Climate change impact and mitigation-adaptation strategies. Presented by Rakesh Kumar Maikhuri at the "Perth II: Global Change and the World's Mountains" conference in Perth, Scotland in September 2010.
Climate change impact and mitigation-adaptation strategies [Rakesh Kumar Maikhuri]
Climate Change Impact andMitigation/Adaptation Strategies in Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve(NDBR), Central Himalaya, India DR. R.K. MAIKHURI G B PANT INSTITUTE OF HIMALAYAN ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT, GARHWAL UNIT, SRINAGAR GARHWAL, UTTARAKHAND-246174 ,India
Biological, cultural and religious significance of NDBR The NDBR is covered in Himalayan highlands biogeographic province (2A) of India and represents a platform to promote biodiversity conservation in diverse ecosystems and vegetation types (temperate, sub alpine and alpine) The area harbours very rare and endangered floral and faunal elements. The reserve covers a large number of glaciers feeding the tributaries of the Holy river Ganges. Rich in ethnic diversity (Indo-mongoloid i.e.Tolcha, Marchha, Nitwal, Johari, Darmi and Indo-Aryan) and cultural heritage. The entire landscape of NDBR referred to as very sacred (land of Gods and Goddess)- Dev Bhumi.
Area under core zone and buffer zone in NDBR1. Core zone 624.62 sq.km. Part of NDNP 87.50 sq.km. Whole of VFNP Sub-total 712.10 sq.km (C2)2. Buffer zone 1612.12 sq.km. Old NDBR (total area) 1886.78 sq.km. VF and adjoining 1786.78 sq.km Kakbhushandi zone 1600.01 sq.km Malari-Laptal zone 149.66 sq.km. Sunderdhunga-Pindari zone Sub total 5148.57 sq.km. (BF) Total 5860.69 sq.km.
Number of buffer zone villages in NDBRDistrict Catchment Before After Total 2000 2000Chamoli Alaknanda - 9 9 Dhauli Ganga 10 15 15Pithoragarh Gori Ganga 4 6 25Bageshwar 3 - 3Total 17 30 47
Climate Change Impact (A) Agriculture in Buffer Zone andAdjoining Areas( I ) Negative impact: Diseases, insects/pests etc. Decline in area undercultivation of various traditional crops at three points of time. Hordeum himalayense 60 50 40 Area (ha) 30 20 10 0 1970-75 1980-85 1990-95
Greater sensitivity of Hordeum himalayens to increasing temperature causes reduction in cultivated area and productivity The effect of temperature on photosynthetic characteristic of two species of Hordeum(H. himalayense grown in high altitude between 2200-3000 masl) and H. vulgare grown at low altitude (300-1500 masl) were compared. H . himalayense is more sensitive to photosynthesis then the H. vulgare At 300c, photosynthesis in H. himalayense was about 25% less then that of H. vulgare (Joshi & Palni, 2005).
2-Amaranthus spp. vulnerable to climate change –disease called Hymenia rickervalis (between 1000 –1800 masl), high temperature and humidity during1 – 2 week of September which provide favorableconditions to insect whereas no occurrence ofdisease between 2200 – 2800 masl (revealed byfarmers) (Maikhuri et.al.2009,2010).
Homegardens are richer in SOC (+) compared to forests 0-10 cm 10-20 cm 20-50 cm 50-100 cm Mean 0-10 cm 10-20 cm 20-50 cm 50-100 cm Mean 0.35Soil organic carbon (%) Total Kjaldhal N (%) 2.8 0.3 2.4 0.25 2 0.2 1.6 1.2 0.15 0.8 0.1 0.4 0.05 0 0 RA HG PF OF RA HG PF OF 0-10 cm 10-20 cm 20-50 cm 50-100 cm Mean 0.0012 0.001 Available P (%) 0.0008 0.0006 0.0004 0.0002 0 RA HG PF OF
Cow pea and Vigna spp: Important summer mountain grain legumes facing a problem of fruit setting – due to shift in peak rainfall. Phaseolus spp.: soil borne insect (Coleoptera) damage the crop in early stage of seed germination – increase in moisture/humidity/milder winters (between 500 – 1500 masl) is favorable climatic conditions for the life cycle of the insects. Apple cultivation: Like Kullu valey in H.P., the yield of apple has declined in the villages due to change in snowfall, the chilling hours for apple trees are reduced, affecting the time of its bud-break.(II) Positive impact:1. Opportunities for cash crops like tomato, cabbage, chilly, peas, beans and horticultural crops like prunus, apricot etc.2. Medicinal and aromatic plants cultivation
B. Transhumance Pastoralism Decline of livestock population due to various reasons (i.e. conservation policies, socio-economic changes, decline in carrying capacity and water resources in the alpine pastures). 14000 S he e p 12000 G oa t No. of Livestock 10000 C a ttle 8000 Horse /m ule 6000 4000 2000 0 1970-75 1980-85 1990-95 2005-07 Time Period Changes in livestock population between the 1970-75 to 2005-07 period as reported by the people of Niti valley (10 villages).
Pastoralism also involves important relationshipwith low altitude (Tarai–Bhabar tract) forests. Currently, the lowland experience dry conditionsfrom Dec. – May (with the exception of winterstorms) and low rainfall adversely affect the growthand productivity of herbaceous vegetation. Climate change at high altitude would affect theproduction of forage quantity and quality, increasedisease and disease spreading pests, reduce wateravailability etc. and would make these communitiesto face difficult situations.
Sheep, goat grazing in alpine meadowsHorse, mule grazing in alpinemeadows
(C) Forest and Timberline Vegetation Pinus wallichiana and Cedrus deodara (keystone species) usedby buffer zone villages for timber, fuel wood, medicine etc. Decrease insnowfall and rainfall probably negatively affecting theregeneration of deodar. Pinus wallichiana is regenerating and spreading faster thanother species (noticed by us as well as by villagers). The stem and leaves of Betula utilis growing in association with Abies,Rhododendron, Taxus (3300 – 3600 masl) damaged severely bydefoliators (moth/insect) since last 10 -12 years and this probablydue to less snowfall and gradual increase in temperature. Advancement of phenophases (flowering, leafing & fruiting time).Rhododendron arboretum, Allium stracheyi, A. humile,Meconopsis aculeate and Saussurea obvallata & some prominentwild edibles i.e Rubus ellepticus, Rosa webbiana and R sericea.
a bNatural forest stand Betula utilis Single tree of Betula utilis c d Bark of Betula utilis Disease caused on the bark of Betula
D. Alpine Meadows The alpine landscape in Niti and Mana valleys is erodeddue to glacier melting, avalanches and landslides,which favour the spread/expansion of Polygonumspp. fast growing weeds. The other successful invaders found in thesehabitats includes species such as Lonicera andEphedra. The transformation of an alpine meadows has farreaching impacts on the livelihood of the traditionaltranshumant communities. The alpine meadows of NDBRcould also be impacted by rising temperature that wouldpromote the upward migration of woody plants from sub-alpine and temperate forests.
Rate of retreat of some important glaciers in the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserves (NDBR), IndiaS. No Name of the Glaciers Rate of retreat (m/yr) 1. Milam Glacier 16.7 2. Pindari Glacier 23.5 3. Poting Glacier 5.0 4. Shankalpa Glacier 23.0 5. Satopanth Glaceir (Bhagirathi glacier complex) 12.0 6. Dunagiari Glacier 5.1 7. Burphu 3.0 8. Bhrigupanth Glacier 11.0 9. Trisul Glacier 10.0 10. Betharti 8.0 11. East Kamet Glacier 5.0Source : Nainwal et. al. (2008), Mukhophadayay (2006).
E. Tourism Climate change could generate both some seriousproblems but also opportunities for the tourism sector. A wider appreciation of the impact of a leisure cultureincreasing numbers of people are remaining in buffer zone ofthe reserve for much longer duration (i.e. in Badrinath, Mana,Hemkund Saheb, Valley of Flowers, Niti, Tapovan etc.).Tourism in the reserve may provide better incomegeneration opportunities as other primary and secondaryproduction sectors (i.e. agriculture, livestock, NTFPscollections) decline. Culture of the traditional communities is itself open topressure which have uncertain outcomes.
Number of pilgrims expanded their stay as a tourists. Year Total number of Number of pilgrims Percentage shift pilgrims/tourists visited expanded their stay 2005 245476 12300 - 2006 274489 16800 36.5% 2007 390156 23670 40.8% 2008 485464 29230 23.4% 2009 555585 34900 19.3% Gandhi Sarover (completely dried) Vasuki Tal (water volume decreased)
F. Climate change impact on medicinal plants basedtraditional health care systems (THCS). Due to changes in phenophases (advance/delayed flowering/leafing/ fruiting) as well as decline in population/ abundance of manymedicinal plants has negative impacts on THCS as revealed by localhealers. The time/collection period of MAPs are strongly linked with spiritualvalues which enhance the efficacy of the drugs as per the local healers. Medicinal Plant Species1 Aconitum heterophyllum (A) 6 Picrorhiza kurrooa (A)2 Angelica glauca (A) 7 Podophyllum hexandrum (A)3 Arnebia benthami (D) 8 Saussurea costus (D)4 Dactylorhiza hatagirea (A) 9 Saussurea ovallata (A)5 Nardostachyas grandiflora (A) 10 Swertia chirata (D) Phenophases:- A- Advance, D- Delayed (Unpublished)
People’s perceptions on climate change in Nanda Devi BR Yes No Neutral AG1- Age group (20-50) AG2- Age group (50-80 and above) 100% 90% 80% % of Respondents 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% AG1 AG2 AG1 AG2 AG1 AG2 AG1 AG2 AG1 AG2 AG1 AG2 AG1 AG2 AG1 AG2 AG1 AG2 AG1 AG2 A B C D E F G H I J Indicators A. Has the climate changed? B. Increase in temperature, C. Decrease in snowfall, D. Decrease in rainfall /shift in rainfall, E. Shift in flowering/fruiting (phenophases), F. Low deposition/accumulation of snow, G. Incidence of crop and livestock diseases, H. Increased frequency and intensity of landslides/cloud burst, I. Reduced water availability in rangelands for livestock, J. Retreat of glaciers *Total no. of respondents 350 (200 respondents of 50-80 years or above and 150 respondents of 20-50 years) belonging to Niti, and Mana Valley (Maikhuri et.al.2009,2010)
Mitigation & Adaptation strategy A. Use of pack animals in reducing CO2 emissionIn six valleys the co2 savingshas been estimated as 1445 tonco2 and in terms of cost of fuelsaving to be US $ 522,800. Hence,pack animals can play animportant role in reducing theemission of greenhouse gasessuch as co2. Although construction of roads is atop priority for people from suchremote and far-flung regions,incentives should be there toencourage the use of pack animalsfor transportation. Source: ( Nehal & Maikhuri, 2008)
B. Conservation of wild biodiversity: strengthening of the protected area networkWe have a long history of plannedconservation(13.4% of its geographical area is underPAs network), our knowledge of people, biodiversity,vulnerability, and their linkages is very limited.Therefore, participatory research/ managementcould turn peoples callous/ negative attitudes topositive attitudes towards protected areas as well asimproving scientific knowledge related to potentialuses of biodiversity for coping and mitigation(Maikhuri et al. 2000).
C. Rehabilitation of degraded forests and abandoned landsthrough agro-forestry &restoration ecology approaches ( Maikhuri et.al.2001,2003) The co2 content in the atmosphere could be decreased by bringing back carbon into biomass and soil through rehabilitations of degraded lands Turmeric cultivation
People participation in land rehabilitation–carrying seedlings for plantation Close view of Amaranth stalkA view of Amaranth stalk used to protect saplings from snowfallplanted under rehabilitation programme in high altitude areas
D. Cultivation/conservation and collection of medicinal andaromatic plants. A total of 14 training programme were organized and 548participants were trained (Maikhuri et.al.2005, 2007) Medicinal plant cultivation and nursery Medicinal plant cultivation and nursery development at Tolma (2800 m asl) development at Suraithota (2300 m asl) Large scale cultivation of Large scale cultivation of Arnebia benthamii Picrorrhiza kurrooa
Value addition to the medicinal plants (Allium spp., Angelicaglauca, Pleurospermum spp) locally through semi-processingfacilities as a spice and condiments as eco-tourism products.
E. Transhumance and PastoralismactivitiesThe transhumance activitiesgradually changing into permanentsettlement in the low altitude areas. Pastoral activities has declinedand people particularly younggenerations migrating to plains forjob/employment.
F. Bioprospecting and Value addition of NTFPs Interest in wild bioresources has grownsignificantly with the increasing awareness inlinking forest conservation with rural development. More than twenty five (25) wild edible plantspecies/ NTFPs were screened for making a varietyof edible and other products (i.e. Jam, Jelly, Sauce,Squash, Pickles etc.) as a source of income(Maikhuri et.al.2007,2009,2010). Sustainable harvesting of some potential wildedibles has been worked out. A total of 405participants were trained.
G. Promotion of traditional crop cultivation and organic farming People inhabited between 2200-2800 masl in bufferzone villages, their agricultural practices beingtransformed into agro-pastoral and agro-horticultural activities. Pragmatic multidisciplinary research efforts areneeded to develop farming systems and selectappropriate crops in view of future climate changeso that adequate supplies of food and economicsecurity, conservation of traditional crop wealth,sustainability of production systems, andenvironmental conservation are assured.
H. Adoption of off-season vegetable cultivation under protected condition (Maikhuri et.al.2009,2010)
I. Medicinal plant based traditional health care systemsSome plants has been identified and used by the local healers as a substitute to cure variousailments in place of many well known MAPs used over generations. Medicinal plants Plants used as substitute+Other Disease treated ingredientsAconitum heterophyllum Cuminum cyminum+Kala namak StomachacheAngelica glauca Allium sativum+Hajma churan GastricArnebia benthami Lyonia ovalifolia+ mustard oil BaldnessDactylorhiza hatagirea Ageratum conyzoides+Ghee Cuts and WoundsNardostachyas Datura stramonium+ mustard oil RheumatismgrandifloraPicrorhiza kurrooa Raphanus sativus+Sugar JaundicePodophyllum Hippophae salicifolia+Sainda Cancerhexandrum namakSaussurea costus Lyonia ovalifolia+Cow urine ItchingSaussurea ovallata Rhododendron arboreum + Meesri Cardiac disorderSwertia chirata Berberis lycium +Honey Diabetes
J. Demonstration and Participatory Action Research CentreEstablished demonstration andparticipatory action research and trainingcentre at three different locations todevelop capacities of the variousstakeholders in the field of climate andeco-friendly technologies, conservationeducation and climate change impactrelated issues. Since last 8 years a totalof 3225 participants were trained. TAPOVAN MALETHA TRIYUGINARAYAN
K. Capacity building in the field of climate and eco- friendlytechnology i.e. vermi-composting /bio-composting and vermiwash
L. Eco-tourism an option for biodiversity conservation and socio-economic development.۩Promoting eco-tourism in the buffer zone villages as apotential option for income generation and environmentmanagementImproving income through marketing of eco-tourism productsIncome generation through home stayaccommodation M. Institutional cooperation, coordination, collaboration and capacity building to address climate change in various sectors۩ Research and Development institutions with significantinfrastructure and scientific/ technical capacity. So far not much focused on climate change research. Inadequate capacity and skill.
Assumed and projected scenarios for the state of natural resources and socio-economic conditions of NDBR for the period till 2029 is presented in detail in the assessment report sponsored by UNESCO-base line for global change in mountain regions(GLOCHAMORE) research strategy
FUTURE RESEARCH Monitor biodiversity and productivity of alpine meadows and shift of sub-alpine meadow-forest boundary as signal of climate change. Monitor spread of invasive species in BRs and adjoining areas and developearly detection mechanism (management strategies on the landscape level) Documentation of TEK as well as people knowledge ad experiences aboutthe pattern of climate change and its impact on forest, agriculture, livestockand humans through participatory approaches so as to provide possibleindicator of change. Effect of climate on seasonal variability and reliability and climate extremesaffecting agriculture production, forestry and water resources. Interface with policy issues, administration, local communities and researchand academic institutions regarding the broad aspects of adaptation options andlivelihood. Establish permanent sample plots in different forest types along an elevationalgradients for effective and comprehensive monitoring programme to track theresponse of both at community and species levels to changing climate. Capacity building of the researchers/scientists in the field of climate changeand modeling studies. Develop appropriate weather and meteorological stations on important andsensitive biomes and ecosystems type with regional projections of climateparameters for developing regional climate models.
Some peer reviewed International research publications support this presentationMaikhuri, R.K., R.L. Semwal, K.G. Rao and K.G. Saxena (1997). Rehabilitation of degraded communitylands for sustainable development in Himalaya: A case study in Garhwal Himalaya. InternationalJournal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology 4: 192-203.Maikhuri, R.K., R.L. Semwal, K.S. Rao, K. Singh and K.G. Saxena (2000). Growth and ecological impacts oftraditional agroforestry tree species in Central Himalaya, India. Agroforestry Systems 48: 257-272.Maikhuri, R.K., S. Nautiyal, K.S. Rao, K. Chandrasehar, K.G. Saxena and R. Gavali (2000). Analysis andresolution of protected area-people conflicts in Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, India. EnvironmentConservation 27: 43-53.Maikhuri, R.K., U. Rana, K.S. Rao, S. Nautiyal and K.G. Saxena (2001). Promoting eco-tourism in the bufferzone areas of Nanda Devi biosphere reserve: An option to resolve people-policy conflict. InternationalJournal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology 7: 333-343.Maikhuri, R.K., K.S. Rao and R.L. Semwal (2001). Changing scenario of Himalayan agroecosystems: lossof agrobiodiversity, an indicator of environ-mental change in Central Himalaya, India. TheEnvironmentalist 20: 23-39.Maikhuri, R.K., S. Nautiyal, K.S. Rao and K.G. Saxena (2001). Conservation policy-people conflicts: a casestudy from Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve (a world heritage site), India. Forest Policy and Economics 2:335-365.Nautiyal, S., R.K. Maikhuri, K.S. Rao and K.G. Saxena (2001). Medicinal plant resources in Nanda DeviBiosphere Reserve in the Central Himalaya, India. Herbs, Spices and Medicinal Plants 8(4): 47-64.Maikhuri, R.K., K.S. Rao and K.G. Saxena (2004). Bioprospecting of wild edible for rural development inCentral Himalayan mountains of India. Mountain Research and Development, 24(2): 110-113.Farooquee, Nehal, A., Tarun K. Budal, R.K. Maikhuri and S.P. Singh (2008). Contribution of pack animals inreducing CO2 emission in Central Himalaya, India. Current Science, 95(1): 59-63.
Acknowledgement G. B. Pant Institute of HimalayanEnvironment and Development & Imyself (Dr. R.K. Maikhuri, scientist) is very thankful to UNESCO forproviding full financial support for participation in this conference.