Asian Journal of Environment and Disaster Management (AJEDM)

Volume 6 Number 3 (2014)

Innovations of Indigenous Rural Household Strategies of Highland Communities to Adapt with Changing Climate in Sikkim Himalaya

Manoranjan Mishra
Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, Gangadhar Meher University,
Sambalpur, Odisha, India.


Climate change is expected to adversely affect the most of highland communities around the world. These marginalized isolated highland communities, largely dependent on climatesensitive sectors for livelihoods, food and basic necessities and prone to climatic stress and natural hazards. Weak institutional support, low level of socio-economic development, limited access to advance technologies and rugged topography increases their vulnerabilities to changing climate. Since climate change manifests at the local level therefore its appropriate coping responses should be developed accordingly. People’s perception of climate change and their indigenous coping strategies is indispensable for developing suitable adaptation and mitigation policies and strategies at the local level. North East region of India appears vulnerable to changes in environmental temperature and rainfall; and future climatic scenarios forecasted would have severe implications for society, economy and ecosystem in this region. Thus, the present study aims to understand the people’s perception of climate change and their indigenous coping strategies in Sikkim Himalaya with case studies of two villages of state. This study has analyzed determinants of indigenous climate adaptation measures using a binary logit model fitted to data from a cross-sectional survey of 147 households from two highland villages in Sikkim. The paper suggests that public policies and investment strategiesmust support education, markets, credit and information about crafting adaptation strategies to climate change, including technological and institutional methods, particularly for poor highland households in Sikkim Himalaya.

Keywords: Highland Communities, Climate Change, Indigenous Adaptation Strategies, Logistic Regression, Rural Household Perception.

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