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Regional Sustainability

Abstract

Climate change is expected to threaten the developing countries the most. Nepal is considered one of the five countries most vulnerable to climate change in the world. The mountainous area such as Rasuwa District in Nepal is more vulnerable due to complex topography, human activity (tourism), and climate change. In this context, we carried out this study to assess the climate change and its impact on agriculture production as well as people’s perceptions on the impact of climate change. The long-term (1980–2014) observed climate data (temperature and precipitation) and field-based survey data on people’s perceptions were analyzed. Mann-Kendall trend test and Sen’s slope estimation were used to analyze the temperature and precipitation trends. Furthermore, key informant interviews (KIIs) and focal group discussions (FGDs) were conducted to understand people’s perceptions of the impact of climate change on agricultural production. Further, ERA5 and Asian Precipitation-Highly Resolved Observational Data Integration Towards Evaluation of Water Resources (APHRODITE) datasets were used to compare the in situ climate data. The maximum temperature and total precipitation in summer monsoon (June–September) were found increasing significantly at rates of 0.07°C/a and 19.89 mm/a, respectively. But the minimum winter temperature and winter precipitation were found decrease by 0.05°C/a and 4.89 mm/a, respectively. Moreover, a large number of respondents reported a decrease in millet and wheat productions while an increase in potato production over the considered time duration (1990–2014). It is noteworthy that the respondents from the mid-elevation regions perceived an increasing trend in crop production compared to those from the low elevation regions. In recent years, people living in the high elevation regions of Rasuwa District have started to shift their cropping calendar to increase agricultural production. This study will provide useful information for policy-makers in formulating adaptation strategies in mountainous areas of Nepal.

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