Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 13, Issue 8, pp 1503–1514 | Cite as

Empirical assessment of adaptation to climate change impacts of mountain households: development and application of an Adaptation Capability Index

  • Rajiv PandeyEmail author
  • Nandini Maithani
  • Roberta Aretano
  • Giovanni Zurlini
  • Kelli M. Archie
  • Ajay K. Gupta
  • Vishnu Prasad Pandey


The present study proposes an index to assess the potential for adaptation to climate change for households in the mountainous regions. The index provides a realistic approach to recognize social and natural factors which contribute to successful adaptation and addresses several household functions, such as social networking, livelihood strategy, adjustment strategies, resource availability and accessibility. The proposed Adaptation Capability Index (ACI) is analytically defined, mathematically formulated and field tested on mountainous households in urban and semi-urban regions of the Uttarakhand Himalaya in India. To gather data on the topic relevant to the ACI, a household scale questionnaire was developed and administered to 120 heads of households through face-to-face interviews. The results highlight higher adaptive capability of urban households and low adaptation capacity of rural households due to poor farm productivity, low accessibility and availability of resources and technological input. Future programs and policies must include and implement regulations to remedy attributive factors responsible for higher adaptation. This paper may be applicable to other mountainous regions and may provide insights for effective adaptation strategies to climate change.


Adaptation strategy Adjustment practice Climate change Vulnerability Resilience Social networking 


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rajiv Pandey
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nandini Maithani
    • 2
  • Roberta Aretano
    • 3
  • Giovanni Zurlini
    • 3
  • Kelli M. Archie
    • 4
  • Ajay K. Gupta
    • 2
  • Vishnu Prasad Pandey
    • 5
  1. 1.Biodiversity and Climate Change DivisionICFREDehradunIndia
  2. 2.Forest Research InstituteDehradunIndia
  3. 3.Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences and TechnologiesUniversity of SalentoLecceItaly
  4. 4.Climate Change Research InstituteVictoria University of WellingtonWellingtonNew Zealand
  5. 5.Asian Institute of Technology and Management (AITM)LalitpurNepal

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