Keywords: adaptation, climate change, forests, participatory management, rural livelihoods, stakeholder analysis, tree genetics, India, diversification, occupation structures, species selection
Climate change adaptation in India: a case study of forest systems in Himachal Pradesh
Climate-induced changes in the forest sector could have far reaching consequences for rural communities and the economy in developing countries. Despite the many uncertainties involved in predicting impacts, it makes social and economic sense to identify adaptation options now. The case study of Himachal Pradesh shows that, for adaptation measures to be realistic, the needs of different stakeholders with an interest in forest products and services must be addressed. It is recommended that existing programmes to resolve conflicts between different stakeholders be strengthened. Diversification of occupation structures has also been identified as an important strategy to reduce the vulnerability of forest-dependent communities. Additional investment may be required in new areas of research, such as tree genetics programmes, in order to facilitate the selection of species that are resistant to climate change.