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  • 1.
    Ensor, Jonathan Edward
    et al.
    Stockholm Environment Institute, Department of Environment and Geography, University of York.
    Wennström, Patrick
    Department of Urban and Rural Development, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.
    Anil, Bhatterai
    Department of Geography, University of Toronto.
    Nightingale, Andrea Joslyn
    Department of Urban and Rural Development, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.
    Eriksen, Siri
    International Environment and Development Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences.
    Sillmann, Jana
    CICERO Center for International Climate Research.
    Asking the right questions in adaptation research and practice: Seeing beyond climate impacts in rural Nepal2019Ingår i: Environmental Science and Policy, ISSN 1462-9011, E-ISSN 1873-6416, Vol. 94, s. 227-236Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Adaptation research and practice too often overlooks the wider social context within which climate change is experienced. Mainstream approaches frame adaptation problems in terms of the consequences that flow from biophysical impacts and as a result, we argue, ask the wrong questions. A complementary approach gaining ground in the field, foregrounding the social, economic and political context, reveals differentiation in adaptation need, and how climate impacts interconnect with wider processes of change. In this paper, we illustrate how this kind of approach frames a different set of questions about adaptation using the case of Nepal. Drawing on fieldwork and a review of literature, we contrast the questions that emerge from adaptation research and practice that take climate risk as a starting point with the questions that emerge from examination of contemporary rural livelihoods. We find that while adaptation efforts are often centred around securing agricultural production and are predicated on climate risk management, rural livelihoods are caught in a wider process of transformation. The numbers of people involved in farming are declining, and households are experiencing the effects of rising education, abandonment of rural land, increasing wages, burgeoning mechanisation, and high levels of migration into the global labour market. We find the epistemological framing of adaptation too narrow to account for these changes, as it understands the experiences of rural communities through the lens of climate risk. We propose that rather than seeking to integrate local understandings into a fixed, impacts-orientated epistemology, it is necessary to premise adaptation on an epistemology capable of exploring how change occurs. Asking the right questions thus means opening up adaptation by asking: ‘what are the most significant changes taking place in people's lives?’, along with the more standard: ‘what are the impacts of climate change?’ Viewing adaptation as occurring between and within these two perspectives has the potential to reveal new vulnerabilities and opportunities for adaptation practice to act upon.

  • 2.
    Oskarsson, Patrik
    et al.
    Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.
    Lahiri-Dutt, Kuntala
    The Australian National University.
    Wennström, Patrick
    From Incremental Dispossession to a Cumulative Land Grab: Understanding Territorial Transformation in India’s North Karanpura Coalfield2019Ingår i: Development and Change, ISSN 0012-155X, E-ISSN 1467-7660, s. 1-24Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    This article explores a great contradiction in rural land debates in India: on the one hand, explosive political contestation that is often able to halt proposed land acquisition; on the other, an unprecedented urban‐industrial expansion that is appropriating rural land. The authors argue that land grabbing for mining proceeds in an incremental manner, yet its cumulative effect leads to territorial transformation. To investigate this incremental appropriation, a temporal study of the North Karanpura coal mining tract in eastern India was conducted, combining remote sensing, interviews and official land‐use data. The results reveal a cumulative land grab of thousands of hectares from the late 1980s to the present day as open‐cut coal mines swallow up vast swathes of agricultural fields and forests. The political economy mechanism behind this immense land grab, which to date has gone undetected, consists of three phases: the reservation of the land as a coalfield with multiple coal blocks; the division of the blocks into separate mines; and the flexible expansion of individual mines wherever reduced resistance to land acquisition is encountered. This research indicates that an aggregate analysis of land dynamics can more robustly place the dramatic rearrangements of the Indian countryside within the international land grabbing debate.

  • 3.
    Wennström, Patrick
    Department of Urban and Rural Development, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.
    Perspectives on the pastoral landscape: Combining remote sensing ob- servations and pastoralist per- ceptions in southern Tamil Nadu, India2018Ingår i: Asia in Focus: A Nordic journal on Asia by early career researchers, ISSN 2446-0001, nr 5, s. 15-27Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    This article explores how land cover change studies could be advanced through a methodology that integrates remote sensing (RS) observations and perceptions from the ground. This is done through a case study in southern Tamil Nadu, India where changes in the pastoral landscape are investigated from two perspectives: from space through satellite images and from the ground through interviews and participatory mapping. RS results provide valuable insights about large-scale changes in the landscape, which could not have been captured through interviews. Grasslands, an important source of livestock feed, have decreased while agricultural land and built-up land has increased between the years 1992 and 2014. The qualitative data generated a deeper understanding of land cover change dynamics and revealed the complexity of pastoralist livelihoods where shrinking pastures is perceived as one of many challenges. Combining the two data types and analysing the gaps between them indicates that pastoralists are referring to the loss of relatively small but significant grazing lands. Such changes are not within the domain of detectable changes, which indicates that policy intended to improve pastoralist conditions based entirely on RS would most likely fail. This risk could be minimized by integrating qualitative data to the RS analysis.

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