• Non-ICIMOD Publication

Integrated Conservation and Development Program (ICDP) could be a coping strategy to impacts of climate change in mountain regions

  • Gurung, G. B.

Ten kilometers north from Narayanghat in Chitwan district of Nepal, on Narayanghat - Mugling highway, there is a stream called Jugedi Khola. Jugedi Khola originates from lower Mahabharata with a watershed area of 12.2 sq km. Geologically Lower Mahabharata region is fragile and the hill slopes are steep whereas the valley bottoms are good for agriculture. The Jugedi watershed provides home to 190 households of 12 different ethnic communities spreading over 10 settlements. The main living of the people is subsistence agriculture. Because of the sub-tropical climate, local people can grow crops throughout the year. However agriculture is nature based - the climate and the weather determine the success and failure of the crops. The major crops grown are rice, maize, finger millet, beans and pulses in summer, and wheat and mustard in winter. The villagers also grow seasonal vegetables. Goat, cattle and buffaloes are the major livestock of the area. The average landholding is 0.43 ha by a family of 6. Practical Action Nepal has implemented a project on "Increasing the Resilience of Poor Communities to Cope with Impacts of Climate Change" in the Jugedi watershed. Impacts of climate change are being perceived by the communities. One of the perceptions is the unpredictability of rains including monsoon. In the past, people could predict the rain, based on which they prepared the fields, nurseries and transplanted crops. But in recent years the rain does not match with their predictions. The main rice transplanting month, July, is not getting sufficient rain. The rain occurs late when the seedlings are too old. Late transplanting of old seedlings reduces the yield and affects the following winter crops. As the communities relied on seasonal rain for rice transplanting, they were not prepared for planting alternative crops like finger millet. So some farmers leave the lands fallow for continuous years.

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