Forest Dependent Indigenous Communities’ Perception and Adaptation to Climate Change through Local Knowledge in the Protected Area-A Bangladesh Case Study

Rahman, M.H. and Alam, K., 2014. Climate

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Abstract

Forest-dependent indigenous communities rely on natural resources for their livelihoods, but those are currently under threat due to many factors, including the adverse impact of climate change. The present study looks into climate change-related perception and adaptation strategies of three forest-dependent indigenous communities, namely, Khasia, Tripura and Garo in the Lawachara National Park of Northeastern Bangladesh. Household surveys, focus group discussions, key informant interviews, and observation methods were used to unveil the climatic events, impacts and related adaptations. The events include the change in temperature and rainfall patterns, landslide, soil erosion and flash flood, heavy cold and fog, and natural calamities. Moreover, livelihood problems emanating from these events are the drying up of streams and wells, irregular rainfall, increased dieback and mortality of seedlings, pests, diseases, and the attack of crops by wild animals. Likewise, the reduction of soil moisture content, growing season and crop productivity, landslides, damage of roads and culverts, and increased human diseases are common. This study recognized 29 adaptation strategies and divided them into six management categories, drawing on their local knowledge of the natural resources and other technologies. The study reveals that, although adaptation strategies through land use and land cover changes are not enough to sustain their livelihoods, the tactics help them to reduce the risk of, and increase food security and community resilience against, climate change.

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