Climatic and environmental change in the Karakoram: making sense of community perceptions and adaptation strategies

Gioli, G, Khan, T and Scheffran, J (2014) 'Climatic and environmental change in the Karakoram: making sense of community perceptions and adaptation strategies.' Regional Environmental Change, 14 (3). pp. 1151-1162. ISSN 1436-3798

Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10113-013-0550-3

Abstract

In this paper, we investigate how mountain communities perceive and adapt to climatic and environmental change. Primary data were collected at community and household level through in-depth interviews, focus group discussions, and quantitative questionnaires covering 210 households in six villages of the West Karakoram (Hundur and Darkut in the Yasin Valley; Hussainabad, Altit, Gulmit, and Shiskat in the Hunza valley of Gilgit-Baltistan). The relevance of the area with respect to our scopes is manifold. First, this is one of the most extreme and remote mountainous areas of the world, characterized by complex and fragile institutional and social fabrics. Second, this region is one of the focal points of research for the hydro-meteo-climatological scientific community, because of its relevance in terms of storage and variability of water resources for the whole Indus basin, and for the presence of conflicting signals of climate change with respect to the neighboring regions. Third, the extreme hardships due to a changing environment, as well as to the volatility of the social and economic conditions are putting great stress on the local population. As isolating climate change as a single driver is often not possible, community perceptions of change are analyzed in the livelihood context and confronted with multi-drivers scenarios affecting the lives of mountain people. We compare the collected perceptions with the available hydro-climatological data, trying to answer some key questions such as: how are communities perceiving, coping with, and adapting to climatic and environmental change? Which are the most resorted adaptation strategies? How is their perception of change influencing the decision to undertake certain adaptive measures?

Item Type: Article
Keywords: climate change, perception, Indus, Karakoram, adaptation
Divisions: School of Sciences
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10113-013-0550-3
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2020 16:03
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2020 16:03
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