By: Sagarika Bhatta Â (Program Associate, Power Shift Nepal)
Little background about urgency and climate change; to act protest, rally might be solutions to share urgency, on times itâ€™s becoming another way to expose and publicize self than issue unless there is critical mass who understands the urgency. The other way could be exploration, discussion, documentation and promotion of the knowledge that helps in adapting to climate change.
Being inclined towards climate change issues, I feel the importance to spread message to the larger mass as a change maker: a part of Global movement, with innovative idea of research and promotion of Knowledge that helps to combat climate change.
Where ever science talks about climate change, first thing that comes to my mind is a community, its indigenous Knowledge, and it’s documentation through research. Disseminating a message against climate change and sharing importance of adoption and plight of citizens, I went to document â€œCommunity based Adaptation on Water Crisis” at Bhaktapur, golmadi. This community has been witnessing water crisis since 7 years. Surprisingly, Bhaktapur isÂ so near to Kathmandu and city to surprise, no effort is made to address this issue as compared to Patan and Kathmandu. So, I decided to develop a small video to aware and highlight possibilities of rain water harvesting and other means of water storage and management (traditional and modern). Itâ€™s just one example, there are many communities witnessing such crisis. While trying to interlink water crisis, I also found that other factors such as watershed degradation, urbanization, and a growing population are the major factor for water crisis here; climate change thus accelerates it.
Nepal has become one of the first countries to consider scaling up community-based adaptation (CBA) to climate change and making it part of national development policy. Â Least Developed Countries (LDC’s), mentioned in UNFCCC, are not capable of dealing with adverse effect of Climate Change. Nepal is vulnerable to theÂ rising global temperature and has already been dealing with the impact of erratic rainfall, frequent droughts, and floods, affecting food security. In response, Nepal decided to experiment with a bottom-up approach using Local Adaptation Plans of Action (LAPA) in 10 districts across the country in 2010.
Climate Change and the resulting impacts are altering ecosystems in profound and irreversible ways. The impacts of climate change are more pronounced in agricultural systems. There is a need to further strengthen and enhance the knowledge based on the emerging challenge of climate change and adaptation on agricultural sector.Â It is obvious that the effect of climate change will directly affect the profession of more than two third populations involved in agriculture and will ultimately question the status of food security.
I urge and dream of contributing toÂ environmental protection and conservation. Further, I aim to explore, discuss, document, and promote the Indigenous Traditional Knowledge (ITK) as Community Based Adaptation techniques that has been practiced by different indigenous communities in Nepal against climate change. Since, Nepal is geographically diversified; cropping pattern and indigenous practices varies according to the climate.
“To feel and see the changes, we need to explore the places and learn the process of change.”
The journey started from Dolpa to Rukum and ended in Bardia as “Community knowledge Management” research. The objective was to promote indigenous traditional knowledge which is dissolved due to certain driving factors such as policies, subsidies that promote modern techniques, and less media promotion.
While traditional knowledge and crop varieties of indigenous people, local communities are important in adapting climate change and traditional races are genetically diverse and more resistant to climatic change than modern varieties. The finding of study may guide the educationist to design the curriculum to be imparted to rural population to cope up with the climate change along with policy makers and future researchers working in the field of climate change and agriculture.
Thus, this kind of research will help to highlight the awareness level and importance of ITK, impact of climate change, how it is affecting the agricultural practices and how people are adapting the change through the use of ITK. Realizing the importance of its documentation and promotion,blog, social media, mainstreaming media and a documentary are the strong way to reach large mass.
More research is hence needed to be conducted and policy should be implemented based on community based adaptation. Knowledge documentary and stories can be forms of creative activism and most integral part.