Photo: Shree Bhagwan Thakur, PEI Consultant.
The recent international conference, the CBA8, held in Nepal provided opportunity to representatives of over 60 countries to interact among themselves and learn from each other about how the local communities have been preparing to adapt to the anticipated impacts of climate change and in some cases how have they been already adapting to the environmental stresses likely to have been caused by the change in the climate. The participants had the opportunity to observe local initiatives ranging from protection of forests to new plantations and from managing water (and river) to maintaining agricultural biodiversity in different parts of Nepal. Since Nepal has huge diversity in its landscape and climate, the type of activities being innovated by local communities are also equally diverse and was probably not possible to observe in a short visit. Hence, I provide an example here.
This is a case from a village from Panchthar in eastern Nepal, which has been experiencing drought for some years now. Many mountains springs have dried and access to water sources have become very difficult. Farming is possible only during the monsoon months. Thus, many villagers have abandoned the houses and have moved to new areas in the low land for settlements. However, some in the village have ventured to adapt to increasing water stress and continued to develop ways of making productive use of parched land. Seen in the picture is the tree plantation of Teak.
The striking thing is that each plant has its own container (costing at least Rupees 100 or $1.0, I guess) to water it. The farmer fills the container when it is empty with water carried in a tractor from the Tamor River in the valley. What a way to reduce evaporation loss and continue to maintain the much needed green water in the soil to this valuable plant!