Articles

Local Knowledge on the Use of Swertia Chirayita as Traditional Medicine: Conservation challenges in Sikkim Himalaya, India

Source: Ethnobotany Research and Applications, Volume No.14, 2014

Swertia chirayita (Roxb.) Buch.-Ham. ex C.B.Clarke (Gentianaceae) has been used as a traditional medicine,but this knowledge is eroding with modernization.This study attempted to understand the perception and knowledge of people about the species use and conservation in four districts of Sikkim Himalaya. A questionnaire survey was used for data collection. Swertia Chirayita is highly used for treating fever and cold and cough by both male (p <0.001; F = 63.72) and female (p <0.001; F = 86.16) respondents. Over 92% of respondents administer the species, as medicine, orally in the form of decoction. The perception on the market potential of Swertia Chirayita was significantly high amongst both male (p <0.001; F = 39.27) and female (p <0.001; F = 30.46) respondents. In Sikkim, a majority of respondents (p <0.05) consider habitat destruction and human disturbances as the chief causes of natural population decline of Swertia Chirayita.

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Ethnomedicinal Plant use by Lepcha Tribe of Dzongu Valley, Bordering Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve, in North Sikkim, India

Source: Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, 2008

Lepcha is the oldest and the first tribe reported from Sikkim, India; majority of its population inhabiting in Dzongu valley, an officially demarcated reserve for Lepcha community, bordering Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve, in north district. Lepchas of Dzongu are known for their retention of rich cultural heritage. In view of the on-going cultural and economic changes brought in by the process of globalization, the immediate need was felt to document in details the underexplored ethnomedicinal practices of Lepchas of Dzongu valley. This paper reports 118 species, belonging to 71 families and 108 genera, under ethnomedicinal utility by the Lepchas for curing approximately 66 ailments, which could be grouped under 14 broad categories. Zingiberaceae appeared as the most used family (8 species and 5 genera).

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Plants used in Healthcare Practices by Limboo Tribe in South-West of Khangchendzonga Biospher Reserve, Sikkim, India

Source: Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, Volume 12(3), 2013

The Study aim in exploring indigenous knowledge of Limboo tribe on plant use practices for local healthcare in Khangchendzonga Biospher Reserve, Sikkim. Use of 124 ethnomedicinal plants to cure 77 ailments, grouped into 13 broad categories, was recorded.Maximum number of species (31) was used to cure stomach related problems. Oral admiration (71.77%) was the common practice.

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Contextual and Interdependent Causes of Climate Change Adaptation Barriers: Insights from Water Management Institutions in Himachal Pradesh, India

Source: Science of the Total Environment, Volume 576, 2017

Research on adaptation barriers is increasing as the need for climate change adaptation becomes evident. However, empirical studies regarding the emergence, causes and sustenance of adaptation barriers remain limited. This research identifies key contextual causes of adaptation barriers in water institutions in the mountainous Himalayan state of Himachal Pradesh in northern India. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with representatives from 26 key governmental, non-governmental, academic and research institutions in the State with responsibilities spanning domestic water supply, irrigation and hydropower generation, environmental monitoring and research. 

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Relationships of Climate and Irrigation Factors with Malaria Parasite Incidences in Two Climatically Dissimilar Regions in India

Source: Journal of Arid Environments, Volume 124, January 2016

Climate and irrigation conditions are associated with malaria infection from 1986 to 1995 in two climatically dissimilar regions in India. With annual averaged malaria parasite incidence (API) and seasonally averaged climate and irrigation variables in western Rajasthan and Arunachal Pradesh. In arid western Rajasthan, API is significantly positively correlated with summer precipitation and soil moisture, and negatively correlated with summer potential evapotranspiration. Irrigation variables during boreal spring show a significant positive correlation with API in the moisture-limited region. In humid Arunachal Pradesh, API is positively related to summer temperature, but negatively related to summer precipitation and spring irrigation variables, while no statistically significant correlations are observed.

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Effects of Climate and Climate Change on Vectors and Vector-Borne Diseases: Ticks are Different 

Source: Trends in Parasitology, Volume 32 Issue 8, 2016

There has been considerable debate as to whether global risk from vector-borne diseases will be impacted by climate change. This has focussed on important mosquito-borne diseases that are transmitted by the vectors from infected to uninfected humans. However, this debate has mostly ignored the biological diversity of vectors and vector-borne diseases. Climate and climate change may impact those most divergent of arthropod disease vector groups: multivoltine insects and hard-bodied (ixodid) ticks. 

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Dengue in a Changing Climate 

Source: Environmental Research, Volume 151, November 2016

Dengue is the world’s most important arboviral disease in terms of number of people affected. Over the past 50 years, incidence increased 30-fold: there were approximately 390 million infections in 2010. Globalization, trade, travel, demographic trends, and warming temperatures are associated with the recent spread of the primary vectors Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus and of dengue. Overall, models project that new geographic areas along the fringe of current geographic ranges for Aedes will become environmentally suitable for the mosquito’s lifecycle, and for dengue transmission. Many endemic countries where dengue is likely to spread further have underdeveloped health systems, increasing the substantial challenges of disease prevention and control. Control focuses on management of Aedes, although these efforts have typically had limited effectiveness in preventing outbreaks. New prevention and control efforts are needed to counter the potential consequences of climate change on the geographic range and incidence of dengue, including novel methods of vector control and dengue vaccines.

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Vector-Borne Disease and Climate Change 

Source: Encyclopedia of Environmental Health, 2011

Recent years have seen major shifts in a number of vector-borne diseases with West Nile virus appearing in New York and then spreading through much of North America, Chikungunya virus causing an outbreak in Italy, and Bluetongue virus causing a livestock disease spreading through northern Europe. It is perhaps expected that climate change will be invoked as a major driving force for these epidemic shifts. Climate variables such as rainfall and temperature do have demonstrable effects on the epidemiology of this group of pathogens. However, the actual effect is highly site specific suggesting that other factors play an equally important role. Climate change could affect vector-borne diseases in a number of ways.

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Adaptation of Farming Community to Climatic Risk: Does Adaptation Cost for Sustaining Agricultural Profitability? 

Source: Current Science, Volume. 110 Issue 7, 2016

Adopting proper varieties,crop and livestock management strategies and technical know-how can reduce the cost of farm operations, increase agricultural profits as well as the capacity to adapt to climatic risks. Additional cost is not always required for adaptation, and rationalizing agricultural expenditure through scientific crop management is essential for adapting to climatic risks. Diversification of farm income is needed for improving the adaptive capacity as well as livelihood security.

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Vulnerability of Indian mustard (Brassica juncea (L.) Czernj. Cosson) to Climate Variability and Future Adaptation Strategies

Source: Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change,Volume. 21 Issue 3, 2016

A simulation study has been carried out using the InfoCrop mustard model to assess the impact of climate change and adaptation gains and to delineate the vulnerable regions for mustard (Brassica juncea (L.) Czernj. Cosson) production in India. On an all India basis, climate change is projected to reduce mustard grain yield by ~2 % in 2020 (2010–2039),
~7.9 % in 2050 (2040–2069) and ~15 % in 2080 (2070–2099) climate scenarios of MIROC3.2.HI (a global climate model) and Providing Regional Climates for Impact Studies(PRECIS, a regional climate model) models, if no adaptation is followed. However, spatiotemporal variations exist for the magnitude of impacts. Yield is projected to reduce in regions with current mean seasonal temperature regimes above 25/10 °C during crop growth.

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Rising Temperatures Reduce Global Wheat Production

Source: Nature Climate Change, Volume. 5, 2015

Crop models are essential tools for assessing the threat of climate change on local and global food production. Present models used to predict wheat grain yield are highly uncertain when simulating how crops respond to temperature. 

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Assessment of Impact of Climate Change on Potato and Potential Adaptation Gains in the Indo-Gangetic Plains of India

Source: International Journal of Plant Production, Volume. 9  Issue 12015

India is the second largest producer of potato in the world. The Indo-Gangetic plains (IGP) is the main potato growing region accounting for almost 85% of the 1.8 Mha under the crop in India where it is grown as an irrigated crop during the winter season. Since IGP is in sub-tropical plains, duration of the thermally suitable window is the main determinant limiting yields. Hence, the impact of climate change on potato in the IGP was assessed using MIROC HI.3.2 A1b and B1,PRECIS A1b, A2, B2 scenarios and estimated the potential adaptation gains. The potato crop duration in the IGP is projected to decrease due to climate change.

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Vulnerability of Wheat Production to Climate Change in India

Source: Climatic Research, Volume 59,  2014

The production of wheat, a crop sensitive to weather, may be influenced by climate change. The regional vulnerability of wheat production to climate change in India was assessed by quantifying the impacts and adaptation gains in a simulation analysis using the InfoCrop-WHEAT model. This study projects that climate change will reduce the wheat yield in India in the range of 6 to 23% by 2050 and 15 to 25% by 2080.

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Climate Change and Coconut Plantations in India: Impacts and Potential Adaptation Gains

Source: Agricultural SystemVolume 117, 2013

The assessment of impact of climate change on coconut, a plantation crop, is challenging. However, the development of a simulation model (InfoCrop-COCONUT) has enabled the process. The researchers present the first simulation analysis of the potential impacts of climate change on coconut productivity in India following two approaches, namely: (i) ‘fixed increase in temperature and CO2, and (ii) scenarios as per PRECIS (Providing Regional Climates for Impact Studies) – a regional climate model. Impact of changed management on coconut productivity in current as well as in future climates is also assessed.

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An Assessment of Regional Vulnerability of Rice to Climate Change in India

Source: Climatic Change, Volume 118 Issue 3, 2013

A simulation analysis was carried out using the InfoCrop-rice model to quantify impacts and adaptation gains, as well as to identify vulnerable regions for irrigated and rain-fed rice cultivation in future climates in India. Climates in A1b, A2, B1 and B2 emission scenarios as per a global climate model (MIROC3.2.HI) and a regional climate model (PRECIS) were considered for the study.

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Climate Change and Indian Agriculture: Current Understanding on Impacts, Adaptation, Vulnerability and Mitigation

Source: Journal of Plant Biology, Volume. 32 Issue 2, 2010

The global studies on climate change and its impact on agriculture do not depict the finer regional variability for effectively developing the adaptation strategies. Thus, the regional and local studies become important. In this review, a conscious effort is made to emphasize and include all possible climate change related studies in India. Analysis of past data indicates changes in temperature and rainfall in India. Future climate scenarios indicate spatio-temporal variation in change in temperatures and rainfall. The winter (Rabi) seasonal temperatures are projected to increase more than that of monsoon season (Kharif). Rainfall is likely to increase in some central and eastern parts of India.

 

Simulating impacts, Potential Adaptation and Vulnerability of Maize to Climate Change in India

Source: Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change,Volume. 15 Issue 5, 2010

Climate change associated global warming, rise in carbon dioxide concentration and uncertainties in precipitation has profound implications on Indian agriculture. Maize (Zea mays L.), the third most important cereal crop in India, has a major role to play in country’s food security. Thus, it is important to analyse the consequence of climate change on maize productivity in major maize producing regions in India and elucidate potential adaptive strategy to minimize the adverse effects.

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Assessment on Vulnerability of Sorghum to Climate Change in India

Source: Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment,Volume 138 Issue 3-4, 2010

It is important to analyse the impacts of climate change on target production system. However, it is more important to deduce possible adaptation strategies so that the research and developmental policies can be guided to meet the challenges of climate change. Impacts of climate change on the sorghum production system in India are analysed using InfoCrop-SORGHUM simulation model. In general, impact of climate change is projected to be more on winter crop in central (CZ) and south-central zones (SCZ), while in south-west zone (SWZ) the impacts are likely to be higher on monsoon crop.

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Projects

Vulnerability and Risk Assessment to support implementation of the Uttarakhand Action Plan on Climate Change

Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN)

UCHAI10

The UAPCC is a valued initiative of Government which focused on Climate Change. However, the plan recognizes its limitations due to the weak evidence base on climate change risks and opportunities in the state. It was developed based on existing secondary literature available and consultations with local experts. As a result the UAPCC contains a long-list of possible adaptation actions for each sector, without any prioritisation. This therefore makes it difficult for departments to identify and select those actions for investment which will have maximum impact. There is also a risk that such actions could also result in mal-adaptation due to the interconnected nature of climate change risks across sectors.

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Sweden-India Cooperation to Protect Working People from Health and Productivity Risks due to Workplace Heat Exposure and the Links to Climate Change 

Umeå Centre for Global Health Research

UCHAI1

The project deals with workplace heat effects on working peoples’ health and productivity. The project aims to address the problem by using innovative prevention approaches that are tested in real workplace situations in India. Results from the project will focus on health protection, productivity enhancement and poverty reduction in India, and will also be of value to global health research and practice in other countries.

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A Study of Weather Effects, Susceptibilities and Potential Impacts of Climate Change on Mortality in Vadu HDSS India  

Umeå Centre for Global Health Research

UCHAI2

The aim of this project is to estimate the effect of weather on all-cause and cause-specific mortality and the potential impact of climate change on mortality in Vadu Health and Demographic Surveillance System (HDSS). The expected output of this project will be to establish and report the association between weather and climate change factors upon mortality within the rural population in India, as well as the attributed burden of deaths related to these factors based. Based on these results, inferences can be made for strategies to adapt to continued climate change.

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A Study of Weather Effects, Susceptibilities and Potential Impacts of Climate Change on Mortality in Vadu HDSS India 

Umeå Centre for Global Health Research

UCHAI3

The aim of this project is to estimate the effect of weather on all-cause and cause-specific mortality and the potential impact of climate change on mortality in Vadu Health and Demographic Surveillance System (HDSS). The expected output of this project will be to establish and report the association between weather and climate change factors upon mortality within the rural population in India, as well as the attributed burden of deaths related to these factors based. Based on these results, inferences can be made for strategies to adapt to continued climate change.

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Addressing Heat-Health Vulnerability in Rapidly Urbanising Regions of Western India                                 

Climate & Development Knowledge Network

UCHAI4

A process of research and engagement led by the Natural Resources Defense Council in partnership with the Indian Institute of Public Health, Gandhinagar and the Public Health Foundation in India, put the issue of extreme heat on the agenda of decision-makers in Ahmedabad. Through a consultative process, the risks and potential prevention strategies were outlined for each vulnerable group. Four briefs in the Rising Temperatures, Deadly Threat series were published giving specific recommendations for how key stakeholders and the most vulnerable residents can reduce vulnerability to extreme heat events in Ahmedabad.

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Deepening and Expanding Heat Health Action in India, Climate & Development Knowledge Network         

Climate & Development Knowledge Network

UCHAI6

Engagement and technical support to the Gujarat State Government has mainstreamed heat-health action within the State Action Plan on Climate Change and sectoral policies and plans. A process of engagement and research with two new cities in different geographical zones over three years led to policy action on extreme heat which is appropriate and relevant to each city. Through a dedicated learning and knowledge management component, the project attempted to leverage national and other programmes to facilitate wider scaling-out. This project was selected as one of the top 20 for the Munich Re Risk Award 2015, which was presented at the World Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, March 2015.

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Sustainable and Healthy Diets in India (SAHDI) 

LSHTM & SOAS Sustaining Health project           

UCHAI6

The project aims to build an interdisciplinary team to collate and analyse existing data on agriculture, diet, food-related greenhouse gas emissions, water footprints and health in India, in order to define healthy, low-carbon, climate-change resilient and context-relevant diets. It will provide a suite of agricultural and dietary options to guide national policy decisions, and make linked datasets available to the wider research community. The project will provide a method to determine the overall suitability of particular foods and dietary patterns, taking into account nutritional content, acceptability, health outcomes, greenhouse gas emissions, water footprint and climate change resilience.

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Himalayan Adaptation, Water and Resilience (HI-AWARE) 

Research on Glacier and Snowpack Dependent River Basins for Improving Livelihoods

HI-AWARE is supported by the UK’s DFID and Canada’s IDRC through the Collaborative Adaptation Research Initiative in Africa and Asia (CARIAA).

Hi-aware 

HI-AWARE is one of the four consortia of the Collaborative Adaptation Research Initiative in Africa and Asia (CARIAA). It conducts research and pilot interventions, capacity building and policy engagement on climate resilience and adaptation in the mountains and flood plains of the Indus, Ganges, and Brahmaputra river basins. HI-AWARE is implementing three Work Packages—Knowledge Generation, Research into Use, and Strengthening Expertise—in 12 sites in the Indus, Upper Ganga, Gandaki and Teesta river basins. The sites are located in Hunza, the Soan River basin, Mona and Sargodha in Pakistan; Garhwal and between Rishikesh and Roorkee in India; Langtang and Nuwakot in Nepal; and the Gandaki floodplain in Nepal; and West and North Sikkim; Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Gangtok; and Jalpaiguri district in India. There is also one site in Niphamari district in Bangladesh. In addition to conducting research on water, energy, food security, human health, water-induced hazards—such as floods, landslides and droughts—and extreme weather events, HI-AWARE is also in the process of testing adaptation measures in observatory labs in these sites and designing adaptation pathways for out-scaling and up-scaling. 

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Climate Change and Malaria In Sub-Himalayan Region and Central India

IIHM 

Climate predicts to a large degree, the natural distribution of malaria based on three main climate factors, i.e., temperature, precipitation and relative humidity. The three-year long project aims to compare the dynamics of climate change and malaria in two distinct physical, epidemiological and socio-cultural environments in India. Two districts in Sub-Himalayan region and two in Central India have been selected for the study purpose. The research work is expected to provide a way forward for studying the impacts of climate change on health with regard to intricate interplay of climatologically, epidemiological and socio-economic factors affecting malaria transmission in India. The data collection in Madhya Pradesh and Jammu has been completed. Currently, data analysis is going on. 

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Health and environmental implications of Low-Carbon, Climate-Change Resilient Diets in India

IIHM 

This project involves experts in health, nutrition, environment, agriculture and mathematical modelling working together to develop an extremely complex and accurate model to analyse diets.

Integrating Climate Change into the Management of Priority Health Risks in Ghana

IIHM 

The proposed project will develop systems and response mechanisms to strengthen the integration of climate change risks into the health sector. Critical barriers will be overcome to shift the current response capacity of the health sector from being reactive towards being more anticipatory, deliberate and systematic. Project actions will identify, implement, monitor, and evaluate adaptations to reduce likely future burdens of malaria, diarrhoeal diseases, and cerebrospinal meningitis (CSM), priority climate change-related health issues identified by national stakeholders.

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Urban Health and Climate Resilience Center (UHCRC), Surat

IIHM 

UHCRS aims to develop and share the evidence base to recommend more effective health services that improve resilience to climate change impacts on urban citizens, particularly poor and vulnerable communities.

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Climate Resilience through Risk Transfer

IIHM 

The main objective of the multi-year RES-RISK project is to enhance the resilience of vulnerable communities to climate change by developing and implementing pro-poor micro-insurance solutions covering health, crop and livestock risks in two locations lying in different agro-climatic zones: (i) the Middle Gangetic Plains region, with activities in North Bihar; namely Vaishali and Muzaffarpur, and (ii) the West Coast Plains & Hills region of Beed, in Maharashtra.

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Climate Change & Human Health

UCHAI7

Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change under NATCOM III, ICMR and DST  have  funded projects on Climate Change & Human Health to address the vulnerability, impact assessment and possible adaptation measures for vector borne diseases in hotspots of India . DST has granted Centre of Excellence on Climate Change and Vector Borne Diseases to NIMR wherein impact of climate change, ecological change including disasters, early warning of outbreaks and scope of capacity building of researchers  has been envisioned.

 

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