Climate Change is a global concern. The Himalayan mountain region with its fragile ecology and a population dependent on natural resources is more vulnerable. The poor smallholder mountain farmer is struggling to adapt to the uncertain weather which has upset traditional agricultural calculations.
Adaption and mitigation efforts have been taken up by INHERE to assist the rural communities to deal with climate change.
Adaptation efforts with smallholder farmers focus on promoting community based innovations which enable adaptation to changing weather conditions. Collaborations with agriculture scientists and research organisations are being attempted for field level joint experiments on crops which identified as being risk resilient.
Mitigation efforts are also needed in addition to adaptation efforts. The global awareness on need for mitigation and promotion through carbon markets offer many opportunities. However, at present, the
carbon market is populated by the corporate sector and governments. The poor engaged in low carbon sustainable development efforts remain marginalised in this market. The carbon market, however, has the potential to be utilised for efforts of rural poor to offset carbon emissions. This can be done through utilisation of validated appropriate technologies and their regular monitoring for actual carbon emission reduction. The efforts to access the carbon market can take the certified emission reduction or the voluntary emission reduction route.
A group of 5 NGOs in the central Himalayan region of India have come together in a coalition to work on climate change mitigation with direct benefit to poor communities of the mountain region. The Himalayan Coalition is committed to work for climate mitigation through community based projects which can access the carbon market. Presently the Himalayan Coalition is coordinated by INHERE.
Developing Climate Mitigation Projects which can generate Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) for sale requires preparation and capacity building of participating NGOs and communities. It requires raising the level of awareness of poor rural communities, baseline Demographic, Land and current Technology Use Surveys, awareness creation and testing of appropriate technologies, hardware monitoring solutions, selection of appropriate technologies and their monitoring systems. Consultancy is required for scientific and mathematical calculations needed to determine the emission reductions. It also requires engagement with Department of Environment and UNFCC. INHERE along with its associates in engaged in these processes.
Awareness training and exposure on climate change, climate mitigation opportunities and requirements for accessing the carbon market for the poor have been conducted/organised since 2011. Nine NGOs of the central Himalayan region participated. They were also exposed to work of other NGOs at various stages in this regard.
Initially the following Technologies have been identified for development as CDM projects
- Improved Woodstove
- Solar water geyser
- Safe drinking water system using natural/solar filtration
- Low carbon farming