The Himalayan livelihoods theme provides critical knowledge and understudying in academia. Poverty, vulnerability, and inequality are widespread, and access to resources and services and gainful employment opportunities are limited in Himalayan region. Besides, this region is also regarded as a hot spot for climate change related study. Data on trends of Nepal from 1975 to 2005 showed 0.06°C rise in temperature annually whereas mean rainfall has significantly decreased on an average of 3.7 mm (-3.2) per month per decade. More so, warming in Nepal is projected to be higher than the global average. By the 2080s, Nepal is projected to warm by 1.2°C–4.2°C, under the highest emission scenario, RCP8.5, as compared to the baseline period 1986–2005 (ADB 2021). The country ranked as the 4th most vulnerable country.  More than 1.9 million people are estimated to be highly vulnerable and another 10 million are exposed to increasing risk due to the impact of climate change.

In this context, this study tried to examine diversified livelihood strategies of the people residing around the Lower Great Himalayan Trial (LGHT) region. The objectives of the study were to assess the impact of climate change as well as climate change adaptation strategies applied by the local people in the study areas. The study used quantitative research approach and cross sectional study design. Purposively, the LGHT region (1700 KM) has been selected as a field of study. LGHT goes through the country’s mid hills with an average altitude of 2,000 metres. The required data were collected from 1020 households residing in 27 districts (Koshi watershed [Panchthar, Taplejung, Terathum, Sankhuwasabha, Bhojpur, Solukhumbu, Ramechhap, Dolkha, and Sindhupalchwok], Gandaki watershed [Nuwakot, Dhading, Gorkha, Tanahun, Lamjung, Kaski and Myagdi], Karnali watershed [Baglung, East Rukum, West Rukum, Jajarkot, Dolpa, Jumla, Mugu, Bajura, Bhajang] and Mahakali watershed [Baitedi and Darchula]).

The study foundthat LGHT people endure the highest levels of food and nutrition insecurity as the agriculture production trend has been decreasing annually. Climate change has been challenging to farm based livelihoods. Farmers are depending heavily on a few highly selective crops, agro-biodiversity is declining. Climate change is contributing to the depletion of natural resources such as forest, water as well as farming land. Owing to that internal migration and foreign employment becoming major strategies for improving family livelihoods. The migration trend from Mountain to Hill or mountain to Tarai as well as number of remittance receiving household also have been increasing annually in this region.

The study also found that non-farm livelihoods promotion activities such as tourism, business, rural enterprises and micro-finance activities were satisfactory in Koshi and Gandaki watersheds compared to Karnali and Mahakali watersheds. Furthermore, local governments are implementing the Local Adaptation Plan of Action mechanism and National Adaptation Programme of Action. Under such programs, they are offering climate change adaptation strategies related to technical and financial support to the local people. The findings of the study have been supported empirically and theoretically. Hence, the findings can be applied in policy and practice level by the concerned authorities.