Examining the Influence of Climate Change Impacts on Agrobiodiversity, Land Use Change and Communities: An Empirical Experience from Wayanad-Kerala, India
This article highlights a segment of transdisciplinary research approach adopted by the BioDIVA project. Central to this approach is the assessment of land use change and the factors that drive this change. Climate is one such factor. The bi-modal relationship between land use change and climate variability/change has wide range of influences.
The empirical evidence for the above stated argumentis drawn from agro-ecosystem in Wayanad (Kerala, India). The key foci are: (a) Quantitative assessment of climatic variability as a prominent driver of agro-ecosystem dynamics. (b) Qualitative exploration of adaptation options at local level using participatory appraisal tools. In order to quantitatively assess climatic variability for Wayanad district, trend analysis with confidence intervals and significance tests was performed employing salient climatic variables viz., rainfall and temperature. The selected variables are subjected to a correlation test to evaluate their possible influence on rice production or/and productivity. The analysis indicates variability in rainfall as more influential than temperature unevenness. During the specified temporal span, monsoon rainfall decreased, while maximum and minimum daily temperature increased. To explore local level perceptions of stakeholders on climate change, its threats and impacts, a participatory tool box is adopted from Regmi (2010). Stakeholders perceive drought as the major climatic challenge to existing farming practices. The observations helped appraise the adaptive capacity and social vulnerability of the local communities. The main highlight of the study is a coupled attempt to integrate data driven outputs, local knowledge and stakeholder perceptions to arrive at a transdisciplinary understanding towards adaptation planning.