Archive \ Volume.7 2018 Issue 2

Evaluating the Local Perceptions of Climate Change Vulnerability in Hindukush Himalayan region of Pakistan

Muhammad Suleman Bacha , Mohammad Nafees , Umar Hayat , Asim Nawab , Wajid Rashid , Muhammad , Muhammad Tariq Khan
Abstract

This study was conducted with an aim to find out the perceptions of the local people about the causes of vulnerability to the climate change and the possible adaptations to reduce the impacts on local people in Hindukush Himalaya mountainous region of Pakistan. Household survey method was used for the collection of data involving total of 1066 households using structured questionnaire in district Swat located in this region. Mostly elderly people were interviewed for the survey. Using random number generation technique, clusters from each zone were selected for sampling. The information was analyzed using SPSS (version 20). The association between the climate change knowledge and demographic variables were explored using Chi-square tests and Cramer’s V statistics. The results showed that the majority (88.5%) of the respondents were aware of the climate change in the area. Deforestation (37.2%), natural causes (29.7%) and combustion of fossil fuels (14.7%) were the main reported causes of the climate change. Natural hazards such as floods (16.8%), dry spells (16.2%), vector borne diseases (10.8%), and changes in biodiversity (10.5%), lower agricultural productivity 10.1%) and heat waves (9.9%) were among the major perceived impacts of climate change. A Significant relationship (p < 0.05) was found between the demographic variables and the climate knowledge in the study area. The low education and sometimes little awareness about the global climate change were the limitations in this study in addition to the strong religious beliefs. This results in little response to the global climate change vulnerability. The study recommends that reducing the vulnerability to the increasing menace of the climate change requires the participation at the community level (by education and awareness), the Government and other organizations.


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