About the Project

The MacArthur Foundation funded project ‘Biodiversity and Climate Change Adaptation in the Eastern Himalayas’ (June 2010 - March 2012) aims to strengthen the knowledge base on the impacts of climate change on ecosystems, on the associated ecosystem services, and on people’s livelihoods and wellbeing, and to identify adaptive mechanisms.

The project aims to improve understanding of climate change impacts on biodiversity, on related ecosystem services, and on adaptation and sustainable development in the Eastern Himalayas, through a comparative assessment in two wetland ecosystems, examining the linkages among: 

  • the drivers of change, especially climate change and land use/land cover change;
  • livelihood dependencies on ecosystem services;
  • the potential impacts of the change drivers on people’s livelihoods and ecosystem goods and services.
The two pilot wetland sites are Phobjikha Wetland in Bhutan, and Koshi Tappu Wetland in Nepal. Both sites have links with agriculture, tourism, and species conservation.
Intended results by the end of the project period:
  • Enhanced understanding of climate change impacts on biodiversity and related ecosystem services
  • Capacity of mountain communities to adapt local practices relating to the use and maintenance of biodiversity and related ecosystem services assessed and improved
  • Evidence-based adaptation strategies developed and disseminated to address the long-term impact of climate change on biodiversity-related services 
  • Communication strategy developed and implemented for improved exchange of information and knowledge towards climate change adaptation
Outcome: The scientific insights from the project will enable national institutions and policy makers to develop interventions for adaptation and to build ecological and socioeconomic resilience to climate change in the Eastern Himalayas, as well as to expand similar approaches to other parts of the region and across the globe.