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Community Based Adaptive Natural Resource Development to Climate Change Adaptation in Rainfed Middle Himalaya

Photo: Prakash C. Tiwari


The Department of Geography of Kumaun University in India organized and implemented training workshops in the Himalayan town of Nainital, to support local government stakeholders, community based institutions, young researchers and local people in assessing, monitoring and adapting to droughts in the Himalaya.

The Department of Geography, Kumaun University, Nainital, Uttarakhnd, organized and implemented training workshops on assessment of and adaptation to droughts at Kumaun University Nainital. The main focus of the workshops has been to build the capacity of local level government line departments, community based institutions, young researchers and local people in the assessment and monitoring of and adaptation to droughts. The programme was sponsored by UK Royal Society and has been jointly designed and implemented in collaboration with New castle University, Newcastle, UK and Central Himalayan Action research Group [CHIRAG], Mukteshwer, Nainital. The organizers of the workshops have been successful in building the capacity of various stakeholders in assessing and monitoring droughts in the rain-fed terrain, and evolving community based mechanism and response through the development of adaptive natural resource development practices to climate change induced droughts. The workshops also instilled high level of confidence, enthusiasm and scientific skills among the young researchers in evolving climate change adaptation action plans at local level and help government agencies and community based institutions in the implantation of climate change and disaster risk reduction plans involving local communities.


  • India
Implementation sites:
  • Single country
  • Single location
Mountain region:
  • Himalaya
  • Lesser Himalaya
Site locations:
  • Ramgad Watershed, District Nainital


Solution scale:
  • Local
Ecosystem type(s):
  • High Alpine
Solution type(s):
  • Education and awareness
  • Research
  • Agriculture
  • Ecosystems Biodiversity
  • Forestry
  • Natural Hazards
  • Water
Climate impact(s) addressed:
  • Drought
  • Flood
  • Landslides
Impact time-scales:
  • Rapid Onset
  • Slow Onset
  • Climate risk reduction (e.g. reduced risk from floods)
  • Environmental benefits (e.g. biodiversity preservation, water security, food security)
  • Political benefits (e.g. reduced displacement/migration)
  • Social benefits (e.g. poverty reduction, inclusiveness and equity, health and well-being)
Implementation timeline:
  • 2015 - 2018
Sendai targets:

Solution details

Main beneficiaries & outcomes

Local Level Government Line Departments; Community Based Institutors; NGOs; Local People and Ph.D. students were the main direct beneficiaries


Planning and implementation

The programme was planned, organized and implemented by Kumaun University, Nainital in collaboration with Newcastle University, UK and Central Himalayan Rural Action Group [CHIRAG]. A wide range of stakeholders including community-based institutions, community members, particularly women and rural youths, local level government line departments and non-governmental organizations have been involved in the process leading to the solution design and implementation of the solution.


The project received funding from the UK Royal Society.




The programme was the first its kind organized for three key stakeholders together: Government official, Scientific Community and Community Representatives.
We also installed community based climatic equipment to improve the adaptive capacity of local institutions and people in climate data observation and monitoring.

Performance evaluation

There was no performance/impact evaluation formally conducted. However, the impact is visible particularly on local communities during socio-economic survey conducted by different researchers from time to time in the region. 

Long term project sustainability and maintenance

It is planned to hand over the ownership of the solutions created to concerned government agencies and community-based institutions. Besides, the necessary negotiations with State level government agencies have been started to incorporate the solutions into local level policy framework, particularly State Climate Change Action Plan.

Capacities for design and implementation


The entire solution was based on sharing and transferring of scientific and ground-based knowledge to different stakeholders.




Community Based Climate Information Observation and Monitoring.



Political / Legal

The programme was appreciated and supported by almost all local level government agencies and community institutions in the region.




This programme help in building the capacity of Kumaun University, its faculty and students in addressing climate change and adaptation issues with local communities and government agencies.




The programme helped in building and strengthening the capacity of rural grass-root institutions and local rural communities in climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.



Outlook & Scalability

Barriers and adverse effects

The lack of willingness from governmental stakeholders and system in understanding climate change impacts on nature, society and economy, and their non-seriousness to implement climate change action plans. There are no known adverse effects of the programme.

The identified barriers and constraints in the implementation of solutions will be removed through continuous negotiations and consultations with government agencies from local to state level and organizing interface meetings and consultations with community and other stakeholders.

Transformation and future outlook

The knowledge, awareness and educational contributed through the programmes will help local communities to strengthen their traditional response system to climate change, and motivate the government agencies to understand the importance of climate change knowledge and action plans.

Potential for upscaling and replication

It is expected that the solutions will have wide potential of extension in other parts of Hindu Kush Himalaya [HKH] as these will enhance transformation and remain viable under future climatic scenarios.



Contacts of key institutional partners involved with the solution planning and implementation

Newcastle University, UK; Government Post Graduate College, Rudrapur, Uttarakhand; and CHIRAG, Mukteshwer, Nainital, Uttarakhand



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