• ICIMOD publication


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Evolving High Altitude Livelihoods and Climate Change: A Study from Rasuwa District, Nepal

  • Merrey, D. J.
  • Hussain, A.
  • Tamang, D. D.
  • Thapa, B.
  • Prakash, A.
  • Summary
This study examined local people’s perception of climate change and its impacts on their livelihoods, and identified key opportunities and threats arising in four Village Development Committees in the high mountains of Rasuwa District, Nepal. The local people are still heavily dependent on agriculture and livestock for their food security and livelihoods, despite the involvement of a significant proportion of households in non-agricultural income-generating activities, such as tourist services and labour work in other areas (outmigration). In agriculture, farmers mainly cultivate traditional food crops such as millets, buckwheat, local beans, and barley. They also cultivate rice, potato, and vegetables. Agriculture is mainly rainfed with a few exceptions of micro-irrigation systems fed by springs and snow-melt water. The impacts of climate change are mixed to date: changes in patterns of snowfall and snowmelt, rainfall, and temperatures are having both positive and negative impacts. Households are adapting to this changing climate through changes in their cropping patterns, integration of livestock with agriculture, and adoption of non-farm income activities. There are also new opportunities coming up at the study sites such as new markets for vegetables, traditional crops, and livestock.