Climate change impact and vulnerability assessment of forests in the Indian Western Himalayan region: A case study of Himachal Pradesh, India
Climate change impact
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AbstractClimate change impact and vulnerability assessment at state and regional levels is necessary to develop adaptation strategies for forests in the biogeographically vital Himalayan region. The present study assesses forest ecosystem vulnerability to climate change across Himachal Pradesh and presents the priority districts for vulnerability reduction under ‘current climate’ and ‘future climate’ scenarios. Vulnerability of forests under ‘current climate’ scenario is assessed by adopting indicator-based approach, while the vulnerability under ‘future climate’ scenario is assessed using climate and vegetation impact models. Based on the vulnerability index estimated to present the vulnerability of forests under current and projected climate change impacts representing climate driven vulnerability, five districts – Chamba, Kangra, Kullu, Mandi and Shimla are identified as priority forest districts for adaptation planning. Identifying vulnerable forest districts and forests will help policy makers and forest managers to prioritize resource allocation and forest management interventions, to restore health and productivity of forests and to build long-term resilience to climate change.