In search of Dynamic Linkages between Agroforestry and Ecosystem based Adaptation: A Case Study of Mid Hills of Nepal
In search of Dynamic Linkages between Agroforestry and Ecosystem based Adaptation: A Case Study of Mid Hills of Nepalwca2014-1554 Racchya Shah 1,*Anu Adhikari 2,Rajendra Khanal 3 1Livelihood and Food Security, 2Climate Change Adaptation, 3Programme Coordinator, International Union for Conservation of Nature, Kathmandu, Nepal
The rural Nepal is in a complex transition period involving out-migration, urbanization, commercialization of the local economy and climate change vulnerability assessments show that hills are highly vulnerable. Therefore agriculture practices have is becoming less rewarding as a livelihood option. The multiplier effects of agroecosystem transformations due to climatic and socioeconomic changes are intensifying the associated challenges of lower rate of productivity and return. The study thus tries to assess whether agroforestry can be an Ecosystem based Adaptation (EbA) options to adapt to changing climate, socioeconomic and resource paradigm. Agroforestry is a system embedded in agroecosystems, provides multiple benefits and ecosystem services (provisioning, regulating, supporting and cultural). EbA is a comprehensive adaptation approach for managing ecosystems and its services to increase resilience. Local communities were consulted and the study sites were assessed. Both primary and secondary methods were used to collect information wherein, reconnaissance survey, key informant interviews, and group discussions were conducted for primary and reviews for secondary information. The study indicated that variety of agroecosystems typologies exists in landscapes: cultivated, abandoned land, grassland and agroforest. The changes have distinctly affected physio-morphic behavior of traditional crops, cropping patterns and farming practices. In order to adapt to changing contexts, agroforestry system has potential to inbuilt within its system a larger number of adaptation options At present context agroforestry is found to be an important system to address these impacts and vulnerabilities by providing ecological and economic benefits up to some extent but have higher potential to do so and could be a viable option to become efficient, resilient and sustainable through value addition (additionalities). The value addition option should be cost effective, accessible and different from business as usual, and then agroforestry practices have potential to be an EbA option. Rethinking agroforestry from the perspective of resilience thus is important.