ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Coping with Climate Change

The Story of the Maltos of Jharkhand

Changes in temperature and rainfall patterns have introduced numerous problems across India, particularly among the poor and those heavily dependent on agriculture and forest for livelihood. This article examines the perception of the Maltos, a tribal community living in Sahibganj district, Jharkhand, about climate change, its impacts, and the coping mechanisms it has adopted. 

In recent times, communities across the globe increasingly experience the impact of climate change.1 The third assessment report (TAR) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2007 states that due to the emission of green house gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere, global temperature is increasing, sea levels are rising, precipitation patterns are changing, and storm surges, floods, droughts and heat waves are becoming more frequent and severe.

While climate change affects humanity across the globe, its impact is not the same everywhere. Many studies suggest that the developing world experiences heavier impacts of climate change mainly due to its geographical location and the lack of resources to cope with changes (Reid et al 2009: 12). Previous work done by scholars like Paavola and Adgar (2002), IPCC (2007), and Macchi (2008) suggests that the impact of climate change puts additional pressure on people who are already vulnerable due to poverty and marginalisation. These scholars believe that climate change places further stress on existing vulnerabilities, especially in countries and regions that are largely dependent on agriculture, forests, and fishery. The IPCC 2007 report states that the

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