sumit Chakravarty
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ForestryUttar Banga Krishi ViswavidyalayaPundibari, Cooch BeharIndia
  2. 2.Central Institute of Sub-Tropical HorticultureLucknowIndia

Personalised recommendations