Transdisciplinary Approach for Climate Change Adaptation: A Study of Gandaki River Basin
A successful approach to adaptation requires new imagination that is guided by the vision of synergy and complementarity, different from commonly applied top-down and siloed approaches. Higher-level analytics based on scientific and bureaucratic framing has been dominant in adaptation plans, policies, and programs. As James Scott argues in his seminal book, Seeing Like a State, a state-led and science-centered approach often ignores lived experience and knowledge about solving problems, which he terms as “metis”. In the case of climate change adaptation, several scholars underscore the importance of broader participation of multiple stakeholders for adapting to climate change with consideration of synergy between local and scientific knowledge. In this paper, I examine adaptation practices proposed by three programs; Ecosystem-Based Adaptation (EBA), Hariyo Ban Program (HBP) and Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) in the Gandaki River Basin (GRB) of Western Nepal to understand if these programs are in line with the idea of metis for adapting to climate change. More specifically, I aim to uncover the scale at which adaptation practices in water, energy, agriculture, and forestry sectors, implemented in the GRB, are integrated. The findings reveal that a range of adaptation practices are implemented in the GRB with the potential to enhance horizontal and vertical integration to increase the resilience of communities. Based on the findings of this study, I propose a framework for a trans-disciplinary approach in climate adaptation that can help further integrate bottom-up, top-down, and sectoral ambitions in enhancing adaptation.
Key words: Climate Change Adaptation; Trans-disciplinary; Gandaki River Basin