Dr Dipayan Dey1, Ms Mrinmoyee Naskar2
1South Asian Forum For Environment, Kolkata, India, 2Department of Geography, Baruipur College, Calcutta University, Kolkata, India
Eastern Himalayan terrains, owing to its highly diverse agro-climatic landscapes and sustained immigration, has rich agro-biodiversity nurtured in traditional farming. Studied landscape encompasses Tsangyang Gyatso Biosphere Reserve with semi-evergreen to broadleaf and pine-forests enriched in wildlife and inhabited by five tribes with diverse socio-cultural affinities, practicing slash-burn agriculture wherein fire re-shapes the production landscape. Present study assessed the impacts of species redistribution owing to changes in climate patterns therein on socioecological production landscape using geospatial mapping along with ecological and sociometric indicators for developing a place-based transformational model. Perusal of results shows that tribes raised japonica paddy in terraced cultivation at higher altitudes, whereas in lower valleys they adopted indica paddy as wet cultivars. As climate warmed, japonica species faced higher risk of spikelet sterility during anthesis while torrential rains or floods in the valley threatened indica species. Unfortunately, over consecutive seasons of low yields, terraced fields producing japonica species were shifted to higher altitudes by slash-burn to escape warmer temperatures and it radically modified ecosystem services of the production agriscape, further shifting the winter roosting habitats of Grus nigricollis, an endangered avian species. In valleys, failure to manage fire-based cultivation regimes and introduction of new agricultural species like Actinidia deliciosa from non-Himalayan terrains have furthered the change in the production landscape that has terminally affected the socio-economy of the marginal tribal farmers. Species redistribution and habitat fragmentation that ensued with changes in climatic regime needs adaptive planning for conservation through community-based sustainable intensification of ecosystem services.
Dr. Dipayan Dey is an adept professional with two decades of comprehensive experience in tertiary teaching of Environmental Science in University of Delhi, India and UNU Tokyo and as well 21 years of acumen in environmental research, planning and ecosystem management in global south. He has been supervising action-research programs on Natural Resource Management and Restoration Ecology, Strategic Impact Assessment, Biodiversity Indexing, Agricultural Carbon Sequestration, Downscaling Climate Impact, Hazard Mitigation, Risk Analysis and Adaptive Mitigation through Community Based Interventions under the aegis of UN Environment, World Bank, APN Japan, GDN, USAID & NASA, ICIMOD IWMI and several reputed international agencies. Dr Dey has done commendable work on neo-economic conservation paradigm of ‘Biorights’ of commons in five South Asian countries that has been accredited in the 4th TEEB report of UNEP. He has an expertise in research designing, developing action plan or organizing activities and resolving procedural/ logistical problems as appropriate to the completion timeline of project objectives and is an effective communicator with excellent relationship management skills & honed analytical, problem solving & organizational abilities. Possess a flexible & detail oriented attitude.