Climate change adaptation in traditional livelihoods: A study of facilitation in Norway and Nepal
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The climate changes are now leading to a common understanding of the importance of adaptation to prevent disastrous outcomes on nature and people. In Norway and Nepal people engaged in reindeer herding and agriculture, which are highly affected by the changes, are in need of good adaptation actions to sustain their traditional livelihood. Traditional knowledge in combination with the established scientific knowledge are said to enhance the success of adaptation. Moreover, ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) is getting increased attention as a sustainable way to adapt. Based on this, I have developed one main research question with two associated sub questions, these are: How do public authorities in Norway and Nepal facilitate local climate change adaptation in communities with traditional livelihoods? How is traditional knowledge and ecosystem-based adaptation included in the climate change adaptation policies at national level? How are these national policies implemented at local level? By having a comparative design and comparing the Norwegian and the Nepalese case, the similarities and differences stand out and the phenomenon can be clearer. To answer these questions, interviews with relevant informants and a document analysis of the national climate change policy documents were conducted. The findings show that there are several differences between the countries. Traditional knowledge and EbA are mentioned in both documents, however, to a higher degree in the document from Nepal. Nepal´s policies include options for adaptation at local levels, whereas the Norwegian document lacks these guidelines. This is also reflected in the implementation of climate change adaptation at local levels, where there is seemingly more focus on traditional knowledge and of using the nature to adapt in Nepal than in Norway. In the thesis I am discussing how knowledge, inclusion and conflicts have affected the facilitation of climate change adaptation within the traditional livelihoods. The study concludes that both countries have room for improvement regarding their national climate change adaptation policies and implementation at local level. This is something that should attain more focus in order to prevent the livelihoods of reaching a tipping point, and the loss of all the valuable traditional knowledge becomes a fact.
Master Thesis in Climate Change Management Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Engineering and Science 2021